The Big Tow’er Gets Some Attention . . . Part 2
Betsy and I both agree on the importance of keeping the Big Tow’er happy and showing him some love, but the last week or so was more than we had anticipated. After getting some things done by Randy in Palm Harbor (read more about that here), we had always planned on getting a more standard PM (Preventative Maintenance) done at a Nextran Volvo in Tampa before leaving the area. A PM for the Big Tow’er would include things like an oil change, chassis lube, oil filter replacement, fuel filter, fuel separator, etc. When we dropped the Big Tow’er off we also asked them to investigate a fairly significant pull to the right during braking and a mysterious problem with the brake lights staying on after shutting down the truck. We dropped him off on a Monday and waited for our call.
Well, I won’t bore you with all of the details, but after several calls over the next several days, our visit to Nextran turned into more than just a PM. Now don’t get me wrong here, a 17 year old truck with almost 750,000 miles is going to need some things replaced / repaired from time to time. Additionally, we both understand that on a truck like this when we replace a part it will most likely be the last time we have to replace that part. And we also both agree on the fact that when we add up everything we’ve spent on the truck since we’ve bought it (including the purchase price), we are still below the amount we would have invested in a newer (Not New!) 1-ton diesel dually. All of the above is true but still doesn’t make you feel any better when you get the final bill after a week at a Volvo dealer.
Below is a list of the items I had either replaced or repaired at Nextran (If this sort of technical talk bores you, please skip over the bullet points! ):
- Steering box and related parts
- Slack adjuster on the front brakes
- Treadle valve
- Repair seal on rear wheel
- Brake stop air valve
- Tractor protection valve
- Front drag link
- ABS sensor
- I’m sure I’ve missed something
So, what started out as a reasonable price for a PM, ended up costing us ~ $6,500!
On the upside, the truck brakes and steers as it should now. We also hopefully replaced some parts that lower our chances of getting stuck along the road in the future.
In summary, definitely an unplanned expense, but at the end of the day the Big Tow’er safely moves our home and all of our possessions down the road and you really can’t put a price on that!