I bought my first truck.
Wife says this finally makes me a Texan (she’s a native, I’m a transplant). My father-in-law says no, it doesn’t make me a Texan, it makes me a redneck Texan. 🙂
I purchased my now-former car brand new 17 years ago. I credit it lasting so long to the fact I don’t have to drive it as a daily commuter, but it did see enough miles in a year. I wanted to drive it until it couldn’t drive any more. A few years ago the engine starting having problems. I did a few things to help it limp along, but evidently it was on the way out. It’s now at a point where the repairs cost more than I’m willing to spend, so it came time to look for a replacement.
I spent a lot of time (many months, on and off) trying to decide what I needed. Most of my driving is people-hauling, be it me going somewhere or me taking Kiddos somewhere. Thus I wanted something that could comfortably seat everyone and not be horrible on my wallet (MPG). But the way my life is going, all-wheel/4WD drive would be mighty useful. And most of all, some way to haul things that were dirty. For example, after hunting, being able to haul a deer or hog out of a muddy pasture. So all signs were pointing to a truck. Because of the “people hauling” aspect I started to look at smaller trucks, like Toyota Tacoma’s or Nissan Frontier’s (I like the Tacoma styling, but the Frontier seems to have the edge in terms of performance and abilities so I leaned towards it). But in the end, they were just too small. I’m tired of being a big guy stuck in a small car. Plus with the Kiddos growing, smaller solutions no longer work. I tried getting into an extended cab but no go; crew cab was the only option. Plus I figured for the future, a full-sized truck could give me options like renting a travel trailer for a fun weekend getaway.
So truck it is.
It needed to be reliable, able to last a long time (with good maintenance of course), haul people, handle my other life needs (e.g. hunting). I started by looking at new trucks but the cost just turned me off. Sure that Ford EcoBoost engine seems mighty awesome, but the cost of a new Ford F-150 with a crew cab and 4×4? Just way out of my budget. It’s hard for me to justify such an expense, and I refuse to go into debt for this. I hate buying used because you never can truly know the history and what you’re getting. But I figured if I priced it low enough and did enough research and investigation, I could get something that hopefully would be “good enough” and last “long enough” to at least make all the money factors work out.
In the end I settled on a 2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, 4×4, 5.3L V8 I found at an independent dealer (and I’ve been looking for some months). foo.c has owned and worked on Chevy’s much of his life and said, based upon the listing, the truck looked like a creampuff and could be alright. I checked the CarFax, I got a pre-purchase inspection through Auto P.I.. The truck didn’t check out perfectly: some cosmetics, a tiny leak in a transmission line, A/C belt should be replaced before summer gets here, battery load test was weak, front left tire was losing air (I believe I found a nail in the tread), and the normal wear and tear on a truck of that age and miles. The “things that mattered” all checked out well, inspector said it looked like the truck had been well-maintained over the years. None of the problems bothered me too much, and I took them into account when making my offer. They accepted. I have no idea who got the better end of the deal, the dealer or myself, but based upon all that I saw, the edmunds.com True Market Value®, and other factors, I do think I got a good deal. Plus, I think I’ve got a vehicle that suits my needs. If not, I chalk it up to being my first truck and I’ll learn from the experience.
I’ve already replaced the battery and windshield wipers. I think I’ll get the front 2 tires replaced later this week (rotate the old rear to the front, put the new on the rear). I’ve got a deal with foo.c and will be heading up to his place one Saturday soon and together we’ll replace all the fluids, filters, plugs and wires, if we can handle the leak and A/C belt then great, and whatever else we can. I picked up both the Haynes and Chilton manuals.
Oh and yes… the kids are excited about the truck — we had to go to dinner at Sonic the evening I brought it home. 🙂
And the first time I chomped down on the gas, the throttle opened, and tons of gasoline was injected into that engine to hurtle me down the road? I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I realized I now had my very own Chevy EarthFucker™ 🙂 Now I just need to do like a buddy of mine and get a “Hybrid” badge. Heh heh. 🙂
Gee… now I can’t wait to go hunting.
I think my father-in-law is right. I’ve become a redneck Texan. My mother is shaking her head and sighing. 🙂