South Tacoma, Washington
3430 South Tacoma Way
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 473-1900

5 Factors to Check When Buying a Used Truck February 8, 2018

South Tacoma, Tacoma
5 Factors to Check When Buying a Used Truck, Tacoma, Washington

Whether you’re eager to go off-roading or need something to haul your boat, a pickup truck can provide the power to handle a variety of tasks. And, if you buy pre-owned, you could get even more bang for your buck. However, buying used means having to pay closer attention to the details of the vehicle. If you have your eyes on a used truck, here are a few things you’ll want to inspect before deciding to buy it.  

5 Things to Inspect When Shopping for a Used Truck  

1. Engine

Start the pickup and take note of any problems, such as a check engine light. Drive the truck around for about 10 minutes and listen for any unusual sounds coming from under the hood. Once your test drive is over, shut off the engine and turn it back on to ensure smooth starting. If you experience any issues with these criteria, you’ll want to have it professionally inspected.  

2. Rust

Rust is common on older vehicles, especially those that may be exposed to the elements. However, if you spot corrosion that is wearing thin or causing the paint to bubble up, you could be facing expensive structural repairs.

3. Fluids

used truckWhile performing your check under the hood, you’ll want to get a read on all the fluids. If possible, ask the seller about the last time maintenance was performed. If service was recent, take note of all the fluid levels—if they are unusually low, you may need to check for a leak. Additionally, if fluids are off-color—such as black, dirty oil or rusty coolant—internal damage could be causing contamination.

4. Transmission

When you take your test drive, make sure to switch to every gear at least once. Engine noises, delayed acceleration, and rough shifts may be an indication of a transmission problem.  

5. Bed

To make sure that your truck can haul reliably, give the bed a close inspection. Visible damage, loose couplings, and instability could indicate that the bed itself is not as secure it may seem. Also, open and close the hatch to ensure that it won’t fall open during a drive.


While shopping for a used truck can produce a great deal, visiting each seller to closely inspect each vehicle can be a burden. Fortunately, you can simplify your search by shopping at the Auto Outlet of Tacoma. As a trusted used car dealership in the Seattle, WA, area, this auto center offers an assortment of pickups that fit all styles, hauling needs, and budgets. Instead of having to worry about dishonest sellers, you can take your pick from hundreds of models that have been carefully inspected to ensure smooth functionality and performance. You can see their inventory online or call (253) 473-1900 with questions about current listings.   

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