Last post on Apr 01, 2013 at 9:05 AM
You are in the Toyota Tundra
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Toyota Tundra, Truck
#647 of 1986 This is Tengubuda's article
Mar 13, 2001 (8:11 pm)
Please help me, I am fundamentally clueless in several important areas. Maybe all of them.
This will be long, but I hope you will bear with me. If you're a "cut-to-the-chase" kind person, then jump down to the line below that says "SUMMARY".
After research, if I get a new truck, it will be a Tundra, or at least whichever Toyota you folks recommend, so, while I am wide open to what you suggest from this point on, please don't try and convince me to get a truck from some other company. We all have our biases, and that's mine. (From the fire storms I've read here, I'm sure this will be one of the areas people will tell me I am clueless about - BUT - I've spent the last two days, and about 30+ hours crawling all over the web, eg, reading 'tundrasolutions', and this forum, and every entry in Click and Clack's Car Talk web site for every 1/4 ton truck made by any manufacturer, for 1998-->2002, and comparing trucks with web-comparison-engines, and the American-made truck mechanical difficulty horror stories terrified me. I'm thrilled that there seems to be such a thing as a *reliable* pickup truck out there, ie, something by Toyota. I only desperately wish Honda made trucks.)
Okay, *please* help me.
I have never bought a new vehicle, period. My only two experiences with a dealer were with new-to-me vehicles, and both experiences were so excruciatingly painful, that I have gotten all other vehicles directly from individuals. I suppose I will have to suck it up, to buy a Tundra, but I will educate myself on how to duke it out with a Dealer, later on in this process.
If you don't mind some background on me, let me explain why reliability is such an issue with me...
I am *not* mechanically inclined at all, and, having moved to Texas recently, although I have always had good experiences with buying-from-individuals, I have been nothing-but-ripped off on the last three vehicles I've bought here, by both sellers and mechanics, in the last few months. These included
a) A used Chevy pickup - recommended by a mechanically-knowledgeable co-worker and their mechanically knowledgeable spouse, who would have bought the truck themselves if it had had A/C, as sold to them by their good friend, who actually *is* a mechanic. Sounds like something a mechanically clueless person could gamble on, right? Wrong. The "friend" would have scammed them, and certainly scammed *me*. Over $800 of repairs in the first *week*. And the truck was obviously tricked up to provide a smooth test ride. It bucked down the road every day thereafter. The second day I drove it, when it just plain quit for no apparent reason, after I finally had somebody jump it, as I drove up into the nearest mechanic's driveway, just as a treat, the radiator blew its little green brains out, just in front of the bay. I developed a close personal relationship with the tow-truck guy, whom I had to call 2-3 times *a week*, for *months* (until the bloody truck blew up for the final time just last week) to come and get me.
I've *dated* people I've seen less often. I was further wounded by the mechanic I thought I could trust, who had inexperienced trainees he was training do the work on my car, and then charged me, for example, $400 for a *simple tuneup*. This was an old, simple, truck. The tuneup should have cost half that.
b) a used Ford F-150 which is a situation still unresolved. I trusted someone *else's* mechanical knowledge on this one, met the seller, transferred the title, then went to "test-drive" the truck as a mere formality, after all, it had already been checked out by someone I trusted, right? The thing nearly caught fire under me during the test drive. I haven't paid for it, but the title is in my name. The thing belched out *clouds* of black smoke that covered the truck and the horizon. "The carburator's just running too rich" said the admittedly non-mechanic who had accompanied me on the 'test-drive'... I'm thinking "BILL GATES isn't THAT rich." The test-drive, by the way, was to the nearby mechanic's shop, with this flunky of the seller (who turned out to be a dealer - my *3rd* experience with one) to repair lights and fuses that were out - and who dropped and shattered the back light lense when he took it off to replace the bulbs. These folks have gotten the truck to a mechanic, and they swear it's all bett
er now. I figure I'm about to get ripped off again. I owe them another test drive as a courtesy, but then I expect to be declining this one. Yes, I was an idiot to buy the title, sight-unseen.
c) a car I test drove this last week (worked fine), and had Lemon Busters check out for me the next day. Enought of relying on mechanically expert friends, right? The car worked fine during the Lemon Busters examination, so we went right to the title place, and I bought it and drove it back to work. Finally, my problem of reliable transportation was solved. No more missed days at work, boss!.... and four hours later, when it came time to leave for the day, and go pick up the *celebration dinner* I'd ordered to share with a friend ("I have a new car!") the heap would barely move foreward.
All of which, after decades of buying used cars from individuals, has taught me that I'm not going to be able to do this successfully in Texas, and maybe it's time to stop giving my mother, father, and all my friends grey hairs, and buy a new vehicle, which won't break down on me all the time. Except, wow, it looks like even brand new *anythings* have lots of problems! Toyotas look like they have the least, though, so that's where I'm heading. So "Reliability" is number one on my list, but I realize that issue starts a holy war around here, so let's just move on:
Why I Need Help:
1) I'm mechanically clueless. Reliability is essential, I've decided on a Toyota, please don't try to modify this one, unless it's to tell me I need a T100 or a Tacoma instead of a Tundra.
2) I haven't ever bought a *new* car, and no car from a dealer in over a decade. Although I have crawled all over the Toyota/Tundra web site, for the life of me, I can't figure out what all the initials and letters stand for, and how they match up with the features I need ("S"? "L"? "SR5"? "4x2" versus "4x4", aren't those sizes of *boards*? "Access Cab"?). I don't even want to *think* about the nightmare of dickering about prices yet.
3) I also know I don't even *know* all the features I need. For example, I would have opted for a standard transmission, but I will be using this truck to tow and haul things, and I read that I should get an automatic for that, in order to make it easier on the transmission.
Anybody have any opinions for/against on this one?
The Functionality I Need:
1) must be able to tow (guesstimate) 3,000 pounds (2 horses in an old, small, no frills trailer.
#648 of 1986 Tow Truck Intimacy...
Mar 14, 2001 (12:35 am)
"I developed a close personal relationship with the tow-truck guy, whom I had to call 2-3 times *a week*, for *months* (until the bloody truck blew up for the final time just last week) to come and get me"
Gimme a break. If I had to call a tow truck 2 or 3 times in any ONE week for any vehicle I sure would'nt give it the chance to go on for months! Sounds like the Tundra will suit your needs just fine-good luck with your shopping and remember-if one dealer won't play ball just move on to one that will.
Mar 14, 2001 (6:49 am)
way to rate your truck.. I thought for awhile there you drove a Chevy.
#650 of 1986 Tengubuda, your story sounds like an exaggeration
Mar 14, 2001 (10:44 am)
but my answer follows;
1. Stop telling mechanics you are mechanically inept, many of them are dishonest and decide you are ignorant and can be overcharged, so go to a new car dealer who you can trust for service and trust them. Also, I've been in Texas the last 55 years and mechanics here aren't any worse than any other state when it comes to being inept or dishonest.
2. My personal advice is to buy a new Tundra, since it is more troublefree than any truck with similiar payload on the average, and purchase it from the biggest dealer in the state. They didn't get that big being dishonest, this works for domestics also. If you don't want to learn how to buy a new car, (right here on Edmunds), you can take a friend with you. I recommend Fred Haas Toyota in Houston for purchase and service if you live near, offer $4 or $5000 under sticker on a loaded 2001 truck, $3000 under on a stripped one. Hard to go wrong there. If you have a trade-in, look it up in Edmunds used vehicles and use the trade-in value, also use Kelly's Blue Book on the internet. Use as much detail on the evaluation as possible and stick to your numbers or go to another dealer. It helps to print out the evaluation and take it to the dealership.
3. Don't worry about the codes, find one on the lot you like, drive several and drive on the freeway at 70 mph and 55 mph with the radio and air conditioner off, windows closed and listen. If it makes too much noise or has vibration, look at another. Special options like TRD and 4X4 are for people who want to go off road or drive in snow and ice or pull a big boat up a slippery ramp, not essential in South Texas otherwise.
4. Try to forget your nightmares about domestic trucks, you got used vehicles which weren't properly maintained, properly maintained ones won't cause anywhere near that much grief. So take your vehicle to the new car dealer for scheduled factory service after purchase.
Mar 14, 2001 (1:19 pm)
Being a bit busy today, I didn't read your whole post but went to the summary. From that, I think you need to find a *good* salesman. Find one who knows what he is talking about and work with him to figure out what best suits your needs. I know this is easier said than done, but it will be worth it. My dealership actually has a truck department and we are not allowed to sell trucks until we demonstrate that we have a clue as to what truck buyers need. See if a local dealership has one of these.
Mar 15, 2001 (6:50 pm)
I read a review that said the TRD package did not make much difference. I want an off road package- is the TRD package worth the extra money??? Someone sell me... Thanks!
#653 of 1986 Jumpmaster
Mar 16, 2001 (7:42 am)
Buy the TRD package. Most Tundras that don't come with it, do have the alloy wheels and fog lights so it doesn't cost much more to pugrade the suspension and tires. The BF Goodrich tires are much better quality than the Dunlops or Bridgestones on the non-TRD trucks.
#654 of 1986 Re:575- Cliffie1 from Ken-o
Mar 16, 2001 (5:21 pm)
Read your response on fifth wheel . Had already figured it all out.
Finally saw a Tundra in the flesh and it is the greatest looking pickup I've seen. Only 1 problem with the Tundra and 1 with Toyota personel. The Tundra axle is way too close to the cab for a fifth wheel , so Tundra is out until they increase their wheel base. Toyota needs to school it's people (both dealers and customer service) on the aspects of towing .
I will be getting an 02 Silverado instead of Tundra because I am staying with my fifth wheel and I also found that the Silverado equipped the way I want it(which is impossible with the Tundra) is about $2500.00 less than the Tundra.The 2500 will buy an extended warrentee and let me get some extra goodies.
Thanks again for your come back
#655 of 1986 tundra shopping
Mar 17, 2001 (2:51 am)
I am presently in the process of purchasing a 2001 Toyota Tundra V8 4x4 access cab. The only other options I would like are the allweather pkg.the wheel and tire upgrade,a bed liner, floor mats,and the single CD player.I would like to get some input on what other folks have paid for similiar equipped trucks.Many thanks.
Mar 17, 2001 (7:28 am)
As much I as prefer to hear of people buying a Tundra, I'm glad you found something that meets your needs. 5th wheel towing presents a number of issues that I know the Tundra does not address. I also agree that far too many Toyota sales folks don't know the first thing about towing. At my dealership, I created a truck department and nobody is allowed to sell trucks until they can prove to me that they know what they are talking about with the trucks.