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As the price of new pickup trucks soars, it is no surprise that many interested truck buyers are taking to the used market. By opting for a used truck, there is potential to save money and get a more old-school experience. But, not all trucks are created equal and there are some that are just better to avoid altogether. Especially if you are in search of something with long-term reliability. These two trucks in particular, the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, are probably best to pass on.

Shopping for a used F-150? Skip the 10th generation

A green  Ford F-150 full-size truck sits on display in a parking lot
Ford F-150 | Diane Barros via Getty Images

The Ford F-150 has long been a popular full-size truck. But not every generation is as great as the others. From 1997 to 2004, the F-150 was plagued by some issues which makes it worth passing on.

Whether it was faulty materials or something to do with design, the 10th generation of the F-150 was not a very safe truck. According to The Drive, when in certain types of accidents, this version of Ford’s full-size truck would easily crumple. 

That was not the only issue with F-150 models from these years, a faulty cruise control system could cause fires. And it caused a pretty massive recall notice for a variety of Ford models. Between 2005 and 2007 alone, around 5.8 million cars, trucks, and SUVs would be recalled.

The early 2000s were not kind to the Ram 1500

Today, the Ram 1500 is one of the best-selling full-size trucks. But with its high costs, it makes sense that some buyers may opt to purchase pre-owned. If that is the case for you, we encourage forgoing the second generation of the 1500. Especially if you are shopping for a reliable pickup truck.

In terms of engines, the second generation of the Ram 1500 had a 4.7-liter V8 engine known as the “Magnum.” This engine was prone to a number of issues, including oil sludge problems and premature engine failure.

To make matters worse, Ram 1500 models from 2000 to 2003 did not have the best interiors. It isn’t surprising to see examples with cracked dashboards or electronics that do not work. Because of these reasons, it’s best to look elsewhere for a full-size truck.

Should you buy a used pickup truck?

Buying a used truck can be a good way to get into something that fits your lifestyle and your budget. When buying used, it is important to do the proper research to ensure you are getting something that is both safe and reliable.

A white 2022 Ram 1500 Classic drives on an urban road.
2022 Ram 1500 Classic | Ram

Each used truck is different, and just because something may be newer or have low mileage does not mean it will be good. Previous owners could have neglected maintenance or put the vehicle through serious abuse.

That said, there is a range of used trucks that are worth considering. But it will vary on model year and generation. Whether you are shopping for a full-size truck, a mid-size option, or even something that has heavy-duty functionality, buying used can help to save you money during the buying process.


5 Tips for Buying a Reliable Used Truck