Skip to main content

In life, there are just certain things that you shouldn’t cheap out on. Tires, your mattress, and gas station sushi are a few things that come to mind. But, when it comes to your truck, you don’t always have to pay top dollar for maintenance and repair. That isn’t to say you should go for the cheapest thing when it comes to these components. It just means that shelling out for the most expensive product won’t give you much benefit. So, which truck parts can you save money on?

Exhaust system

OK, I am starting out on a controversial note here. But, when it comes to a modern truck, spending big money on your exhaust won’t give you much return in terms of performance. What a fancy catback exhaust will give you is improved sound. 

Unless you are really invested in getting a small increase in performance, there is a cheaper way to make your truck sound better. Leave the stock pipes and resonator, and opt for a larger muffler. You might see a slight increase in how your truck performs, but you will also get a different exhaust note. And for most folks, that is probably enough. 

Brake fluid

No, you should not buy the cheapest brake fluid. But whatever the original manufacturer decided to use should be good enough for your pickup truck. Top-shelf brake fluid is great if you put your vehicle in performance situations, like on the track. However, the average Joe probably isn’t tracking their truck. 

A brake pedal, spending more for brake fluid might not be worth it on your truck.
Brake and accelerator pedals | Jochen Eckel via Getty Images

According to the Chicago Tribune, mid-tier brake fluid should last just as long as the expensive stuff. So unless you are really putting your brakes through the wringer on a daily basis, you can save some money. 

Spark plugs

This one might come as a bit of a surprise. But in an unmodified, modern pickup truck, you can probably get away with the plugs that your truck came with. If your truck is a V8, those fancy spark plugs can really add up in cost. And you probably won’t see a huge boost in performance. 

A general rule of thumb for things like spark plugs is to find the middle ground. Spark plugs are a very vital part of your engine. So you don’t want to skimp, but regular plugs can be found for around $5. 

What’s worth paying more money for on your truck?

Some things you won’t want to go the cheap route on, and the first thing that comes to mind is gas. If your truck calls for premium, you’re probably going to want to adhere to that. Thankfully, most trucks will be fine with regular gas. When I tested the 2022 Tundra, I was surprised to see 87 octane was recommended, even though the Lexus LX600 with the same engine required premium. 

Toyota's full-size truck, the 2022 Tundra.
2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport | Toyota
Related The 1 Place You Should Never Take Your Truck for Service

The 1 Place You Should Never Take Your Truck for Service

If you plan on paying someone to service your truck, make sure you go to a reputable shop. It’s not always necessary to service at a dealership, but you want your truck to run properly. And that means someone who knows what they are doing should be tasked with service and repair needs.