After 14 years of faithful service I have to retire the Dakota. Not because it is no longer reliable or because something else has caught my eye. I’m afraid it is an SGI decision. A couple of weeks ago I lent it out to someone who managed to crease the drivers door. Nothing to terrible but enough that the door needs to be replaced as opposed to being repaired.
The trouble is a combination of age and miles. 14 years and 400,000 kilometers are just too much for it to hold enough value. The $3400 repair bill is making SGI cringe at the idea of fixing it.
We saw this coming. The body is starting to show signs of rust in all the doors and wheel wells, the rear bumper already has rusted through in spots, and the handling is just loose enough to make you thing it may be ball joint time again. We were going to replace it anyway in a couple of years with a spanky new “welcome to retirement” vehicle. It just runs SO well I really wanted to drive it as long as I could. Doesn’t burn oil, always starts. Great little truck.
Since that kind of money is not available right now we have gone with an intermediate vehicle, a 2003 Silverado in great shape. The new truck looks like we can get an easy 5 years out of it before we spring a new(ish) one. At the end of it all I am only out of pocket $3,000 and have a rust free truck with half the miles. Not a bad deal even if it was unplanned.