How Should One Evaluate Used Trucks?

Purchasing any used vehicle comes with its share of risks. You never know if you are getting value for your money. When it comes to buying a used truck there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that you get a quality vehicle.

Evaluating a used truck can include the following:

* There are a number of helpful internet sites designed to educate the consumer about specific used vehicles. For instance, Consumer Guide Automotive provides reliable information, reviews, and ratings on thousands of used cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Doing research beforehand can really help when selecting a used truck.

* Read reviews about used trucks that include an evaluation of a truck's specifications. As well, there are many online sites that rank used vehicles which can be very helpful when selecting a used truck. Some makes and models are a better quality than others. You should find out which used trucks are the most reliable. Look for details about brakes and suspension, radiator and cooling system, and the gearbox and clutch.

* You should request a vehicle history report. Auto dealership sites provide this type of information and used truck sales companies should also be able to provide you with the information. When dealing with a used truck dealership, make sure you know how much you are willing to spend. When calculating your budget, make sure you include insurance, registration fees, and any taxes you will have to pay.

* Mileage is an important aspect of evaluating a used truck. Used trucks that average more than 12,000 miles per year are considered 'high mileage' vehicles. It is important to ask if the truck's accumulated mileage is from highway or urban driving. Town and city driving tend to cause more wear and tear on a truck.

* The condition of the exterior of the vehicle is an important factor to consider. You should look for dents, scratches, paint touch ups, rust, and any extensive body work that has been done on the truck. Ask for a history of maintenance work that has been done on the truck. If new parts have been installed, make sure there is a warranty. Don't purchase a truck that has not been recently inspected.

* Don't buy a specialty used truck. You want to make sure that your used truck is common so that you do not have any problems acquiring any used parts.

* The mechanical features of a used truck are another aspect that should be considered. Stick shifts tend to be rougher on a cars engine and performance. As well, diesel fueled vehicles have motors that last longer than gasoline fueled engines. Make sure that you test-drive the truck at different speeds so that you get a feel for the quality of the engine, transmission, and breaks.

* Incidental factors that affect the value of a used truck include how well certain features operate such as the air conditioning, heater, radio, seat belts, gear shift, and windows.

* Look under the truck for fluid spots. A puddle of fluid can indicate there is a leak somewhere. Also, make sure that you look underneath to check for rusty pipes and mechanical devices.

Each year, more than a million used trucks are put on the market. The chances are that you will not have a problem finding a truck in your price rage. However, the key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge so that you don't get stuck with a lemon.


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