If you do not have enough budget, you might think of considering buying a used pickup truck. But prior to doing so, you need to arm yourself with great knowledge and advice. Do not rush. You must know your exact price range first and do not deviate from your original plan.
Apart from that, you must also find out if the seller has maintenance records. Consider asking the seller if you can spend around 45 to 60 minutes with the truck. During this time, meticulously inspect the truck you want to buy.
Truck Inspection Checklist
First, you must examine the truck only during daylight. Be reminded that even when the place it well-lit, defects can still be concealed. Moreover, be on level ground when checking the fluids.
Second, check the opening as well as the body-panel joint for fit. Consider running your hand along the doors’ bottom area and check for rusty edges. From back to front, check the panels and the body. If they seem uneven, use a magnet when checking them. If you notice any raised spots on the roof, this means that there is rust underneath. And this will require a more extensive inspection to the area if you really want to buy such vehicle.
Third, raise the hood. Consider removing the radiator cap and check the coolant fluid. Oftentimes, this will be greenish in color. When the color seems wrong, the engine may overheat. Today, there is already a cheap tester you can invest in. Check also the air filter for excessive dirt. If there are plenty of oil or grease deposited on the engine, this indicates that it was not well cared for. If you are considering of buying a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you have to check the transmission dip stick. You need to back away if the stick has a burnt smell as this means transmission trouble.
Fourth, start the engine. Check for knocks or thuds as these sounds indicate a connecting-rod bearing and a bad crankshaft. Both of these may mean costly repairs. Trucks must have a high idle setting. In case the idle doesn’t seem right, consider having the engine checked by a reputable mechanic. Check also all the switches and extras on the car like air and lights.
Fifth, drive the car, shut the engine off, cool it off for a moment, and start the engine once again. When the engine does not start the second time, have a mechanic check it. It would be a smart idea to take someone with you on a test drive because the extra rider can notice things such as wind noise and rattle that the driver often can’t.