New here, but this topic can't be discussed enough. Long, but important.
I've been cruising the 2nd Gen Tacoma forum. People seem to love their 2nd gens, but I'm reading about too many repair items (some minor/some major). Many are consistently the same problems uniformly.
That said, I have a 2003 Tacoma, auto, v-6, ext cab, 4x4, trd w/shell. Just hit 150k miles. I love this truck. I bought it new (one owner-me). Well maintained in great shape in and out. Problems I've had = none (battery changed / brake job and I was being proactive). It runs as good as it did new.
I'll add that I also like the new Tacoma (looks). I have not driven one (but I only like Tacomas). I wasn't convinced in the 2nd gen forum that those trucks are better mechanically than mine though.
My issue: I will be driving 10k miles annually for the unforeseeable future. I take (10) 500 mile trips deep into the mountains every year (no people/no help). My 2003 seems to be worth 12,000 in my market now. I suspect it will be worth about 3- 5k with 200K miles, no?
I need dependability and I only like Tacomas. I can't decide what to do. I also don't have a truck payment anymore. Keep my truck? A 2013 will have a substantial payment. Will it last as long with no problems for 200k miles (like my 2003 probably will)? What about 2014? A completely new Tacoma design? If I wait to see it, I'll add a ton of new miles to my 2013 and lose resell. I seem to be in the sweet spot and paralyzed by analysis. I'm sure others are weighing all of these factors in deciding what to do as well. If I didn't have to drive so many miles (or in remote locations), it would be a no brainer to keep this truck forever. Please discuss. Thanks for your insight.
I have a 98 TRD 5 speed V6 Tacoma with 220,000 miles on it. At this point the truck owes me nothing. I will keep driving it until the wheels fall or the frame splits from the rust issues my gen has. I would like to see the newer trucks go that long with the chain motors in them. I would keep what you have until it got to the point where it was a money pit then part ways.
Just got done replacing the rear drive shaft's front and rear u-joint and carrier bearing in my 2000 TRD with 196k - the rear joint was completely destroyed but the front really was still in fine shape. With the drive shaft dropped anyway, I figured I'd just go ahead and replace it as well. Had I been better about making sure ALL of my zerks were greased when I did my oil changes, I'd probably not even have to have done that for my 200k.
Also did an extended tune up with coils, wires, plugs, pcv, fuel filter, air filter, all lube change, etc. I plan on putting in an OME suspension kit, and I bought all of the typicals for the front-end too like tie rods ends, ball joints, rack bushing, etc. because I am starting to eat up my tires more rapidly. Going to finally get around to doing the rear brakes and perhaps new pads up front (did the rotors and calipers awhile back). Bought the timing kit with water pump; will flush the cooling and replace the thermostat then.
I have a leak in the power steering somewhere other than the pump I am pretty sure... Probably the high pressure hose. Replaced my clutch around 120k or so.
I guess what I am getting at with all of this is simply... by far, most of the stuff I have done and will be doing are maintenance items. The things that were not maintenance items were due to lapses in maintenance or my less-than-perfect driving skills as a newbie stick driver (and now, I hope to never own an automatic ever again!).
I mean, the engine feels pristine (doesn't really LOOK it anymore though - thank you leaky power steering). There is a small hesitation I have had for awhile that I blame on a K&N filter that I didn't seat properly and I think might have dirtied up some sensors or the injectors perhaps (I wanna try a motorvac cleaning some time), but other than that it feels as good as the day I bought it used at 27k miles in 2002. The tranny, t-case, diffs all seem just fine - smooth shifting, no hesitation going into 4WD. Been running them with amsoil and now redline since shortly after I bought it.
I am in the range of years for the frame rust recall, but I do not live in the rust belt. Those driveline bolts were hell to break loose but after that I could spin them off with my fingers. The frame has some rust, but it looks normal to me - just surface coloration. Perhaps I should get it inspected just in case.
I don't regularly wheel it, but it gets plenty of 4WD use in Montana. It also doubles as my log puller. It gets a lot of highway miles (Montana highways mind you, not freeways) and a fair amount of torture as well. It's a great truck. Versatile and stout.
The newer ones are prettier, I suppose more powerful, and they couldn't possibly NOT have a better interior than mine, but I haven't had a car payment in a long time. I don't go 500 miles to the middle of nowhere, but that's mostly because I don't live 500 miles away from it. I trust my truck will do me well. I do not really worry when I am way too far down that long road that no one ever goes down. And I'll be even more trusting of it after I finish this round of major maintenance and a few upgrades (and put a few reassuring miles on all of the new stuff). At least as trusting as I would with a shiny new one, and it only cost me maybe 10%.
I vote to keep it. Let it get down to a value where you feel like you might as well keep it as a backup rig or your project wheeler truck, rather than sell it. THEN buy a new one!
I mean, the only thing better than owning a tacoma is owning a couple of them... Right?
My, how did this post get so long!? Sorry - I will try to restrain myself next time.
150k was high mileage 50 years ago, but not anymore. Modern oils, fuels, electronics, materials, and manufacturing have extended the reasonable life of a vehicle to nearly double that with major repairs being uncommon anymore. At 10,000mi/year, your truck should be good for another 10-15 years IMO.
I was just elbows-deep in a '93 Explorer V6 with 250k (on strictly non-synthetic oil) and it still had crosshatching in the cylinders. I estimate it would have gone another 50-75k and then still only would have needed rings and bearings. Unfortunately it popped a core plug and overheated badly enough to seize and lose a head gasket.
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