Year Two Cost of Ownership; Its a Taco Anniversary!

Damn! Its been another 365-days which have blown past without any elongated road trips to talk about! This pandemic really needs to end, then we’ll pack up Franken-Taco for a long legged road trip out to Manitoba to stretch his proverbial legs and wrack-up some good kilometres driven.

If it’s not evident, I’m still a HUGE fan of the decision we made on the morning of February 22, 2020 at Country Hills Toyota in Calgary Alberta Canada. On that morning we found a sparkling shiny black 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport sitting all dressed up on the showroom floor. It had been rubbed down by several hands and layers of wax, then buffed out and polished!

What else can be said at this point but…

“Happy 2nd Birthday Franken-Taco!!”

You and I have been through 737 days and counting together. Over the past 371-days we’ve encountered some bumps, and bruises. But nothing we couldn’t handle as a team. And I look forward to seeing how Year Three carries on. Until then lets complete a year in review for Year Two.

Accumulated Kilometres Driven Per Year

  • Year One
  • Purchased Feb 22, 2020
  • Driven 365 days
  • Starting kms 64,350
  • Ending kms 78,939
  • Total kms 14,598
  • Monthly Avg. 1,215 kms
  • Year Two
  • Starting Feb 23, 2021
  • Driven 371 days
  • Starting kms 78,939
  • Ending kms 97,337
  • Total kms 18,398
  • Monthly Avg. 1,533 kms

First off, we drove Tacoma on average 318 kilometres more than we did in Year One. We contribute this to a couple of 1,000 kilometre road trips up to Lesser Slave Lake for snowshoeing and several extra trips out to the Jackson Family Retreat over last summer when we were learning how-to use the Oneway Lathe and earn our place in the old man’s woodshop.

This year due to COVID and the Pandemic we didn’t spend as much time researching or pricing out accessories for the Tacoma. However we did manage to remove one of the previous years’ modifications as it was just pissing us off every time we used it.

Last year a buddy of mine gave us a trifold tonneau cover. If we are talking strictly aesthetics and appearance then it was a pretty good looking tonneau cover for the age and it looked good when down and latched against the truck bed.

For us it was totally impractical when we wanted to use the truck bed because we were using the pickup bed for a junk storage. Then I felt like it was a constant fight with the plastic frame and its latches. When you had it folded over to use the truck bed you loose 24″ because it all stacks up next to the rear window. And forget having it installed and putting a couple of mountain bikes with riding gear or camping gear in the back. Nope, No way. Unless you hang the bikes over the tailgate.

Eventually my patience wore thin enough that we put the trifold up on Kijiji and sold it for a couple hundred bucks. The funds have been placed in the Tacoma savings fund for a future accessory purchases… maybe it next transforms into a dual band VHF/UHF radio, and low profile antenna.

Maintenance

Oddly enough we only had to bring the Tacoma in for 2-service appointments over the past twelve months. The first appointment only 1,402 kms after the Year One Anniversary date for an oil change. Then we brought Tacoma back a few hundred kilometres later because we were hearing this godawful sound originating in the driver’s side wheel well whenever we went into a pothole or over a bump. It was this LOUD cracking or popping sound.

Trying to explain this LOUD issue to the service advisor reminded me of those drunken nights playing charades in my thirties. It never worked out then and didn’t on that day either.

Per the mechanics at the shop, the issue was not mechanical but was the “rattle of the aftermarket skid plates”. A slightly heated discussion fell over the room as I swore up and down the counter this issue existed before the aftermarket skid plates were installed. None of them cared. And only asked I continue to “observe and monitor the issue, for if it gets worse to bring it back in.”

I did. Twice! And still no resolution on this LOUD noise issue. But hey they did replace the rack and pinion. At least there is something good out of all this “please continue to monitor the sound and if it happens again bring it back in with your OEM skid plate. We’ll install it for you as a courtesy. And if it persists after the OEM skid plate is on, then we’ll look at it under the trucks warranty.”

This gives us until 123,331 kms to figure this NOISE out and get it repaired under warranty! Which means we have 25,994 kms remaining under the warranty, or about 18-months more of driving. Damn it! I hope we can resolve this issue soon.

Service and Maintenance Charges

  •  AMI Glass Insurance
    • Front Windshield: $180.00 p/yr
      • Note: this is our second year of glass coverage
  • Oil & Service
    • Replace oil & filter
    • Inspect engine air filter element
    • Inspect lights, horn, wiper, coolant, brake fluid, washer fluid, tires, adjust pressure
      • Parts (Element filter, Oil package) $42.95
      • Labour $23.00
      • Subtotal: $65.95
      • Oil Program discount: -$65.95
      • Total: $0.00
  • Rack and Pinion
    • Check: Noise in front end while driving over rough road. Creaking, crunching and grinding when exiting pot holes, or over speed bumps
    • Cause: right inner tie rod end is worn/loose
    • Solution: New power steering rack and 4×4 wheel alignment
    • Warranty: Replace
    • Estimate:
      • Gear assembly $994.36
      • Install Labour $1,047.60
      • Subtotal: $2,041.96
      • Warranty discount: -$2,041.96
      • Total: $0.00
  • Maintenance Service #1
    • Check: Installation of floor mats, reset maintenance reminder, inspect wiper blades, linkage, washers, engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, P/S fluids, inspect engine air filter, cabin air filter, check tire tread depth, examine tires for uneven wear or damage, inspect brake pads, callipers, rotors, brake lines, hoses, and seasonal rotation of tires
    • Completed: Service 1, rotated tires, measured tire treads, inspected brakes, set tire pressure to recommended PSI, checked all fluids, topped up fluids, checked lights, torqued wheels to factory spec, topped up washer fluid, replaced engine oil filter and cabin air filter.
      • Inspection labour $39.95
      • Parts $0.00
      • Total: $39.95
  • Crystal Glass Canada
    • Cause: Rock chips near driver’s sight line and full crack bottom right to left
    • Solution: Replace windshield
      • Labour included
      • Part (Windshield) $347.00
        • part no.: FW04108GTYN
      • Warranty: -$347.00
      • Deductible: $50.00
      • Total: $50.00
  • Recall
    • 3rd Gen Tacoma’s 2016 to 2018
    • Issue: The block heater cord is malfunctioning
    • Recommended solution: Disconnect the block heater cord
      • Client: declined having disconnected block heater cord and will await a better solution
      • Total: $0.00
  • Oil & Service
    • Replace oil & filter
    • Inspect engine air filter element
    • Inspect lights, horn, wiper, coolant, brake fluid, washer fluid, tires, adjust pressure
      • Parts (Element filter, Oil package) $42.95
      • Labour $23.00
      • Subtotal: $65.95
      • Oil Program discount: -$65.95
      • Total: $0.00
  • Total Maintenance Costs $269.95 CAD

This Guys Annual Costs for Daily Driving a 2016 Toyota Tacoma

  • Stock Tacoma – Year Two (Feb 2021 to Feb 2022)
    • Annual Car Washes $125.00
    • Annual Fuel Costs $600.00
      • Note: car washes and fuel cost lowered in 2021 from a beneficiary
    • Annual Insurance $1,560.00
    • Annual Maintenance $269.95 CAD 
    • Modification Parts $ 0.00 CAD 
    • Annual Total Payments Made $8,173.10 

Total for Year Two: $10,728.05

Note: cost of ownership in Year Two, is $3,274.70 less than Year One!

Year Two Anniversary

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb