3 Important Things to Look for When Buying a Used Chevy Truck

February 2nd, 2016 by


There are a lot of used Chevy trucks for sale out there. Whether they are in a dealer’s lot or on the side of the road, they still should be inspected. Even if it isn’t a truck, you shouldn’t just blindly buy a used vehicle. The dealers will be more than happy to answer your questions, and if you end up irritating a private seller by asking a questions; chances are it’s because they don’t have a proper answer.

Therefore, on top of asking questions about the used truck you want to buy, it’s also important to inspect it. It doesn’t need to be the thorough investigation. After all, it’s a used truck, so chance are you just need it to get you from point A to point B reliably and safely. With that being said, here’s three important things to look for when trying to find that perfect used Chevy truck. If you see any of these things, they are warning signs that the truck is either the end of it’s life-span, or it will be extremely expensive to keep it alive.

Is There any Rust?

On used used trucks, there is almost always bound to be rust. It might happen more so in the North as opposed to the South — because of roads being treated regularly with salt in the winter — but that doesn’t mean the cars down here are exempt from getting rusty. Anyway, a little surface rust underneath the frame is okay, and expected, on a used Chevy truck. However, if it gets to the point where the rust has eaten a hole away in the body/undercarriage, then don’t think twice about leaving that truck behind. Why? Because at that point, there is no saving the truck. If it has that much rust, it can only get worse.

If the rust is that bad on a truck, there is no saving it. Therefore, this should be the first thing you look for. Look for really bad rust on the quarter panels and on the sides of the truck by the running boards (or if there aren’t any running boards, then look where they would be). If the rust has eaten through the body there, this is an indicator that underneath the truck is going to be in even worse shape.

Inspect the Engine

This should be self explanatory, but you need to check the engine. If you ask to start the truck up and the owner says no, leave it alone. Chances are, there’s something wrong with the engine, and that’s why they don’t want you to start it up. First, do a visual check. Look around the engine/the block and see if it’s wet. This, along with the sign of built-up grimy debris, means that there could be an oil/other fluid leak somewhere, and that it wasn’t well cared for.

Along with looking at the engine while the truck is off, it’s also important to visually check it when it’s running. After you turn it on, let it idle and warm up a bit. There should be absolutely no smoke coming from the engine, and if there is, that’s the sign of an oil leak. Furthermore, you need to listen for any strange noises such as rapping, knocking, or clanking; these all indicate a much more serious issue.

After inspecting for rust, you need to check out the engine. Ignore the lift-kit and cool paint job — or whatever else might appeal to you — and inspect the engine thoroughly. If you don’t or buy the vehicle anyway, then chances are you will be paying for repairs that are more expensive than the price you paid for the truck.


Finally, check the mileage when you get inside to start the truck up. The mileage on a truck, especially a used one, is important. Even if you have checked the engine and body for rust and they look okay, but the mileage is sitting at 250,000, then walk away. At that point, it becomes a better safe than sorry situation. If it was well taken care of over it’s lifetime, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. However, unless you really know what you are looking for there is no way for you to have that guarantee.

These are the 3 of the more important things to look for when buying a used Chevy truck, and you need to make sure that you inspect these. If not, chances are you will be sending your used truck to the shop within the first year of owning it; or looking for another truck.