10 cheap trucks that will keep you busy and make you a great mechanic
With the number of trucks leaving dealerships each year, it’s obvious that Americans love their trucks. This is not at all surprising considering how pickup trucks have evolved over the decades. What began about a century ago as the basic means of transportation for farmers and traders is now the personal means of transportation for millions of Americans.
Along with being workhorses and family haulers, the trucks now have more luxury/tech features while retaining decent off-road capability for the occasional adventure. Understanding the need for reliability, most manufacturers build trucks that are strong, reliable and affordable. Unfortunately, despite their best intentions, some really bad models still manage to get out of the lines from time to time. For example, these 10 cheap trucks will keep you busy and make you a great mechanic.
ten Ram 1500 2001
Even when he was still under Dodge, Ram knew how to build half-ton pickups with exceptional qualities. However, the 2001 Ram 1500 is not one of them. Despite offering surprising agility for a truck, the 2001 Ram 1500 has so many build quality issues.
The engine had several problems, including stalling while driving, a sudden drop in oil pressure, and an oil leak from the rear main seal. Additionally, he suffered from rear differential failure, transmission failure, and transmission shifting. It’s a Ram you should steer clear of.
9 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a versatile truck that offers powerful engine options and excellent towing and hauling capabilities. It balances these characteristics with great fuel economy, a beautiful interior and user-friendly technical features. Unfortunately, although it seems like such a good truck, this one will turn you into a mechanic, thanks to its many reliability issues.
He has a long list of transmission problems like surges, jerks, hesitations, shifts, and blackouts. In addition to the poor transmission, there were also complaints about brake failure and excessive oil consumption.
8 2007 Chevy Avalanche
The Chevrolet Avalanche is a full-size pickup truck that offers a flexible mid-hatchback body configuration and a comfortable ride. On the GM GMT900 platform, the 2007 Avalanche offers buyers a choice of two engines – a 5.3-liter V8 and a 6-liter V8 developing 366 horsepower.
Chevrolet links both engines to a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive. Unfortunately, this truck has a bad reputation and more than a fair share of engine problems. Some of them are excessive oil consumption, engine failure, and misfires. There have also been cases of transmission failure.
seven 2004 Ford F-150
America’s beloved Ford F-150 is a workhorse that pulls and hauls more weight than other half-ton trucks. Thanks to this and other good qualities, it is a constant best-selling model. But somehow Ford missed the mark with the 2004 model. This model stands out with serious reliability issues that involve the engine.
Apart from the engine failure, it shakes strongly when accelerating and stalls when stopped. The worst problems are spark plugs breaking in the head or popping out of the head.
6 2005 Nissan Frontier
The 2005 Frontier is a powerful workhorse that shares the Nissan F-Alpha platform with the first-generation Titan. In addition to an optional V6 engine that develops 265 hp and 284 lb-ft, it also features advanced off-road systems. However, this great truck can also leave you stranded and frustrated, thanks to serious mechanical issues.
Besides failure of the timing chain and tensioner, the engine can die while driving. Top of his list of problems is a transmission failure caused by a ruptured radiator leaking coolant into the transmission.
5 Chevrolet Colorado 2016
Upon arrival, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado impressed with a muscular engine lineup, smooth ride and excellent towing capability. Unfortunately, it also came with a set of build quality issues that are serious enough to earn it a spot on this list. The transmission is notorious for not shifting properly, hesitating and shaking while driving.
Additionally, the Colorado’s engine tends to run rough and stall. Additionally, some owners have also reported instances of power steering failure. If you add the issues with the interior accessories, you’ll better understand why the 2016 Colorado shouldn’t be on your wish list.
4 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz
All-new for 2022, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a compact and stylish pickup with a versatile cargo area and plenty of sophisticated technology. Thanks to its unibody construction, it drives and handles like a car while its relatively shorter body makes it more maneuverable around town.
Unfortunately, he is guilty of transmission failure and likes to lose power where it matters most. With issues like these, it’s just possible that the most fun you can get from the Santa Cruz is frustration and dirty hands.
3 Ford Maverick 2022
Ford’s smallest pickup, the all-new Maverick shares the Ford C2 unibody platform with the Bronco Sport. It is powered by an economical hybrid powertrain or an optional 2-liter turbo-4 engine that develops 250 hp. However, the little Ford also has some frustrating issues.
Along with complaints about power loss, users also complain about unresponsive brakes when driving at low speeds. Moreover, he has five NHTSA recalls to his credit already. That can’t be a good thing in a truck that’s still in its inaugural model year.
2 2017 Toyota Tacoma
From the strong V6 engine to the premium interior with easy-to-use tech features, there’s a lot to love about the 2017 Tacoma. It also delivers a refined ride and perhaps the most impressive off-road chops in the world. segment. Unfortunately, it also has mechanical issues such as engine surge and leaky timing chain cover.
There were also complaints about the transmission not shifting properly and a howling noise coming from the rear differential. That said, be careful with this one, as it can leave you stuck when you least expect it.
1 2015 GMC Canyon
The 2015 GMC Canyon debuted in January 2014 as a completely redesigned model with an upscale interior, powerful engines and class-leading towing capacity. Although it compares admirably to its rivals, its low reliability rating is hard to ignore. It has a long list of build quality issues, earning it eight NHTSA recalls already.
While most owners complain that the transmission doesn’t shift properly, there have also been reports of it shifting in park and transmission failure. Add to that power steering failure, squealing brakes and engine stalling, and you’ll see why CarComplaints.com calls it the worst GMC Canyon model.