THE BOT­TOM LINE

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS -

IT CAN BE NICE TO BUY A NEW TRUCK PACK­AGED WITH A LOT OF MODERN FEA­TURES, BUT SOME­TIMES IT’S NOT WHAT IT SEEMS. Auto man­u­fac­tur­ers work hard to make it at­trac­tive to buy new. We’ve all been to big auto shows and deal­er­ships to check out the lat­est op­tions, and the sen­sa­tion you get when you park your­self be­hind the wheel of a new truck is pretty eu­phoric. It’s ex­cit­ing to know that you have some­thing that few oth­ers do. It’s a good feel­ing, but it never lasts very long. Even­tu­ally, you’ll cruise past other guys with the same truck and even bet­ter mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

I will say that hav­ing a mild cus­tom truck is light-years bet­ter than rolling around in a Toy­ota Camry. I just can’t un­der­stand why any­one would want to drive a ve­hi­cle that looks like ev­ery­thing else on the road. Try find­ing a “reg­u­lar car” in a park­ing lot. Good luck! Hav­ing at least a few mi­nor mods will make your truck stand out from the rest.

Some peo­ple shy away from cus­tom ve­hi­cles be­cause they worry that the chances are greater that some­thing will go wrong. The truth is that any older truck can be built to be just as reli­able as a modern ve­hi­cle. As long as you take the nec­es­sary steps to make it road wor­thy, you shouldn’t have any ma­jor is­sues. Plus, the feel­ing you get when you jump into a freshly com­pleted cus­tom truck is even bet­ter than get­ting into a new one. Some of you might be fa­mil­iar with it, but if not, trust me when I say it’s amaz­ing know­ing your ride is built just the way you want it.

Let’s get some­thing straight here, though, all ve­hi­cles have is­sues. There’s just no avoid­ing it. Things wear out over time and through use. In fact, ev­ery sin­gle new truck I’ve owned had some­thing go wrong soon af­ter I bought it. One had an al­ter­na­tor go out, and another’s rack–and-pin­ion failed. Re­cently, a friend of mine bought a ’17 Chevy Sil­ver­ado and we cruised to lunch in it. It was warm outside and we de­cided it was a good time to break in the air con­di­tion­ing. Since, we’d re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced a lot of cold, wet weather in So­cal, this was the first time he needed to use the AC. But, the air com­ing out of the vents never got cold. We checked un­der the hood to see if there were any re­frig­er­ant leaks, but we couldn’t find any.

He took the truck to the deal­er­ship to have it checked out, which was ag­gra­vat­ing since it was a new truck. It’s a straight up in­con­ve­nience to take a truck in for in­spec­tion or re­pair, and it’s es­pe­cially mad­den­ing when it’s a brand-new ride.

My friend spent half the day wait­ing around while the ser­vice staff checked the AC sys­tem, and they ul­ti­mately came back with a non-an­swer. They said that ev­ery­thing on the sys­tem was working, and they couldn’t fig­ure out what was wrong. They re­turned his keys and asked him to come back in a few days when another tech­ni­cian would be able to in­spect it. We started to won­der if they might have for­got­ten to fill it up with re­frig­er­ant at the fac­tory.

Af­ter spend­ing the bet­ter part of a day at the deal­er­ship, my friend spent more time hav­ing it re­ex­am­ined later. Guess what? Our sus­pi­cions were cor­rect, and the AC sys­tem was empty of re­frig­er­ant. For­tu­nately, this was cov­ered un­der the war­ranty, but my friend still wasted valu­able time that could have been spent else­where.

In the end, the truck was in per­fect run­ning con­di­tion. Even though ev­ery­thing is OK now, it goes to show that there are no guar­an­tees that a new truck will be per­fect. His next is­sue might not be cov­ered un­der war­ranty, which is a risk we all take when we buy a new ve­hi­cle. How­ever, I be­lieve that if you take your time to build a truck cor­rectly, your chance of hav­ing prob­lems will be di­min­ished. Bet­ter yet, you’ll be fa­mil­iar with your truck and able to di­ag­nose any dif­fi­cul­ties your­self. Ei­ther way, re­mem­ber that all trucks are com­plex ma­chines, and they can all ex­pe­ri­ence is­sues, new or old.

HIS NEXT IS­SUE MIGHT NOT BE COV­ERED UN­DER WAR­RANTY, WHICH IS A RISK WE ALL TAKE WHEN WE BUY A NEW VE­HI­CLE. HOW­EVER, I BE­LIEVE THAT IF YOU TAKE YOUR TIME TO BUILD A TRUCK COR­RECTLY, YOUR CHANCE OF HAV­ING PROB­LEMS WILL BE DI­MIN­ISHED.”

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