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Old 08-07-2008, 05:38 PM   #1
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I have an 05 Dutch Star with 20K miles. Since I've had it, I have had the oil changed yearly (since we obviously don't put enough yearly miles on it.) On this trip we were going through Boise, ID so I thought I'd let the Cummins people do it for me this time. Was I surprised at the costs!!? The initial bill was just over $600.00. Now, I supplied the oil and 2 fuel filters. They were to change the engine and GenSet oil, replace the 2 fuel filters, and check a "check engine" code I have been getting that no one (by phone) could tell me what it was (MID 128.) That involved plugging into a computer, and reading it.

I hit the ceiling over the charges. They said they had over 3 hours labor (doing what, I asked?) Both oil changes could have been done in one hour and the error code in about 15 minutes. (It was a temp sensor on the turbo - replaced at $23.00 + labor) They finally reduce the bill to $471.00 including 2.5 hours of labor.

I will now go back to CW to have this done if I can't do it myself (less than $300 for all, including the filters!)

Am I just pinching pennies here, or was I ripped off? After I get some responses from those of you who have other do this work, I plan on a hot letter to Cummins Rocky Mtn over this. (Those of you who will laugh at me for not doing it myself can just laugh. I don't have the tools, place or equipment to dispose of the oil -so I have to pay. I just don't want to be paying too much.)

Thanks for your inputs!
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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I have an 05 Dutch Star with 20K miles. Since I've had it, I have had the oil changed yearly (since we obviously don't put enough yearly miles on it.) On this trip we were going through Boise, ID so I thought I'd let the Cummins people do it for me this time. Was I surprised at the costs!!? The initial bill was just over $600.00. Now, I supplied the oil and 2 fuel filters. They were to change the engine and GenSet oil, replace the 2 fuel filters, and check a "check engine" code I have been getting that no one (by phone) could tell me what it was (MID 128.) That involved plugging into a computer, and reading it.

I hit the ceiling over the charges. They said they had over 3 hours labor (doing what, I asked?) Both oil changes could have been done in one hour and the error code in about 15 minutes. (It was a temp sensor on the turbo - replaced at $23.00 + labor) They finally reduce the bill to $471.00 including 2.5 hours of labor.

I will now go back to CW to have this done if I can't do it myself (less than $300 for all, including the filters!)

Am I just pinching pennies here, or was I ripped off? After I get some responses from those of you who have other do this work, I plan on a hot letter to Cummins Rocky Mtn over this. (Those of you who will laugh at me for not doing it myself can just laugh. I don't have the tools, place or equipment to dispose of the oil -so I have to pay. I just don't want to be paying too much.)

Thanks for your inputs!
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:47 PM   #3
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We use Speedco Last PM service with oil change and fuel filter change was 179.00. Easy in and out, no appt needed and do not have to unhook tow vehicle.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
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My quote from the local Cummins place was 3 hours labor for an oil change only. At $110/hour that's $330 labor only, for only an engine oil change. I had another place that even told me they couldn't tell me what it would cost until they were finished! No thanks.

I hate to say it but I used CW, they were just over $300 for 40 quarts of oil, oil filter and fuel filter. Nobody came close to their price.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:54 AM   #5
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Hi OpaRon,

We second the vote for SpeedCo. The price is right and they do a good job. We have had Cummins quote us $600 for an oil change, so have never set one up there. I'm not sure if they just think way too much of themselves or they really don't want to do the work.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:56 AM   #6
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BigRigRVing & CSX4350 - I'm with both of you NOW. I guess I was just dumb to "assume" that I would be charged appropriately rather than ask "how much?" I did assume it would be nominally more than CW since Cummins hourly rate is a little higher than CW. I did assume NO MORE than two hours for an oil change though! I will be writing a letter to both Cummins Rocky Mountain and to Corporate.

CSX4350- from the looks of your "stable" of vehicles, you must know something about maintenance!
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:28 AM   #7
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Donna - or as we say down south, "They think way too highly of their service!" You can bet I'll not use Cummins for PM service again!
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:45 AM   #8
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About $200 at Cummins in Kenly, NC.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:13 AM   #9
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We used Coach Care in Normal, IL and it included oil change and filter for the both engine and Gen. chassis service, Trans service needed some fluid took about 1 1/2 hour just over $400.00.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:23 AM   #10
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I'm familiar with Speedco but who is this "CW"?
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:34 AM   #11
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Mine costs me about $750/800 in the U.S. That's for all filters, oil. fuel and water for the main engine,(not air) and fuel and oil filters for the genset, 100% synthetic oil for the main engine and Onan oil for the gen set. The same costs me closer to $1k in Canada. The Canadian rip-off.

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Old 08-08-2008, 03:36 AM   #12
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Sorry, I missed that it includes a full chassis lube also.

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Old 08-08-2008, 03:58 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by steevo:
I'm familiar with Speedco but who is this "CW"? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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Old 08-08-2008, 04:37 AM   #14
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Ron, I believe the answer to your question about being ripped off is "because they can." I agree with you that 3 hours is a long time for an engine oil change. I can tell you, however, that at a small independent shop, I paid $500 for a coolant change. They claimed a $85 shop rate and charged me for 2 gallons of coolant at $22 per gallon (my system actually holds 10 gallons). The rest was labor. They wrote their procedure on my ticket as "warm engine to temperature, dump coolant, fill with water, run to temperature, dump coolant, replace with coolant and water to -29 degrees test." Considering their labor rate, they are claiming 4.5 hours to do that procedure.
A couple of years later, I elected to do that job myself, replacing all of the hoses, too. I ended up dumping the system 3 times because I used a radiator flush. I don't have 4.5 hours in doing the procedure that I did - which is a whole lot more extensive than what they did and it was my first time replacing hoses on a DP.

I expect that any work I have done at most of the shops will end up being double the time for the labor charges that anyone would believe to be reasonable. One would think that the high labor rates themselves would cover the shop's overhead but apparently they don't. I've talked to guys who have service done on boats and they have about the same experience that we have in RVs - the timing on labor charges is about twice as long as seems reasonable.

I'd recommend that you buy a Fumoto valve for your engine crankcase. I had the shop that did my last "professional" oil change install it. After that, I've done my own. My DP is much easier than any passenger car with the valve. I simply collect enough used gallon jugs for the system volume (4 in my case), put each jug under the valve and drain the oil right into it. I shut off the valve when that jug is full, put the next jug under and open the valve again. No muss, no fuss. The only part of the procedure that is more difficult is exchanging the filter. My filter is fairly large and snaking it down past all of the engine parts when it is full with one hand is a little awkward. I have to fill the new filter to the brim with oil before installing it and,again, snaking it up past the engine with the new filter full of oil one handed takes a little coordination. The good part for me is that I can lie on my back under the engine just as the vehicle sits on its tires with no problems. BTW, I can do the whole change, including watching the oil drain out a gallon at a time, in 45 minutes. I actually use the time that the oil is draining to examine the hoses, cables and other parts of the chassis. I found a kinked power steering hose in one such inspection. Total cost is $46 dollars, oil and filter. With the used oil in gallon jugs, any of the auto parts stores in my area will recycle it for me.
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