What to look for in a used pick-up


Old 05-07-04, 06:02 PM
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What to look for in a used pick-up

Hi--just wondering if you guys can give me some advice on what to look for in a used truck. I'm looking to spend around $2500. I'm getting a p/u to haul stuff and go to and from work. (5 miles one way) I'm pretty mechanically DEclined, so I was wondering if you could tell me what the most important things to look for in a used p/u would be. What should I ask the seller? What potential red flags should I look for? I've seen some decent looking p/u's in want ads, and in fromt of peoples homes, but I'm unsure what I should be looking for. Thanks for any advice you can give!
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Old 05-20-04, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 388
Really, you should be looking for the same things as in a used car.

First check www.kbb.com and www.edmunds.com to make sure you are paying a fair price.

For $2500 you should be able to get an older high mileage vehicle with few mechanical problems. You'll want to check all the major systems - brakes, exhaust, suspension, and steering. Wear items like tires can add up. Make sure all the lights and controls on the interior and exterior work, and if they don't use that for a bargaining tool. Check all the fluids under the hood and make sure they are topped off and the right color. Check for blue or white smoke at the tailpipe when the car is idleing and under load. Check for signs of leakage on the engine and under the car. Check the driveshaft u-joints. I brought a creeper with me to get under and check things out when I bought our most recent truck.

On the road make sure the car tracks straight with your hands off the wheel. Make sure the wheel sits straight. Make sure the car brakes in a straight line under heavy braking with your hands off the wheel. Make suer the engine pulls smoothly to redline, and doesn't make any wierd noises. Turn the vehicle at full lock left and right and listen for wierd noises. Make sure the trans shifts smoothly through all gears, and doesn't slip if it is a manual.

If you are not comfortable with inspecting all these things yourself, you really should have a mechanic do it, or expect the unexcpected.
Old 05-30-04, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for all the help---it's VERY appreciated!!!! I'll let ya know what I find!
Old 06-02-04, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
car fax

If you can get hold of a car fax that is a plus.I got one on my 2000 Toyota before I signed any papers.It will tell you the history such if the car has been a rental,a drivers Ed car,etc shows if car has a clean title and how many owners.Pretty good reading.
Old 06-02-04, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 616
Wink Trucking

I agree that Car Fax is a very good item to get. It will help you know what you are getting . Weather you are getting into to a problem or a blessing. And I agree with stereoguy. He is giving you a good list. If you can find a local mechanic he or she might check the truck out for a few dollars and tell you what you are looking at before you buy.

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