Please tell me that this is America and I still have a right to keep my rusty old heap of a pickup truck!
What should I do? Everyone except my wife keeps telling me to replace "my" truck!
It's a 1985 Ford F-250 XLT Lariat with a towing package, captain's chairs and an
extended cab. Some rust is showing in the expected spots, and looking under the
front of the truck makes co-workers want to call the Environmental Protection
Agency. I have hauled 3,800 pounds of sand with this truck without any problem.
Camping is no problem, and is 9 mpg so bad? Is everyone else right or is this
still America, where a man's truck is special? -- Ed
RAY: You do whatever the heck you want, Ed. This is still America, where the
constitution guarantees every citizen the right to life, liberty and the right to
drive a big, ugly truck if he wants.
TOM: There are two basic factors when it comes to car and truck replacement. One
is economic. When the cost of making your vehicle safe and reliable gets to be
more than a replacement car would cost, then you have an economic reason for
upgrading. Nothing in your letter suggests that's the case. The "EPA" comment
suggests you have some external engine leaks, which can almost always be fixed.
RAY: The other factor is emotional. When you fall out of love with your car and
stop caring about it, then you have an emotional reason for getting another set
of wheels. Obviously, that's not the case, either. You love this truck. And while
we won't comment on the psychological abnormalities that go into loving a pickup
truck, clearly there is no reason for you to trade this baby in.
TOM: People may criticize your 9 mpg as environmentally wasteful. But it's also
environmentally wasteful to build a whole new pickup truck. Think of all the
natural resources that get used to build a vehicle from scratch.
RAY: Right. Just think about the number of "naugas" alone that have to sacrifice
their lives for the naugahide seats!