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Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road? Imagine the days before cell phones when some vehicles were unreliable and would break down everywhere. Thankfully, we don’t see many people stranded any longer, but you still want to avoid some used trucks. Most used pickup trucks are tough, rugged, built to last, and won’t let you down, even though some will. Even though trucks are the workhorses of the automotive world, sometimes they don’t measure up. Most modern trucks won’t let you down, but some have a history of features that stop working.

Leave that 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at the dealership

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of the used pickup trucks to avoid
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | Chevrolet

You don’t want to drive a used Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from the 2014 model year. This truck has a history of peeling paint and faulty air conditioning systems. Both issues can bring a lot of headaches your way. The body could rust, and you’re going to be extremely uncomfortable without A/C in the summer.

Driving is an unwanted adventure in the 2012 Ram 2500HD pickup truck

2012 Ram 2500HD in a warehouse
2012 Ram 2500HD | RAM

The “death wobble” became such a prolific part of the Ram trucks the auto world gave it a name. Essentially, this heavy-duty truck is tough to drive with excessive vibrations, unpredictable steering, and body shakes. The challenges of driving this truck amplify when you hitch a trailer to the back and try to pull a heavy load. When you see the 2012 Ram 2500HD, start walking the other way.

2008 is the year to avoid the Nissan Frontier

2008 Nissan Frontier posed
2008 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

When you’re shopping among used pickup trucks, you need to leave the 2008 Nissan Frontier alone. Historically, this truck suffers from expensive transmission problems, which is a problem you don’t want to inherit from the previous owner. When you see this truck, you should look away unless you’re interested in taking on an expensive transmission repair project.

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is ideal for those who cannot hear

Blue 2016 Toyota Tacoma posed
2016 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

You might not think the Toyota Tacoma would land on this list, but here it is. When you’re in the cabin of the 2016 version of this used pickup truck, you’ll hear a lot of noise and feel vibrations wherever you go. By the time you reach your destination, the ride will tire you out from the racket and vibrations. Stay away from this model year of the Tacoma.

Leave the 2010 Ford F-150 where you found it

White 2010 Ford F-150 is one of the worst used pickup trucks to buy
2010 Ford F-150 | Ford

We don’t often see the Ford F-150 on a list of trucks to avoid, but the 2010 version with the 5.4-liter V8 engine was problematic. The issues you’ll have with this truck make it one of the biggest headaches you’ll find. Thankfully, Ford fixed these issues the next year, but run and hide from the F-150 if you see this version.

How can you find the right truck to drive?

You can do a few things to make sure you have a vehicle that will last a long time. Check out these buying tips and put them to work for you:

  • Have a mechanic perform an inspection before you buy
  • Perform a test drive and test all of the features
  • Ask for service records
  • Run a title check
  • Think about how you’ll use it: does it meet your needs?
  • If buying from a dealer, ask for a warranty

When you put these tips to work and avoid the models mentioned, you should drive away with a pickup truck you can trust to get things done for several years.

Next, check out which diesel trucks give you the most bang for your buck, or see the used truck buying guide video below:

This article was updated on 7/30/2022.


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