My Current Daily Ride

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My Current Daily Ride

Nope, this isn’t my ride, in fact, I don’t even have the desire to drive this thing even once. I would rather have a nice candy apple red 64-65 Mustang in my garage. My daily driver is a 2006 Dodge Dakota, and she has 225K miles on her. Every time I take it in for maintenance, I get so worried that it will be the last time I get to drive her. Right now she is in desperate need of some new boots (tires). And of course, we are in a national backorder for tires. No joke, if you have certain-sized tires, then you might not be able to get a decent tire. I can get really cheap tires, that won’t last very long and will not give you a smooth ride, and I know that I don’t want that. But this post isn’t about me needing tires.

My 2006 Dodge Dakota
My 2006 Dodge Dakota that I purchased new in 2005

It’s about that feeling I get every time I take it to the shop. As I said she has 225,000 miles on it, with the original engine, and transmission, except it, has had one ignition coil pack replaced (cylinder #1). Everything else on the drivetrain is original. She has however had every damn part of the front-end suspension replaced (except the struts). That means that they have had to replace every ball joint, every tie rod (and end), and even the steering rack and pinion.

I did have to have an exhaust leak at the manifold repaired, including two broken bolts removed and re-tapped. It has been an exceptional truck, to say the least. Besides being my daily driver, she hauls our 21-foot RV when we go camping and a horse trailer from time to time. She “trucks” probably more often than half the trucks on the road. She is used to dragging the horse pastures, where she drags a couple of hundred pounds “rake” around the field. She sadly escorted one of our horses when he passed, she took up for a necropsy. She has been buried up to the axle more than once (sadly she is only a 2-wheel drive).

I just took her to the shop so she can get her alignment checked (I hit a gnarly, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, pothole the other day) and a flat repair. The tire has been leaking air for a good month or more and I thought there was a more serious front-end problem, but the alignment was just out of whack and she is all good now. But I can honestly tell you, I was really scared this time. I figured that I can’t spend more than around $4k a year in repairs or it would be more cost-effective to buy new.

Of course, buying new is a whole nother problem as the car lots are bare and that is sad too. You can order something, but they are a year or more out. But I can say that right this minute, I don’t have to worry about that, as she is doing just fine.

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