Things To Know Before Buying Used Diesel Trucks

dieselDiesel engines offer certain advantages over their conventional gasoline counterparts, such as high fuel efficiency, durability, and powerful towing capabilities. If you’ve never owned a diesel car or truck, looking for your first can be daunting, so here are the top five things to look for when searching for used diesel trucks.

The Engine:
A diesel engine is going to be louder than a conventional gasoline engine, but if you can’t here the guy sitting next to you in the cab, that’s a problem. An extra loud engine is a sign that repairs or replacement are close at hand. Take the truck for a drive and listen for banging, clunking or irregular rhythms, and be sure to check the engine’s response when going up hill, accelerating, shifting, and if possible, while towing.

Emissions:
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and if that weak link is a dirty oil, air, or fuel filter, the strength of that 6.6L Duramax V8 will be greatly hindered. Check the color of the smoke coming out of the exhaust at start up, and f it’s dark, black, and pours out long after ignition, there’s a good chance that engine is junked up with particulates.

Mileage:
Diesel engines are designed to last forever, but that doesn’t mean they always do. Lower mileage on an older truck could mean that it sat unused for long periods, which leads to dry rot in the hoses and lines. Diesel trucks with over 250,000 miles require engine fluid additive, which will up the overall cost of ownership. Also, check the tires, brakes, steering pump, and other bits of hardware when inspecting a diesel truck with over 200,000 miles on the odometer.

Aesthetics
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we’re talking about diesel trucks, not The Grapes of Wrath. Beware of any truck with an exterior in poor condition. More than just displeasing to the eye, exterior blemishes are likely signs of poor maintenance by the owner. Poor care of the outside often means poor care the inside, and that’s where things really count. Ask for a record of maintenance, and ensure the oil, air, and fuel filters were regularly changed. Check the truck for signs of an accident, to guard against problems with things like alignment, safety and dependability.

History and Usage:
Since most diesel trucks are used to haul, tow, and carry heavy payloads, it’s vital to know the vehicle’s history. The harder a truck has worked, the quicker its parts will wear out, so find out how the truck was used before making any decisions. Consider your own purposes for the truck and find one that suits your needs.

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