If you’re thinking about upgrading from an older used truck to a late model trade in or even a new vehicle, you may want to think again. While it’s tempting to trade up after an older vehicle starts to need more attention, it’s usually more cost-effective to rehab it with replacements and upgrades to systems that are showing their age. You can make the process even more cost effective while gaining some ground in various performance areas by shopping smart and alternating between the used parts market and performance upgrades to key areas.
Used Body Pieces for Vehicles
When rust starts to take a vehicle, it can hard to see a future for that car, but you can recondition it. While older cars don’t often have accessibly priced body pieces on the OEM parts market, they’re frequently available on the used market. Replacing a rusted pickup bed with a complete used truck rear end can prolong the life of your truck by a decade or more by resetting the clock on rust development.
Pick Your Performance Upgrades
Shopping for performance upgrades when you have cost efficiency in mind can be challenging, since many of them are built to provide improved power in ways that lower fuel efficiency and increase stress on the vehicle. There are performance parts designed around rugged durability and long lifespan, though. You just need to find them.
For example, upgraded brakes frequently last longer than OEM parts, especially if you don’t demand a lot from them. Selective upgrades for long life and those designed to support older vehicles can buy you enough time between replacements to make up for any additional cost.
Rebuilt Parts vs. OEM New Replacements
There are a lot of parts that are made to wear out on a vehicle, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. Some of them, like batteries, really need to be replaced with a factory new part. There are parts that are worth checking the used and rebuilt market for, however.
Often you can find pieces like starters or alternators that have been extensively serviced and returned to market for a fraction of the price of a new OEM part. Like any used goods market, the availability of rebuilt parts can change a lot by season and location. Keep that in mind if you go looking for them so you’ll have a backup plan if they’re just not available used or refurbished right now.
Save More With DIY Replacement
To you really want to bring down vehicle maintenance costs, you can always learn to do the work yourself. It’s often rewarding, especially if you’re restoring a vehicle you’ve got a sentimental connection to. Get started with a vehicle maintenance handbook for your vehicle’s model year to learn more.