Many people enjoy buying used vehicles instead of paying a higher price for new ones. By the time you own a used truck, for example, most of its major mechanical issues have been discovered and repaired. Or, if you prefer buying junk cars to refinish them, a used truck can provide a great project. But there are some used trucks you should avoid buying at all costs. These are the models proven to have more ongoing or difficult-to-repair issues that make the investment not worth your time.
Below, we explore the world of junk cars, specifically used trucks, to reveal some of the ones you might wish to skip over.
Why avoid some used trucks?
Unfortunately, used pickup trucks tend to have more internal mechanical problems than you would think. These vehicles are known as being workhorses, but some horses seem to have gone lame and need to be put out to pasture.
Repairs can also be more costly for trucks, adding up to more than the vehicle is worth. You cannot know which vehicle will give you the most trouble at face value. But you can do a little research to avoid buying into these problems in the first place.
Base your buying decision, as we have here, on research. Get to know which trucks have the worst track record, particularly when buying a used model without a warranty. Otherwise, you should keep your tools in the truck bed and some coveralls under your seat for unexpected work on the roadside.
2004-2005, 2008 and 2015 Chevrolet Colorado
Chevy is to trucks what Oscar Meyer is to hot dogs. But multiple years of Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks have gone through multiple recalls for several reasons. Imagine investing in one of these showroom-new vehicles and taking care of it, only to experience going back to the dealership for recalls again and again.
These truck owners’ biggest issues relate to exterior brake lights, absence of instructions for child safety seat placement, and constant illumination of the ABS indicator light. As well, These vehicles sometimes experience water leaks in heavy rainfall and malfunctioning AC. However, Drivers also report transmission issues, causing shifting problems. The 2008 model often does not pass emissions tests for vehicle registration.
Worst of all years, the 2015 model led to six recalls due to problems involving frontal airbags, brake fluid leaks, power steering, seat frame attachments and airbag modules. These are life-endangering problems afflicting 2015 model year owners.
2000-2008, 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado
Silverados, particularly the Millenium model, experience many issues with some model years experiencing up to 20 recalls. One of the worst years for Silverado manufacturing is 2007. This year’s model requires some drivers to add oil every 1,000 miles. The 2014 and 2015 models experience AC unit issues and transmission failures affecting automatic transmissions.
2002-2005 and 2007-2008 Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevy Avalanche drivers from these model years report problems with the ABS, leading to constant illumination of the ABS indicator light. Repairs related to these problems have proven very expensive. In later models, the dashboard cracks and oil consumption are excessive, especially in these model years that note an increase in engine control module failure.
2001-2003, 2011 and 2013-2014 Dodge Ram 1500
Most Dodge Ram owners have realized their vehicles have a reputation for electrical, transmission and engine failures. Unfortunately, these model years are particularly prone to these failures and the resulting need for complete transmission or engine rebuilding.
2006-2007, 2012-2015 Dodge 2500/3500
The above-listed model years are notorious for electrical problems with erratic instrument clusters. Faulty fuel injectors pose another expense due to the need for repeated replacement.
2004-2005 Ford F150
For a two-year period, it appears Ford F150s rolled off the assembly line with a greater tendency toward transmission failure, requiring rebuilding or replacement. These models also experience rough shifting and slipping out of gear. Some of the trucks failed to go into reverse, altogether.
2005-2013 and 2016 Toyota Tacoma
From 2005 to 2011, Tacomas experienced recalls for leaf spring corrosion that damages other vehicle parts. These model years through 2016 also experienced acceleration problems and power failures. Their 2016 trucks had transmission problems that caused rough shifting and sluggishness.
2005-2008 Nissan Frontier
Frontiers had major problems as part of which coolant leaked into the transmission, irreparably damaging the transmission and requiring radiator replacement, too. These problems are related to design flaws that cannot be changed through recall or repair.
2004-2006 Nissan Titan
2004 Titans had brake system problems. The brakes would drag or grind, leading to lost braking ability. The above-listed model years also experienced cracked exhaust manifolds. Brakes are unsafe in these vehicles through 2005.
2006-2008 Honda Ridgeline
Honda Ridgeline’s 2006 model year is notoriously bad for multiple reasons. With one of these trucks, you can expect the possibility of problems with the power steering hose. The #4 cylinder often fails and causes the need for a full engine replacement. The catalytic converter and O2 sensor also have issues.