Boise-Area Master Diesel Mechanic Weighs In On Automotive Awards

The new trucks for 2015 won't come out until the fall of this year, but automotive award season is in full swing.

Boise, Idaho – For Immediate Release – The new trucks for 2015 won't come out until the fall of this year, but automotive award season is in full swing. Ads touting their subjects' award-winning qualities are a good place to start shopping, suggests a local diesel engine repair specialist, but prospective truck owners should also do some fact-finding of their own.

Master Diesel technician with Gem State Diesel, Shawn Musgrave, is an avid reader of automotive news and knows the background behind major automotive awards. "Everyone knows what the J.D. Power and Associates trophy looks like, but not everyone who watches those ads knows how the winners are decided," he says. "J.D. Power is a marketing research firm, and those awards come from owners like you." Award winners for reliability are usually a good sign, he says, because these awards come from three years of data. "If a truck has issues with its common rail injectors or spotty fuel economy, owners aren't shy about voting accordingly after driving it for years. Initial quality are a lot more subjective, though. Owners are still in the honeymoon phase after the 90-day survey that goes into these ratings."

Other awards come from industry insiders instead of owners. "The North American Truck of the Year award's a big honor for the winner, and it comes from a jury of automotive journalists. Writers who cover the industry are less likely to be swayed by flash and look under the hood for quality. Voters don't get to see other journalists' ballots, so it's a reliable indicator of what insiders think is the next big thing in diesel engine technology." Musgrave also has some ideas about the ads you might expect to see during this year's Super Bowl. "Last year's Silverado was the fourth GMC/Chevy Duramax win, but Dodge-Cummins diesels are strong contenders for next year with their Ecodiesel advances. Don't count Ford's Powerstroke engines out of the mix either."

While awards make great ads, he says, they don't necessarily tell the whole story for individual drivers. "What do you need your diesel engine to do? If you need heavy-duty hauling capacity, you're going to have a different idea of the ideal truck than someone who wants a recreational vehicle or an all-purpose workhorse. Reliability's important to everyone, but how you use your truck affects how often you'll be visiting your diesel maintenance center as much as the brand you buy." Musgrave suggests talking to an expert before making any big buying decisions. "When you tell a diesel engine repair specialist where you drive, when you drive and what you haul, you'll get a more detailed answer about the makes and models that work for you than any ad or article can give you."

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