I took my beloved ’98 Toyota Tacoma out on an errand the other day only to discover
that there was an issue with the brakes. Due to a small leak from the piston on the
right front caliper I was loosing brake pedal and had to “pump it up” every time I
needed to stop the truck The repair bill ran me $200. The Caliper was less than
two years old with about 6,000 miles on it. The cause of the failure….dis-use.
That’s right, I killed my caliper by letting the truck sit idle for long periods of time.
I was so proud of myself for becoming non-dependent on my truck and commuting
back and forth to work by bike regardless of the weather. I saved $600+ in gas costs
the first six months of the year (8.5 gallons every 10 days @ $4 / gal). Also discovered
during this repair …my frame is rotting away at an alarmingly rapid rate. There is a
Toyota “Buy Back” program in effect for my truck, though had I been driving it the
rust would not have gotten so bad. The frame is not shot yet but I have greatly accelerated it’s demise by allowing it to sit idle for long periods of time. I can’t wait to see what else
I’ve screwed up on it.
In retrospect, I shall now take all of my vehicles out for a drive at least every other
week, preferably every week, just for maintenance purposes. I strongly suggest
that anyone who has recently turned to bike commuting to save gas money & improve
your health speak to your mechanic about any potential damages your vehicle may
incur through sitting idle for long periods.
Don’t allow yourself to get blindsided like I did.
NOTE: posted in 50+ forum to elicit mature responses from my peers to a real though often not thought about problem with potentially strong negative financial consequences.