Q:

How do you evaluate used trucks for sale by owner?

A:

Quick Answer

To evaluate a used truck before buying from a private owner, it is important to look for leaks and damage underneath and to check the drive shaft, brakes, steering components and U-joints. Looking for rust is also important. Though surface rust is not concerning, avoid trucks with rusty areas that are brittle or breakable.

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Full Answer

It may be a good idea to hire a person to inspect the vehicle before buying it. This person may find issues that can cost thousands of dollars, and after finding these issues, the expert may give information on how much they cost to repair.

In addition to a visual inspection under the truck, it is also necessary to pay attention to any new additions or changes to the exterior of the truck. For example, if it has a new paint job, find out why, as this paint may cover up body work, scratches or a dull exterior.

During any inspection, it is important to ask questions, too, including those about gas mileage, usage and transmission health. Always take a test drive when buying a new truck, and before making any payment to the seller, it is important to run a professional vehicle history report, such as CarFax. This reveals important issues the truck may have including the number of owners, any accidents and a maintenance record.

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