Kicked Some Tires Yesterday

I convinced my father to go look at a truck with me yesterday, it’s a 2002 Silverado that’s been on Craigslist for a couple weeks now. It was a solid 5-footer. As it, looks good even from 5 feet away. And it is pretty solid, structurally - no major issues there, or with the drivetrain for that matter. But:

  • Exhaust leak in front of muffler. Due to rust, probably need to replace a large section because you can’t weld to rust.
  • P0157 code - possibly an O2 sensor, but possibly a few other things as well. Won’t pass inspection as-is, unknown cost to fix.
  • Needs tires. The guy told me the current tires came from his OLD YARD TRUCK. Dry rot, cracks. Some decent tread, but not safe for DD or good for snow plowing. Tires ain’t cheap.
  • Driver’s side rear (suicide) door broken. Does not open. Who knows? Could be simple, or could be hours of chasing down a tiny broken part inside the door, which currently can’t be opened.
  • Brakes felt soft, but then, I drove there in a 5-series BMW wagon so it’s hard to compare. Might be fine. Rotors all looked good, for what it’s worth
  • Oh yeah, almost forgot. RUST. Again, there’s almost nothing visible from the outside. It’s really clean for an ‘02 in New England. But the bottom of every door (that I could open), the hood had a couple spots on it (??), and the tailgate is about one season from not working at all, falling apart on the bottom inside and at the hinges.
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The listing said $8,500 and the only reason we went is he said something about coming down to $7,500 or so. I thought, hmm, it could be worth $6500 and maybe $7k if it didn’t have the issues that were not easy to see and of course, not mentioned in the ad.

My father said, “Well, what do you think?”

“It’s worth about $5k as is. And that’s what I’m going to tell him.”

Which of course resulted in a friendly handshake and our subsequent departure. He’d rather have a yard truck than $5k toward putting a plow on his other truck. That’s his problem, as is the rust and everything else.

In talking to my father on the way home, he admitted that even now, his truck (which has become yard-only) doesn’t start reliably and he’s worried about it making it through this winter even. And I told him I think the truck we just looked at was one of the nicest trucks under $10k that I’ve seen on Craigslist, even WITH all the issues, because all old trucks will have some issues. So the search is on, and the budget has been increased. We’ll end up splitting the cost and the use of the truck, so we’ll both have plowing ability, a shared extra vehicle for when others might be in the shop or whatever, and it won’t sit for weeks at a time in the summer like his old truck did, if I have full use of it too.

We’re also now open to 4wd trucks without plows, which is good. Because my father also realized that we could just take the plow from his old truck if this is going to be its replacement.

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