If you’re thinking about buying a secondhand truck, for you or for your business, it’s important to find the right one. Whether you’re looking at dealers for a more expensive model or searching online for used trucks for sale under $20,000, you need to do your homework before you buy anything.
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Know Why The Truck Is Being Sold
Don’t get attached to a particular used truck before you’ve done your homework. First of all, you should know why the truck is being sold. It’s likely the owner is upgrading or doesn’t need the truck anymore, which doesn’t raise any red flags. It may be though, that the truck is being sold due to a mechanical problem. You don’t want to find out there’s something wrong with the truck after you’ve set your heart on it, so ask first.
Review The Maintenance History
If there are no obvious problems with the truck, you should still check into its maintenance history. Has it had regular tune-ups? Have any parts been replaced? Has it needed any major repairs? A well kept record suggests the truck has been well looked after, and should be in reasonable condition, even though it is used.
You should check the oil change records too. If the oil hasn’t been changed hasn’t been performed consistently, then the truck is at risk of engine problems later on. Sporadic records should be a red flag. This could suggest either poor maintenance or a larger problem that is being hidden.
Check to see if the truck has been involved in an accident. If it has, what kind of accident or collision? How extensive was the damage to the truck? Were any parts replaced? Find out when and how the truck was repaired and check that the repairs were done properly, using factory parts.
Check For Any Parts That Will Need Replacing
If you’ve had a proper look at the maintenance history, you’ll know which parts were replaced. Used trucks consistently need maintaining and seeing what was replaced most recently should give you an idea of what parts might need to be replaced next. If you’re prepared for this, you can get an idea of the cost of upgrading and maintaining the vehicle.
Check that everything is safe. Is the engine in good working condition? Do the brakes work properly? Do the lights work?
Research The Engine
What engine model does the truck have? Some engine models have a reputation of developing problems. Some engines wear out faster than others. Do some research online into the engine model for any warning signs of a less than reliable model.
Check The Oil
Check the oil situation. Check the current oil levels and the condition of the oil. The state of the engine and transmission oil will give you an indication of the overall health of the truck.
Check For Rust
Check the exterior of the vehicle for rust, as well as within the structure of the truck. Check the door frames and other parts of the truck for signs of rust. Structural rust shows the truck hasn’t been well maintained. Check the surface for rust and raised spots on the paint. If you find raised spots, particularly on the roof, this could suggest there is rust underneath.