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Brad Eden

When are enough repairs enough already?

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Brad Eden

I love my first generation crew cab 2006 Toyota Tundra. 2006 was the last year of this "perfect" sized truck, before they blew them up to present day proportions. I bought it used in 2009; a returned lease with low mileage. It now has 170,000 miles. It's been a remarkably dependable and problem free rig for the most part. But at this age (11 years) and ungaraged, and living in Maine with rain and snow and salted roads it's a bit crusty around the edges. I've always changed oil at 3k and kept it maintained. Even though I drive it on some sketchy roads to hunt etc., it's never been mired in water or mud. Naturally it's spent time in 4wd lo, for snow events, mud etc, but I've only kicked it into 4wd hi a few times, mostly to make sure it's working. It's only had a plow on it this winter, and I've only plowed my driveway so it hasn't been beaten up. In the last couple/few years I've replaced muffler system, struts/shocks on front, brake job, a tie rod or two, had a recall frame scaling done for rust, maybe some rusted brakes lines, can't remember. Just the last couple weeks I noticed a burnt oil smell when parked after driving it. Like an oil leak that was hitting hot metal. Not real bad but noticeable. Couldn't see anything from under the hood and nothing noticeable looking under engine. Then I saw the tell tale wet spot under the engine when parked in a parking lot. I thought it was oil, but ends up it was steering fluid. I knew that steering racks in these trucks were known to rust and leak and was surprised it lasted 11 years. I was still hoping it was just a leaky hose. Nope, as suspected I had to have the rack and a bunch of connections and lines replaced. A pretty big deal. My mechanic is great, and a friend who I trust completely. The end result due to some unforeseen complications (had to bleed and adjust brakes too) and replacement parts due to the damn rust was over 1k. I was back and forth to his shop and knew he took a hit for labor. Outside of that, the heater knob is stuck in one position, luckily a good one for heat and AC, I am gonna try and screw with that myself, since research shows this can be a costly repair. I need a new weather stripping trim piece for drivers door since it's ripped and flapping allowing water to drip into door. Little things but annoying. But and a big but is that it's been paid off for years. Having no vehicle payment is heaven for the self-employed...

 

Prior to getting the bad news on what this steering rack would cost I was drooling over a couple 2014 Tundras the dealership I use had in their lot. Both turned in leases with less than 50k on them. I was thinking of trading mine in. Math said I might be able to swing it, but it would be tight. But, I am building a garage with a carpenter friend, as soon as weather permits. Thats is all We/I can afford at this time. 

 

So.....when has repairs and annoying little problems in older vehicles become enough for you to trade or sell?

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Greg Hartman

I am anxious to hear the answer to this question from the experts (if anyone IS, in fact, an expert on this) as my Jeep is getting quite long in the tooth and will need some major work at the shop this year - but, as a mostly retired person, I shudder at the replacement cost.

 

My own answer to this question in the past had been (for practical vehicles that aren't toy two-seaters anyway) that it's time to replace when you can no longer trust that you will get home from some remote backwoods location.  So, it's not a dollar issue for me - I keep nickel-and-diming and figure I'm still saving over a replacement until I lose faith in the vehicle's reliability.

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Fire Marshal Bill

That is a damn good question. For me it's when the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle. I'm not referring to the book value, but the value of the vehicle to me. And no one can answer that but yourself.

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NW River Mac

I drive used vehicles and most likely will never buy a new one for myself, perhaps for my wife though.  My position is that if you can deal with the headaches and can get away with spending $200 per month you're way ahead of the game, especially if you already own it.  You have to be willing to spend that amount though to keep the vehicle up.  Your weather stripping and heater knob if taken care of wouldn't bother you each time you get int he truck.  my .02

 

 

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Brad Eden

I will add that this and the other pre-Tacoma small Yota V6 pickup and the 2000 Tundra I had previous never left me stranded. They may have been hurting at times but always brought me to my front door. KNOCK ON STUMPAGE!

 

Honestly, if I had the funds I'd completely restore this truck. Being the last year of the first generation Tundra it still has considerable private sale and trade in value even at 11 years old. I breeze through 2-$300 dollar repairs figuring that's a car payment I don't have. But this last repair bill stung pretty bad.:|

 

 

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bobman

All that stuff you just put on will probably last another 10 years, I run mine until the wheels fall off

 

then I put the wheels back on

 

my Toyota has 400K on it my f 150 a 95 with over 200K,  jetta with over 300K my f 350 is almost new... a 97 with only a 130K LOL

 

I would keep it or maybe sell it and come down here and buy a rust free one if you like that particular version

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bobman

How many things can you fix for what a truck payment is, and all vehicles on the road are running on used parts

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Greg Hartman
2 hours ago, bobman said:

All that stuff you just put on will probably last another 10 years, I run mine until the wheels fall off

 

then I put the wheels back on

 

my Toyota has 400K 

 

 

Seems to me that breakdowns in urban/suburban places are one thing (you won't really be stranded), but a different thing altogether in remote places, especially in bad winter weather, where it can even be life and death.  Don't you find that at some point you can't really trust such an old, hard-used vehicle to get you back to civilization from miles out in the middle of nowhere?  I'm not trying to be a smartass, Bob - this is a serious question because it's what causes me to replace a vehicle. 

 

Maybe you are a good mechanic and can fix stuff that goes wrong on the spot, like the boyz do on Grand Tour/Top Gear.  I'm not.  If it breaks, it's a pretty good bet that I can't fix it.

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gunsrus
21 hours ago, Fire Marshal Bill said:

That is a damn good question. For me it's when the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle. I'm not referring to the book value, but the value of the vehicle to me. And no one can answer that but yourself.

 

I always make sure the wife and daughter drive new . For me , when a truck starts to show rust everywhere and I can't stop it with some rustoleum , it's gone . That for me is a sign that things are about to break down . I can handle repairs , even up to $1000 if I feel comfortable that everything else is fine ( most garages around here are $100+ an hour , the going rate). 

I just traded in my 2007 Wrangler with 62, 000 miles because my body guy says it was time (rust bucket) .

I also traded my 2002 Tahoe that was mint because the engine had lifter knock that was getting louder by the day . It also ate electric windows , If I pay to fix something and have to do it again because of poor design , it goes . I hate repairing the same problem over and over .

Funny , I just bought a 1999 Tahoe 2 door ( I posted the new grouse mobile photos ) It has more miles 125,000 than the 2002 but it is spotless underneath (a Georgia car) . I paid $6200 for it and stole it . The 2 doors really keep their value , some are selling for over $20,000 . I don't mind putting a new gas tank with fuel pump , new stainless steel gas lines , new steering box , new shocks and a few others . Plus it' a Chevy , an older one without so many computers and the parts are available . I feel safer in this rig than I did in my Jeep . It will travel to Maine to Ma without hesitation . To each his own . 

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bobman
3 hours ago, Greg Hartman said:

 

 

Seems to me that breakdowns in urban/suburban places are one thing (you won't really be stranded), but a different thing altogether in remote places, especially in bad winter weather, where it can even be life and death.  Don't you find that at some point you can't really trust such an old, hard-used vehicle to get you back to civilization from miles out in the middle of nowhere?  I'm not trying to be a smartass, Bob - this is a serious question because it's what causes me to replace a vehicle. 

 

Maybe you are a good mechanic and can fix stuff that goes wrong on the spot, like the boyz do on Grand Tour/Top Gear.  I'm not.  If it breaks, it's a pretty good bet that I can't fix it.

 Greg I don't go on wilderness expeditions, mostly just pheasant hunt, my cell phone normally works fine and there's always ranchers and farmers within walking distance

 

they don't rust down here and i am meticulous about service and good tires

 

truthfully I would feel safer with a old carburetor and a manual transmission than i do with these computer controlled complex vehicles that run great until some sensor fails. When that happens you are done and without specialized diagnostic equipment you won't even know why it's dead.

 

carbs almost never fail, mechanical fuel pumps are simple and cheap, distributors are also simple simple is good if you want true reliability 

 

diagnosis is you either have fuel and spark or you don't and on a old system it's simple to figure out why

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Dogwood
Brad Eden

Because that first one is over 18k and I'd never spend that on an 11 year old truck even if rust free: Tundra 1

 

And not the second one because it is also almost 18k (see above) and has the half doors not the full 4 doors: Tundra 2

 

See what I did there with the links? Just click that link icon on the tool bar at top of a Reply field, paste in URL and name it...

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DAG

My 5 year old almost has me convinced I need a Tundra. Buy it!

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uplandave

My brother has the same tastes in trucks as you Brad. He was adamant that he was going to only to buy 

a 2006 or older Tundra. It took him a few months but he found nice lower mileage one. Not sure what he paid for it but 

it could not have been too much (he is major league mizer). Good luck. Dave

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TB Owl

Little over three years ago had a 1999 Toyota Tacoma reg cab 4x4 5 spd with topper that I loved and had just had the rack and pinion replaced along with something else that escapes my memory.  The mechanic showed me where it was leaking pretty good from the front and rear seals.  This was going to be expensive eventually as I no longer enjoy working on my vehicles.  I had rebuilt a couple motors when I was younger and used to love it but that was with a spare vehicle at my disposal and a good place to do the work.  My wife and I both work and we only have two vehicles.  So I started looking and wound up buying a new Tacoma regular cab 4x4 4cyl auto that the dealer seemed to really want to move as they kept calling me back and offering me more and more for my old Tacoma (was planning to sell it myself).  So I did the deal  and last month we just paid off the 2014 that now has 35,000 miles on it and am planning on driving it for another 10-12 years before getting something else.

.

We all have different situations that will determine our needs and comfort levels but unless forced to by abject poverty I am not a fan off having 200,000++ miles on a vehicle that I or my wife need to use and drive in heavy city traffic and high summer heat.  If I lived in a rural area or small town with a spare vehicle and a comfortable place to work on them I might feel different.

 

For me multiple major repairs and high mileage are triggers for me to get a new one.

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