Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Old is Your Truck?

I often get asked how old my truck is. Even though it looks nice on the outside, one look inside the cab with it's crank down windows, sliding levers for the heat and vents and few gizmos on the dash makes people wonder. For the record, I drive a 1988 Toyota 4WD truck. It doesn't even have a name really...but it later became the Tacoma.

It now boasts 295,000 miles. Unfortunately a burned valve forced me to replace the engine at 292,000, but I'm not complaining. I remember when I was going back and forth about getting a newer vehicle or replacing the engine. Well, for $3000 a 3yr/100,000 mile warranty, the new engine won hands down. I have loved this truck since I bought it new in '88'. I installed my own A/C, which still works, have had multiple radios..currently Sirius, and even replaced the bench seat for buckets.

Once people find out how old it is they always say "Well, you're a technician so you take care of it". I never really understood this. While it's true, I've done all my own's all about maintaining your vehicle. I haven't done anything special, I just take care of it and fix the things that need to be done. I think the most important thing I did was change the oil every 3000 miles without fail.

I grew up watching my father wash and wax his vehicles so they always looked like new. I understood that if you took care of them, they could last for a long time. That's all I've done. I guess what I'm trying to say is that anyone can keep a vehicle for a long time if they just properly maintain it.

What do I mean by this? Change your oil regularly at the scheduled times. Check your owner's manual if you're not sure when that is. Don't let those little noises become loud expensive fixes. If you decide to keep your vehicle for many years you need to understand that it will cost you money. I suggest that you take that car payment you no longer have and put it in a repair account. This way the money is already there when you need it.

You need to understand that vehicles break down when they get older. If you don't have the tolerance for this, then you should probably try to own a newer vehicle with less repair possibilities. It's true, it's easier for me because most of the time I can fix it myself, but most recently I've moved and currently I don't have access to a I have to pay like everyone else now.

Sure, there are times that I get frustrated with the nit picky things that go wrong, but my truck owes me nothing. I couldn't replace it for what it gives me, especially for what I'm paying. So think about what kind of person you are. Do you mind doing repairs more frequently to maintain an older vehicle, or is it easier to own something that always has a warranty?

I can't imagine not having my truck. I tell my friends that when it's time, I'll have it crushed. I really can't imagine anyone else driving her after 22 years. Oh and don't worry, that's not going to happen any time soon...she still gets me where I need to go and is worth every penny I paid for her!

Radical Wrencher

1 comment:

  1. This is just what I neede to read today...thank you! :)