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Pick up truck, worth another jab at it?
Old 10-08-2015, 10:31 AM   #1
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Pick up truck, worth another jab at it?

5 years ago I bought my first truck. A S-crew Ford F150. I knew it is the most popular truck or vehicle in America, so it must be reasonably good., I took a bite. The first few years were fine and I enjoyed driving it. Part of home care is bringing grass to the dump every week and does it well.
It is also surprisingly comfortable for long trips. I thought I was a Ford convert.
At 10,000 miles both rear shocks leaked and was changed under warrantee. The battery died at 2 years, again changed under warrantee. Since I have another car(Honda), the truck has only 22,000 miles in 5 years. Now that the warrantee expired it developed a might idling roughness, and it was a TPS sensor failure which cost $400 to replace. A friend of mine, with a 6 year old Lariat developed a similar electronic problem which also cost hundreds to fix.
Ironically, none of my past vehicles had this problem with these few miles.
It never happened to HOnda, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru in my limited random experience. What's your opinions & experience with US built trucks?
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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I have a 2011 ranger 4x4 no problems (yet) but I rarely drive it.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:14 AM   #3
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Well I donated my pos Toyota 4x4 and in 2012 got a used mini-pickup in , a 2006 Chevy Colorado for the frequent hauling I do of 'stuff' to and fro.


The only problems have been a refresh of the AC, headlight lamp, and turn signal lamp.


ymmv.....
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:42 AM   #4
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I'm sorry that you've had problems with your truck, however I've had a Ford F250 for 13 years with virtually no problems.
I changed shocks @ 50,000 miles and again at 115,000 miles--and they were just $25 each at RockAuto.com. Replacing shocks is a 1/2 hour job for me, a non-mechanic.
My original OEM battery lasted 11 years, but I'm glad your battery was covered under warranty. Batteries usually last 3-4 years.
The TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) is a $39 part, and a $400 repair bill is truly excessive. I would expect any dealer will charge $100 labor for any electronic repair or diagnosis--even if it's just a 15 minute job.

Your truck with less than 5,000 annual miles is an absolute piece of gold on the used vehicle market. I never go into any new car dealership for repairs or maintenance unless the factory's paying for it. I have a high quality independent car repair that works for half the hourly rate of a car dealership. I really enjoy doing most of my own repairs, including brakes.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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Not a brand cheerleader, but I've had two Chevy pickups that were relatively trouble-free.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:57 PM   #6
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Blaming a truck for bad shocks and battery is like saying it ran poorly because you filled up at the wrong station. More an issue of cheap sourcing. Foreign makes do seem to keep you away until the warranty is over.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:06 PM   #7
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#1 selling truck in the US is the Ford F150. Sorry you are having problems. I've driven mostly Ford truck since I started driving. Right now driving a 2010 F150 Platinum & 2014 F250 Platinum and no problems. This series truck has a lot of bells and whistles so there is lots that can go wrong.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:12 PM   #8
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I just went through the buying process and purchased a Toyota Tacoma last week. I had narrowed my choices down to the F150 and the Tacoma.

I liked the F150 but my experience with every Ford dealership I dealt with was a complete turn off. Set up an appointment with one salesperson, she forgot to mark it on her calendar and there was a conflict so half way through my visit she dumped me off on another salesman who had no interest at all in helping me out. I provided her with the configuration I wanted but every truck she presented to me was a $5-10K option up sell. Another Ford dealer did a bait and switch on me, they had a Ford advertised for sale on their web site that was exactly what I was looking for and at a good price so I set up an appointment to look at it. I get a call the morning of my appointment that the truck will be waiting out front for me for a test drive. When I get there they claimed the truck was sold the previous night but they just found out. Then they say there is no way they could sell me a similar truck at that price. A week later that same truck was still being advertised on their web site. Requested multiple internet quotes for F150's from other dealers but never actually received a response with a quote, just phone calls asking me to come in and talk to them.

My experience with the Toyota dealership was like night and day compared to Ford, they were very professional and knowledgeable and no option up selling.

Consumer Reports recently came out with a car manufacturer rating, Ford is near the bottom.
Consumer Reports best and worst car brands in 2015 include Lexus, Mazda and Toyota | Newsday
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:12 PM   #9
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'05 Silverado 4x4 170K bought at 6K in late '05 has been an excellent truck. Had 2 sensors replaced in the last year, prior I've done maintenance and replaced wear items only! I may have just jinxed it or the next one built have been a lemon, IDK.

Will say my '96 Ford F-150 was a good truck until the 5 speed transmission(manual) went out, Ford couldn't make it right after that every few k the thing would start dropping gears... Looked great, pos.

Dodge 2000 1500 nice truck, rough ride, till year 4. Starting hitting ticky-tac issues, a sensor or 2 then a couple months later the air conditioning compressor goes. After a year of that, it was gone.
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Article in BBC this morning
Old 10-08-2015, 01:38 PM   #10
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Article in BBC this morning

BBC - Autos - What is the world's toughest car?

Read what they said about the Toyota Helix
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:56 PM   #11
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I had a 2006 F-150 for a number of years. At 56K miles, the transmission died. It required a complete rebuild. Thankfully, it was covered under warranty, so I wasn't OUT 5K dollars for a rebuild. I later learned that there were lots of tranny issues with that year (and the '05, I think). I don't really have a need for a truck now (we have a Highlander that can tow 5K pounds and a trailer that can carry more than the F-150 ever could), so that suits our needs just fine.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:01 PM   #12
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My 17 year old 1999 F-150 has been stellar. A real blessing that helped us reach FIRE due to many years of not needing to save for a new car. It's the least expensive XL version, short bed, regular cab, 5 speed manual, small V8. No carpet, power windows, etc., that come standard on even low tier pickups these days. The grandkids get a kick out of the crank windows which they've never seen anywhere else!

It could die tomorrow but, AFAIK, seems fine and we plan on towing our little camper around the country at least a couple more years with it.

Driving an oldie like this, we find a bit of comfort in that seemingly every small town and Interstate highway exit seems to have a Ford dealer. Although, so far, we've not needed any emergency, on-the-road repairs.

I'm beginning to do a bit of research for a replacement (sadly we know this one won't last forever) and so far have narrowed it down to another F150 shortbed or a Tacoma. I like the Tacoma but it's very hard to find them in stock without options and packages we don't want. They all seem "loaded." And the Toyota dealer isn't into ordering me a low tier trim package from the factory. I'm still working on them though......
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:08 PM   #13
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I had a "pre-owned" Ford F150 back in the early 90's. I really don't know how it was treated/maintained before I bought it. If I remember correctly, it had about 40k miles on it when I bought it. The four speed manual transmission failed within the first few months, among other problems, and the small V8 was terribly under powered for a full sized PU. Very unhappy with it and I sold it in less than a year. (In fairness, I've never been much of a Ford fan)

Since then, as daily drivers, I've had a Chevy Z71, a Nissian Titan, and in past 5 years I've had several Toyota Tundra's. (All were automatics, 4WD, bought new and all were built in the US.) I never had to take any of them in for warranty repairs. For the most part, just normal maintenance, (e.g. oil, gas, tires, batteries and maybe a few brake jobs).

Each truck had their good points and some that were not so good. As you might guess, I've settled in on the Tundra's.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:11 PM   #14
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Had a 79 Chevy K20 4wd, Used to plow snow with it in winter. Other than wear parts, I blew out 2nd gear of the tranny. My fault. On snowy road gunned it in low range (granny gear) 4wd, it dug into the pavement, bye bye 2nd gear. Manual Trans. IIRC $600 repair. Sold it at 170K or so. It is still on the road by the buyer. Pushing 250K on original engine.

99 GMC Suburban, 7.4 engine. Now at 117K miles. Besides wear parts, need two right rear axle seals.

98 GMC pickup as the others, bought used. Mostly wear parts issues, and bad ECU, would shut down randomly. $ 200 for aftermarket rebuilt unit. Swapped out by yours truly. ($6 or 8 hundred if dealer repair) fixed problem. It takes a terrible beating as it it my camp truck, goes into really rough hills. Needed brake line replaced, it was rusted out, power steering oil line patched, as did the transmission cooler lines. A rust belt issue, they salt the roads fiercely around here. 199K miles. It started to burn some oil, not visible but shows up on the dipstick. Still passes emission tests no problem.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justlikebike View Post
BBC - Autos - What is the world's toughest car?

Read what they said about the Toyota Helix
Interesting to read about a truck that can withstand being submerged, burned, dropped, etc. But I'd think reliability, serviceability, cost, etc., under normal driving conditions would be more important for me. What can I buy that's cheap, reliable and will last a really long time?
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:32 PM   #16
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What can I buy that's cheap, reliable and will last a really long time?
Not much in my experience with cars and trucks. But it could depend on what you consider cheap, reliable and what is a really long time.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:33 PM   #17
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Had a recall on my '14 Chevy's rear differential. I wasn't experiencing symptoms until they performed the recall, now it sounds like I have a slight exhaust leak. Mechanics probably screwed up the exhaust gasket that hooks up to the headers.

My third Silverado. I hadn't had any issues but a fuel pressure regulator until I hit over 100k on my first truck, then the transmission went out but I certainly got my use out of it pulling boats, hauling wood, trailers etc. After that a new engine, gas tank straps, 4x4 switch, spare tire bracket rusted out and lost the spare somewhere, new dash cluster, and then just basic maintenance tie-rods, u bolts, brake lines. The truck is rusted out but she still goes down the road at about 180k and moves quire nicely after I put the used Sierra motor in her.

My Toyota on the other hand, this thing has less than 50k miles and they had to replace the torque converter. Thankfully it was covered on a recall but I had to send Toyotas Master Mechanic on a 30mile test drive before he "believed" me. Terrible experience buying a Toyota as well, had to leave one dealership in town for another just to get a test drive lined up. I told them I was going to test a Toyota and a Honda and I wanted to test drive a new one first, then a used one. They wouldn't let me test drive the new one knowing I was likely buying used for some odd reason.


It pays to know something about the mechanics of your vehicle, you can call BS when you see it.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:49 PM   #18
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Not much in my experience with cars and trucks. But it could depend on what you consider cheap, reliable and what is a really long time.
By cheap I mean a truck you can buy without expensive trim packages. You still get the same body, chassis, suspension, engine, tranny, etc., but don't get the pin stripes, fancy carpets, navigation packages, sound systems, etc.

I'd like to find another "plain" truck (similar to what I have now) with reasonable expectations of high reliability and a long life. Maybe I'm asking too much to get that twice in a row?
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:55 PM   #19
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Don't confuse 'cheap' with 'basic'. Chevy still sells work trucks that have entry prices around 22k I believe. Certainly not cheap but it's better than a 42k Denali or Lariat
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:56 PM   #20
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Terrible experience buying a Toyota as well, had to leave one dealership in town for another just to get a test drive lined up. I told them I was going to test a Toyota and a Honda and I wanted to test drive a new one first, then a used one. They wouldn't let me test drive the new one knowing I was likely buying used for some odd reason.
I'm having a bad experience with our local Toyota dealer too. (Strictly anecdotal and not trying to paint all Toyota dealers this way.)

When I've gone in looking for technical info, even when I called ahead for an appointment with someone who should know the answers, the only answer I ever get is:

"We don't know about that, but what can we do to put you in a new Toyota today?" "Can we have the keys to your trade-in now please?"
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