Buying a truck like a Chevy Silverado for your personal needs is a decision that you want to make with as much knowledge and preparation as possible. Not all used trucks are equal in quality and value, so it helps to know what to look for as a buyer before you make the purchase. Here are some tips to help you make a good decision on your next truck purchase.
Ask About the Truck's History
When you first look at a truck for purchase, talk to the owner of the vehicle to get some information. Ask them how long they have owned the vehicle and ask to see any maintenance records. Inquire if the truck has had more than one driver while they have owned it. This can include other family members or employees in their business that have used the truck. Having more than one driver can indicate the truck may have been use roughly, or harder than necessary, and not taken care of.
You will also want to ask the owner if the truck has been in any accidents. A crash to a truck can cause problems, such as in its drivetrain or chassis, even when the damage has been repaired.
Inspect the Truck Body
To make sure a truck has not been in any major accidents, you can do a bit of your own investigative work. A good indicator to any past accidents on a truck is to look for any body work or repairs to its exterior.
Open the doors to the truck and look for over-spray of the paint inside the door, which can be a sign of body work and a new paint job. Bring a small but strong magnet with you when you look at the truck. Place the magnet on various areas of its body. If any vehicle bonding material has been used on the body to repair damage, the magnet will not stick to it. Check the gaps between the hood and side panels to look for any misalignment, which can be a sign of prior damage.
Take a Test Drive
An obvious part of checking out a truck before you make a buying decision is to start up its engine and take it for a test drive. Take a friend with you on the test drive, as they can help you listen for unusual noises.
Drive the truck with its windows rolled up to listen for any noises from its engine and other mechanical parts. Listen for knocks in the engine or any other unusual noises while it is in drive, and apply the brake until the truck comes to a stop to make sure it idles smoothly without any chugging or stalling. Drive it over a couple bumps to see how its suspension handles and if its shocks are worn out.
Plan a Professional Inspection
Ask the truck's owner if you can take the truck to be inspected by your mechanic. This is a reasonable request for you to make before buying a vehicle and the seller should have no problems with it. If the seller is trying to hide any problems on the truck they may be hesitant to allow you to do this, so their reaction to the request can give you some clues.
If you have a mechanic friend or a local mechanic who has completed work for you in the past, you can ask them to check out the truck for you. A full vehicle inspection on a truck can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 and will include a thorough inspect the truck, from its engine to its tires.
Your mechanic can inform you of any problems they find during the inspection, which you can take to the seller of the vehicle to negotiate on the price. Or if you want to pass on the truck at this point, you can. The cost of the inspection can help you avoid any major problems on a truck and give you peace of mind to know you made an informed decision.Share