So I bought a '91 xlt reg cab, auto, 2wd for $600 a couple weeks ago, because it's too cold to ride a motorcycle in MA, and I ride to school w' 30lbs of books, and go to work carrying my lunch from home. I also wanted the flexibility to haul around my motorcycle when it needs servicing.
I also know with an old cheap vehicle (ford ranger or toyota corolla), you're expecting to put money into it. So far I've gotten this much into it (over 2 weeks):
1.) battery dead...terminals corroded...so the battery was replaced and the terminals new
piece of cake...what's next?
2.) brakes didn't work, so I got front rotors, brake pads, brake lines, front right caliper, rear drums, rear shoes, and rear brake lines all replaced
ok...not bad...it's expected...even new cars/trucks need brakes
3.) the belts started squealing like madness, so I got some gatorback belts
ok, not bad...took an evening with a friend
3.) inner door handles snapped and won't stay on...annoying...got replacements from a junkyard
I just laugh...my sister could replace that
4.) the truck didn't start one day.
I should've seen that as a sign that the starter was about to go out, but we got it started and I kept driving it. A week later it died at a convenience store and again wouldn't start...dammit. I bought a starter at a nearby automotive store and tried swapping it myself, but the bolts and nuts were frozen, with very little clearance and I was late for work, so I pushed it to a mechanic, left the new starter with him, ran home, and commuted on the motorcycle until the starter was in.
ok...the reliability of this truck made me miss ONE class, and show up late for work one day, but it's not a big deal. I should've caught the starter problem before it died for good. It's almost my own fault.
5.) now the battery voltage is dropping when I turn on the headlights and windshield wipers...
So if I learned anything from the starter issue, I need to replace that alternator ASAP before the truck won't start next week!
That means it's another $100...
So...thus far, it's gotten on average, 1-2 major problems/week that prevent it from getting me from home to school and work.
I'm starting to reconsider my stance...should I sell the truck for whatever I can get, save up, then find an econobox corolla/civic/escort/jetta?
Or should I go ahead and get the alternator replaced?
The way I see it, it's a simple fix. Get the alternator done...keep the truck going, and at least you know what's new on this truck.
But my friends (and especially my parents, who are gung-ho about me getting a weenie little automatic honda civic) are shocked everytime something goes wrong, and disappointed when they hear how much I spend to get it fixed.
It's almost like an "I told you so"....sell this ford and go buy a civic.
I hate to think they're right
What would you guys do? Keep the ranger? Or sell?