Tips For Choosing A Used Diesel Truck

If you've been thinking about investing in a new diesel pickup, whether for work or personal purposes, it's important that you're selective in your shopping. There are so many used trucks in the marketplace that it's easy to find yourself buying one that comes with some unpleasant surprises after the fact. You can reduce the risk of this by going into the buying process well prepared. Here are some of the things that you should think about before you actually buy that next truck.

Make Sure The Title Is Clear

Looking at the title should be the very first thing you do when you go to inspect a used truck for sale. After all, if the title isn't valid or you have any questions about it, you'll have wasted time inspecting the truck first.

Many people are immediately discouraged by salvage titles. While they can be a risk, they aren't necessarily a complete write-off. If you go to see a truck that has a salvage title, just be aware that whatever damage it suffered led to the insurance company declaring it a total loss. In most states, before the salvage title can be issued, it must be restored.

Ask about the damage and the work that was done, then have the truck inspected thoroughly by a professional diesel mechanic before you opt to buy it. That way, you have peace of mind in the purchase.

Assess The Engine Condition

When it comes to repairs and maintenance, diesel engines can be more costly than a gasoline engine. That's why it's important that you inspect the engine condition of any used diesel truck you're considering. Check the coolant condition to make sure that there's no contamination. Any signs of oil or fuel mixing with the coolant could mean that there's a problem with the head gasket, oil cooler, or recirculation cooler. Those can be costly repairs. You should also look for any indications of seeping around the injectors. Ask about any records of the maintenance and repairs done to the truck. The more you know, the easier it is to make an informed decision.

Make Sure The Particulate Filter Is Still In Place

Sometimes the owners of diesel trucks will remove components in the search for greater power from the engine. Things like the particulate filter and the EGR valve are the most common ones to remove in this effort. Look to make sure that they are still there, or that they are at least included in the sale if they've been removed. In most areas, diesel trucks won't pass the emissions testing without them in place.

See How It Drives

You shouldn't buy any used vehicle without test driving it first, but when you're testing a used pickup, you'll want to be especially attentive. Spend about 20 minutes on your test drive so that the engine warms to operating temperature. That way, if there are any leaks or problems, they're more likely to become apparent.

See how the engine responds under hard acceleration. Make sure that the brakes are responsive as well. While you're at it, make sure there isn't any excess play in the steering wheel or any suspension problems. Take the time to shift through every gear to be sure that it shifts smoothly. Look at the exhaust smoke, too. If it's thick or heavy, that's a sign of problems.

Test the transfer case as well. Make sure that the truck will shift into 4-High and 4-Low without hesitation or grinding. You shouldn't hear any knocking or other sounds when you accelerate after engaging the transfer case, either. Finally, make sure it disengages the four-wheel-drive without hesitation.

To learn more about purchasing a pre-owned diesel truck, visit dealerships like Marshall Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in your area.