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Time to retire my '93 Ford Ranger?

My sad but faithful 1993 Ford Ranger (160,000 miles) is on life support and now needs about $1,000 worth of repairs to fix three major problems. I’m debating whether to have those problems fixed or replace it with something that’s cheap but reliable. I need a truck only about 4 times a year, so I don’t want to invest big bucks.

I’m looking at a 2006 Ford Ranger–a mere youngster compared to mine–that has 121,000 miles and is selling for just under $4,000. It has had two owners and no accidents, and it checks out with a mechanic.

Does it make sense to finally say good-bye to the '93? And if so, does it make sense to buy a truck that is 12 years old and has significant mileage?

$1000 vs $4000… Keep your Ranger wins in my book, especially for 4 times a year.
160K with a known maintenance history vs 121K with UNknown history… Keep your Ranger wins again.

The bigger question is condition. You don’t describe the actual condition of your '93. Is it rusty? Does it blow blue smoke? Is it so ugly you can barely stand to drive it? All these favor the 2006 Ranger

A question for you… If you only need a truck 4 times a year, why not rent one from the local home center store for about $20 for a couple of hours? You could rent a lot more than 4 times a year for the insurance cost alone for your Ranger.


The truck isn’t rusty at all, but it does have lichen growing on it! It’s definitely ugly, but that’s really part of its charm.

The only problem with renting a truck is that I use mine for hauling manure, metal for recycling, and branches/thorny brush (for which I have to drive it through a bumpy farm field). I’m pretty hard on it and scratch it up a lot. I think any rental place would have a fit.

You raise good points about the maintenance history. That may be the winning factor…


Please tell what the problems are. They can’t be too bad if $1000 fixes them.