The problem is you bought a reconditioned vehicle. I would never by a vehicle knowing it was totaled and rebuilt; that is asking for trouble.
I bought a black 92 Explorer XLT 2WD with the 4.0 V6 and the A4LD transmission for $900 when I was fifteen, and it was fourteen. I loved the boxy exterior and the comfortable interior of the thing. There has been no rust to speak of (although from these reviews I'm beginning to think it's coming).
After I bought the thing, I replaced the front rotors, the rear brake shoes, and a hinge on the front passenger door. I added a chrome brush guard, baja fog lights, and 3" turbo dual exhaust. Man my truck looked good.
As with most sixteen year old guys, I drove my explorer like it was a mud truck off the highway, and like a Nascar speed racer on the highway. It has held up extremely well for me. I love my Explorer.
Since then, I have regularly changed the oil. I replaced the battery. I had to replace the tires because the front end was out of alignment (Alabama red clay mud to thank for that). My A/C doesn't blow cold air anymore, and I'm a little scared to see what it will cost to fix plus convert it from the R12 to R13. The heater barely blows warm air on low (I haven't looked at what it would cost to fix, winters in Bama are cake). Both rear window motors have failed. I replaced plugs and wires and an air filter because I was only getting about 15 MPG and wound up getting 19 city - 22 highway (excellent gas mileage for this beast). The A4LD transmission, however, was Ford's cruelest joke they've ever played, I am rebuilding it myself after having the drive shaft break off in the transmission (my teenage driving to thank for that).
Overall, the good totally outweighs the bad in my case. I've spent about a total of $1,000 in repairs over the five years I've had it including a set of tires, which were $600 of the $1,000. I will gladly drive this baby until she just won't go no more, and rebuild her from the frame up if need be to keep her on the road.
People, if you're looking for a safe, trustworthy, cheap vehicle for your teen, this is it (or at least it was for me). No payments and insurance is ridiculously inexpensive.
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