29th Jul 2016, 19:11

Sometimes you never know til you get one. I had 2 small and now wouldn't have it any other way. You pass by many opportunities, especially shopping with a small truck that cannot handle it. I love estate sales and flips. It more than covers the difference. There is always the utility and functionality of a full size when you own your own. To me, small was a novelty or just to take my dog to the lake. Still do that, but many greater opportunities have opened up since.

5th Aug 2016, 10:38

Most of the new full sizes are pretty plush. I would avoid a stripper work truck. I switched to new Michelins and I would not hesitate to drive anywhere I take a car. I drove halfway across the country recently. It was a very smooth comfortable trip. A lot of trucks today are also just as nice as a new SUV. If you work hard, treat yourself to something new. To me vehicles are a great form of enjoyment. Having some really nice options makes the destinations great. One of the best is a Sirius satellite radio subscription. Now you can even have Internet. We drive a lot. Makes for a far better time on our time off and vacations.

6th Aug 2018, 20:23

It's been around 2 years since I gave an update on the truck... and yes, I still own it. It's now closing in on 300,000 miles and still runs fine.

Not all has been totally perfect and a few things have started to wear out or need attention. The paint on the hood and roof is starting to fail. The clear coat is now becoming dull and peeling in a few areas. I may or may not have the truck repainted, which would be financially dumb seeing as how it's only worth $2,500 now, but as I've owned it for almost 23 years, it would be more about nostalgia than the money.

It developed - almost all at once - an oil, power steering, and coolant leak. The power steering leak got so bad I kept a bottle of power steering fluid in the back. The leak was from a pinhole in one of the hose. Once the hose was replaced the leak stopped. The oil leak was from the oil pan. I replaced the gasket for it and that solved the issue. The coolant leak was from the water pump. I replaced that, and that was the fix for that. While I was at it, I replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor, cleaned the air horn and changed the air filter. Runs like a top now.

I actually came close to selling it and buying a new Chevy Colorado, but upon seeing what the total out the door expense for that would be, I figured I'll just keep driving the old truck.

If Toyota were to make this exact same truck again, I would happily buy another. It's been an incredibly reliable and easy to work on truck, and the parts are dirt-cheap as well.

7th Aug 2018, 12:24

I used to think that way: keep fixing up and driving an older model vehicle and save money, even if you do have to sacrifice some comfort and the conveniences of a late model car.

Now I realize life is too short to drive crappy cars IF you can afford to drive better ones. What am I saving all this money for? So someone else can get it after I'm gone? Eff that noise!

7th Aug 2018, 16:41

Here’s another solution; go used to the exact same used. Sell the real high mileage vehicle while still running. No rebuild or repaint. Scout for the exact same make, model, and year of it etc, but locate one with really low miles. It will obviously cost a bit more than the one you are selling, but not as much as a brand new vehicle. You may have to be patient, but there may be a lightly driven weekender out there. You never know when something major may go in a drivetrain or it's wearing out in the chassis etc. I would be proactive and take the potentially rebuild cost and use those funds towards a low mile one. And start over. I drove out of state to do this on a few I loved. Just replace them and check them out well, and ask for all receipts. They say you can’t buy mileage on a vehicle. You have to sell and get another to do that.

10th Aug 2018, 14:58

The issue with looking for another similar truck is that I'd have no clue how that truck was treated. I bought mine brand-new off the dealership lot in 1996. Since then I've changed the oil exactly every 3,000 miles and done all of the other maintenance myself and am very familiar with every aspect of it. Most people don't really take very good care of their vehicles. I did get a quote for a paint job of about $1,800, which seems fair. But the bottom line is that I know my truck is mechanically sound and I'd have no problem driving it from one end of the country to another. Not sure I'd feel that way with someone else's truck.

As far as life being too short to keep an older truck, the reason I keep it is for a number of reasons. It's no longer the primary commuting vehicle. It's usually only driven on weekends or for when we head to the mountains. The expense of keeping it running are next to nothing. Aftermarket parts for this thing are ridiculously cheap. I did a major tuneup that included a new water pump, belts, plugs, wires, air filter, a new hose, and so on and all told it was $200 for all. That and unlike many newer trucks it is very easy to service. Some of these newer trucks have for example a ton of plastic shielding that has to get removed before you can even touch the engine.

I did look at a new Chevy Colorado diesel. It was a VERY nice truck. That and it actually gets good fuel economy. But here's the thing about it and others like it: They aren't even small or medium sized anymore. The truck I looked at was the same size as my Grandfather's 90's era F-150. The same for the Tacoma. You cannot buy a new, small sized truck anymore. Everything has been inflated and supersized, which is not what I want. After all was said and done I was looking at a $45,000 truck, which is a lot of money for something only driven on weekends. To each their own. Personally for me it's worth it to have the comforting feeling of having savings and retirement funds over a shiny new truck.

11th Aug 2018, 23:19

What I said was locate an exact same year but extreme low mileage. Some people like us have a full folder with overzealous maintenance records. Like changing the oil and filter every 3000 miles on our daily drivers. We also replace cabin filters, brakes, tires etc. more often than most. Anyone that has ever bought our cars and trucks were very pleased. Granted people can drive a vehicle hard, but I am sure you can spot underneath even to see if it’s been run hard or off road. I doubt a Tacoma is ever red lined out on the street. Inspect them closely and ask for written records. There’s vehicles out there (especially light weekend use trucks out there that are older) with the oil changed 2-3 times a year based on time. If you search hard, especially an internet search, they pop up. May take a couple months or more, but be ready to pounce on one.