Beware of These 5 Used Pickup Truck Models With Problems

When you are searching for a used truck, you definitely want something high quality that proves to be a reliable pickup truck. We’ve cross-referenced a few different sources to bring you a list of trucks to avoid. If you’re shopping, steer clear of these five used pickup truck models with problems.

A row of Ford pickup trucks sits behind a gate
A row of Ford trucks behind a gate | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

According to autoevolution, these are the used pickup truck models to avoid. We checked the data with sources like CarComplaints and RepairPal. Our research confirms that these used trucks may end up problematic for owners.

The first-generation Nissan Titan: 2003-2006 model years

Although this truck can be reliable, the first-gen Nissan Titan has reports from owners revealing some problems truck owners don’t want to deal with. Accord to autoevolution, the Nissan Titan’s first generation ran from 2004 – 2015. It was largely a good truck. And some model years from this generation are good used pickup trucks.

A 2006 Nissan Titan driving off-road.
2006 Nissan Titan | Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images

However, owners of the models in production from 2003-2006 have frequently reported rear axle issues. This can require a rebuild to correct because the seals fail and oil leaks from the differential. There are also many owners with exhaust system problems. These problems are confirmed by complaints on CarComplaints. Primarily owners deal with exhaust manifold issues. Most Nissan Titan model years make good used pickup trucks. However, many units inside of the 2003 and 2006 model years had problems.

2000-2003 models of the first-gen Toyota Tundra

This is another used pickup truck model that’s actually extremely durable and regarded as a very reliable truck. However, autoevolution writes that the 2000-2003 model years are an example of pickup truck models with problems. Most commonly reported are issues with low quality paint that doesn’t last.

a silver 2003 Toyota Tundra in an outdoor press photo
2003 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

Of course, this isn’t something that will matter to every used truck buyer. There are also frequent reports of electrical and/or ventilation system problems, secondary air pump failure, and early onset piston wear for the 4.7 liter V8 models. Repair Pal backs up these claims, plus it adds exhaust manifold problems to the list of common issues for the used Toyota Tundra from 2000-2003. Furthermore, there are issues with a rusting rear cross-member which ultimately required a recall. Be wary if you are checking out a used Toyota Tundra from these models years and do your due diligence before buying.

The tenth-gen Ford F-150 models years from 2002-2004

“notorious for their countless engine issues that ranged from sparkplugs popping out of the aluminum heads to oil leaks and misfires.” 

Ford Motor Company showed off the all new 2004 F-150 pickup during a press conference at the North America International Auto Show
2004 Ford F-150 | Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images

The legendary Ford-F150 from its tenth generation is a used pickup truck model with problems. Especially from production years 2002-2004, a used Ford F-150 may be a big problem for truck buyers. The structural design of these trucks wasn’t deemed safe by the NHTSA and IIHS either. If you’re looking for a good used pickup truck, these Ford F-150 models aren’t it. CarComplaints confirms these problems and adds 661 windshield complaints to the list of F-150 issues for these model years as well.

First-gen Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon models have problems too

These are also used pickup truck models with problems. However, these owner reports spread across the entire generation. Issues range from water leaking into the cab to defective child safety seat anchors to faulty brake lights––and it doesn’t stop there. Autoevolution and CarComplaints agree that these used trucks have problems.

a red 2008 GMC Canyon used pickup truck model in a lakeside press photo when it was new.
2008 GMC Canyon | GMC

We can also add hundreds of complaints for the 2015 and 2016 model years. These reported problems include a high number of transmission issues in these production years of the Colorado. If you want a good used truck, try the Colorado or Canyon from 2013/2014.

The second-generation Dodge Ram 1500 models from 1998-2001

The Dodge Ram 1500, now simply the Ram 1500, is one of America’s favorite trucks. However, if you go further back in the model years for a cheap used truck you may find yourself running into used pickup truck models with problems. Particularly, models with certain engines have issues with lubrication. Repair Pal reports confirm these oil issues and adds exhaust manifold problems to this truck’s list of problems too.

“known to have issues with premature rusting, subpar interior material quality, defective electrical systems, or engine and transmission failures.”

a red 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 used pickup truck
2001 Dodge Ram 1500 | IIHS

Consumer Reports Only Recommends 2 Pickup Trucks For 2021