Piston Slap: Is a Frontier Necessary for Your Frontier?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap is a frontier necessary for your frontier
Phil writes:


I am currently the owner of a 2011 Nissan Frontier that I bought in February of last year. It is both the first truck and new vehicle that I have purchased. I am in the process of buying a house and have a little buyer’s remorse for purchasing a new vehicle.

I like the truck but with a mortgage payment coming I would like something used with a smaller payment or none at all. As nice as it is to have a truck on hand I also miss the handling and gas mileage of a car. According the KBB I should be able to sell it for enough money to break even or better with what I currently owe. I can still afford the house and the truck if needed but not having the truck payment would give me more pocket money for other things. What do you think I should do?

Sajeev answers:

DUDE! You gotta be kidding me. I can reuse your first two sentences for myself, and I will…”I am currently the owner of a 2011 Ford Ranger that I bought in August of last year. It is both the first truck and new vehicle that I have purchased.”

I diverge from you because I’ve owned my house for a year and have zero buyer’s remorse with the Ranger. But I’ll guess the Frontier is more expensive than my regular-cab Ranger: the odds are probably on my side there. Plus, I think my crappy little truck handles better and gets better mileage than many cars, thanks to it being the most efficient truck in the country and my mild suspension/powertrain tweaks on a platform that’s truly fun to rotate in a corner. Even a year later, I’m dumbfounded how many times I need a small truck to carry a variety of crap because of this house. But now it’s time to shut up about me and get back to you.

I don’t want you to sell the truck, because I think you need a truck as a homeowner. Keep the truck until you’re fully settled into the new place. Or make sure you have a friend with one.

As a homeowner, what vehicle do you need from here on out? A hatchback of some sort would be ideal. Or just rent a truck when needed and get a coupe. There’s really no wrong answer, except for the 2011 Ford Ranger XLT regular cab, 2.3L, 5-speed. That’s already been done, Son!

What say you, Best and Brightest?

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

Join the conversation
2 of 92 comments
  • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Dec 13, 2012

    I hook a utility trailer to the Land Cruiser...All the utility of a compact truck with worse fuel economy that a full size LOL (Hey, its long paid for). In all seriousness, I'd just keep the truck. I think selling something late model like that is way more difficult than selling a beater and I have never seen anyone get KBB. The savings over the long haul are likely minimal to none.

  • JD-Shifty JD-Shifty on Dec 14, 2012

    Just put a super high price on it. If no one bites, just take really good care of it

  • Charles I had one and loved it . Seated 7 people . Easy to park , great van
  • Jay Mason Your outdoor space will get better every year with a pergola. A horizontal, pole-supported framework for climbing plants is called a pergola. It creates a closed off area. pergola builder denton texas by Denton Custom Decks provide cover for outdoor gatherings. They would be more than happy to assist you with the pergola's framework.
  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 ( Bronze or Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • ToolGuy Last picture: Labeling the accelerator as "play" and the brake pedal as "pause" might be cute, but it feels wrong. It feels wrong because it is wrong, and it is wrong because Calculus.Sidebar: I have some in-laws who engage the accelerator and brake on a binary on/off all-in basis. So annoying as a passenger.Drive smoothly out there. 🙂