Buying Diesel Parts: Price vs. Value

Price vs Value

I can admit I love a bargain. Work is hard and I’d rather spend my paycheck on enjoyable things or the future instead of foolhardy purchases. To truly save money in the long run, however, you have to weigh initial price vs. value over the lifetime of whatever it is you buy.

Take this example. A couple of years ago I bought a cordless leaf blower to deal with autumn leaves and general clean up. I chose the generic brand and paid just $75. After using it for just under 2 years, it died and I needed a replacement. This time I went with a respected name brand and paid $225. So, two years, $300 and still just one leaf blower that works. I wish I had shelled out the extra on the first shopping trip and saved that money.

When making a big purchase, it’s important to weigh your options and evaluate price versus value. Is the less expensive option really going to give you more value over time?

Let’s take a look at some examples:


  • TIRE A
  • Price: $40
    Life: 25,000km

    Therefore: $40 / 25,000km = $.0016 per km per tire.

  • TIRE B
  • Price: $80
    Life: 50,000km

    Therefore: $80 / 50,000km = $.0016 per km per tire.

The math is easy, right?  The price is different, but the value is the same.  Or is it? What about installation costs? Mounting and balancing?  If it costs another $15 per wheel, this means you’ll pay $30 per wheel over 50,000 kms instead of $15.

So the true math (for a set of 4 tires) is actually:

  • TIRE A
  • Tires: 4 x $40 = $160
    Installation: 4 X $60 = $220

    Life span = 25,000km which equates to a lifetime cost of $.0088 per km (for all four)

  • TIRE B
  • Tires: 4 x $0 = $320
    Installation: 4 X $60 = $220

    Life span = 50,000km which equates to a lifetime cost of $.0076 per km (for all four)

What does this really mean?

By spending a little more initially, you’ll save $60 across 50,000 kms, plus you won’t have to schedule a second visit to the tire shop.


  • Ball Joint A
  • Price: $100
    Lifespan: 50,000km
  • Ball Joint B
  • Price $130
    Lifespan: 50,000km

Why does Ball Joint B cost more?  Because it comes with a lifetime warranty.  The next time it wears out, you only pay the labour to replace it.

So the true math is this:

  • Ball Joint A
  • $100 plus $120 installation = $220 every 50,000 kms.

  • Ball Joint B
  • $130 plus $120 installation = $250 the first time.
    PLUS $120 the second time. AND $120 the third time…

How much will you save?  It depends how long will you keep the truck.  If you keep it for 150,000 kms, then spending the extra $30 initially buying the better ball joint will save you $170.  That’s a pretty good return on investment!


Our 6.0 injectors are fitted with brand new spool valves.  Many of our competitors re-use them, providing they meet a minimum flow spec.  As the spool valve wears, the amount of oil bypassed increases.  The more oil that is bypassed, the less oil available to create high pressure under full load conditions.

Will you notice the difference between and NW Fuel injector and brand “X” right away? Probably not.  Will ours last much longer and still make full power after many years of service?  YES!  Will brand “X”? No.  Because they already started with a worn spool valve, or one which meets a minimum spec only, it will fall below spec much sooner than an injector with new spool valves.


Bosch recently tested a variety of non-OEM rebuilt injectors: more than 50% of them failed.  Here’s the thing:  with 2008+ engines all equipped with particulate filters, the effects of a bad injector might not be noticed right away because the particulate filter effectively blocks all the exhaust smoke.  This means you might return the truck to the customer, only to have them come back with complaints:  poor economy, excessive regenerations, etc.