General truck talk


Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
I am having a real tough time buying into the depreciation and service issues of new vehicles... Most of the dealerships are flat rate shops and the service techs just try to unplug old components and plug in new ones without doing any diagnosis. The purchase price and sale has some pretty scary undercurrents these days. Most new vehicles are being financed...
I remember folks making all of the same claims and complaints in 1994, when your beloved classic FJ was new.

New cars are better than old cars in nearly every way. The few examples you can find of a new car being bricked are matched by literally thousands of old cars requiring repairs in the same time period. It’s impossible to argue, without very few and rare exceptions, that old cars are somehow more reliable or preferable to new.

Financing a new car could be argued either way. Yes, if you get a 7 year loan at 7% then you will pay a cumulative 25% on that loan in interest. However that cost may be less than the difference in maintenance costs between a very old car you can afford for cash, and a new car. The bigger loss is the depreciation, and you can never justify buying a new car, based on finance alone, due to this massive depreciation.
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Oct 3, 2019
Central MN
I have done my own work for years and have come to the conclusion to buy older vehicles with few if any computers. I drive a "throwaway" Ford Fiesta with a manual transmission that owes me nothing. My Unimog was designed for a 250K service life and has no computers whatsoever. I just picked up a 94 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ70 , it does have an engine computer but its a diesel with no major emission controls and the basic engine design has been around for 20 plus years. A lot of the running gear is carryover from the FJ40 line but the body is definitely not as primative. Its closer to an early bronco than an FJ40, Its an "orphan" in the US since american buyers didnt want a lightweight Land Cruiser but the rest of the world wanted it (and still does) so it was made simple and the Americans got the big boat FJ60 . Parts are cheap and the one I picked up came from Europe where they appear not to have used road salt. I have to go through it since its high mileage and put up with a metric speedometer but its pretty rare for a Toyota not to go 250K and if I do preventative work to keep the rust at bay I expect I will get several years off it. The big thing for me is insurance is cheap and my registration is cheap as the excise tax in NH is based on age of vehicle. NH excise tax is based on sticker and for many new truck owners its over $1000 a year then tapers down over 5 years which is just about the time that someone trades it in.

A rusted Toyota? How rare;em


Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
Northern NH
My personal experience are the benefits of working on my own vehicles over the years seems to lead to different conclusions for me. Most of my painful experiences have been with integrated computer systems in vehicles. Much as I like high pressure common rail fuel injection for better emissions and performance, hard to beat a mechanical injection pump as common rail systems tend to only work with high level of computer control. Sure there may be bugs, but I find that most have usually been figured out and someone has posted a youtube video on a fix or work around.

About the only folks who seem to win out on financing are small business owners. I don't know the details of section 179 but they apparently can get access to some incredibly good tax incentives for buying new expensive vehicles. I am amazed a the various logos I see plastered on large trucks with custom snowmachine and ATV trailers that frequent my area. I didn't know that financial planners need a F350 quad cab or equivalent GM product with a custom trailer to support their businesses but nevertheless I see quite a few.
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