How To Buy A Used Diesel Truck (Buyer’s Guide): Tips & Tricks

How To Buy A Used Diesel Truck (Buyer’s Guide): Tips & Tricks

today we want to talk to you about what
to look for when you’re buying a used diesel truck and hopefully we can teach
you some stuff that will that will give you some ammunition when you’re going to
buy any kind of a used vehicle. the first thing that you’re gonna want
to do when you’re buying a used vehicle used diesel truck you’re gonna want to
set your budget. If you’ve got a very specific budget in mind that is going to
move let you know exactly what platform a truck that you’re going to
probably be in. If you don’t have a budget you’re just going to go out there
and find the truck you like you don’t care what it’s going to cost you well
this really doesn’t apply to that but being budget specific is
going to tell you exactly what platform almost exactly what platform you’re going
to be looking at in most especially the year and the mileage range on the
vehicles. So you know kind of what failures to look for. You want to study
those platforms as well. Study the year make and model of the truck that you’re
looking at buying. Know what the common failures are for that truck and then
look for those types of things when you throw the hood open on the truck or you
look underneath of it and so on. Those will greatly affect how much that you’re
gonna you’re gonna pay for the truck and kind of gives you a little bit of
bargaining power when you’re talking to the seller on the trucks. Now a couple of
things that are good tools when you’re buying a used vehicle, number one
everybody knows about a Carfax. The Carfax is going to tell you if the
trucks really ever been wrecked if it was reported to the insurance company or
any type of reported things that make it onto the Carfax I don’t know exactly all
the metrics that go into it but the information on a Carfax is very relative
and it’s a good thing to have. The second thing that hardly anybody ever looks at
is doing a VIN check on a vehicle. Now what is a VIN check? So you can take a
VIN check on a vehicle especially newer vehicles like 2011 and up you can take
the VIN to the dealership so Chevrolet if I’m looking at a Chevrolet I’ll take
the VIN of the Chevrolet I’m looking to the dealership and what they can do is
they can give you a printout of all of the stuff that was done to this truck. The truck that you’re looking at done to it under under warranty. They also report
the things that are done to the truck based on the VIN that’s outside of the
warranty. So what is that going to tell you? I’m a firm believer that some trucks
are lemons and when you’ve got a lemon people are gonna
want to get out from under it. So if you take a VIN check on a truck and it
looks like a daggone rap sheet from you know it’s just everything in the world’s
been done to this truck you’re gonna know that trucks specifically it’s
probably got some problems it is probably problematic. You might want to
even stay away from it. Now some people will look at that look and say hey everything
on the trucks been replaced I don’t have to look at it. Like I said I’m a firm
believer that every once in a while that’s a go looking car and once while you
get a truck that you just can’t fix. I stay away from trucks like that.
Now on the older model trucks that’s not going to apply to you but you can
get some past history on the truck if you do a VIN check on it the dealerships
willing to give you one. If there was an engine replaced in the truck or something
like that you’re gonna see that on the VIN check if it was reported and it’s
just a good thing to have. I always I always make sure that I get a VIN check
on truck so now our thought for this series is we’re going to try to break
this up in platform-specific so we’re gonna go into 98 to 02 Dodge and what to
look for and then we’re going to go to 11 to current Chevrolet’s and what to
look for if you’re buying a new one. So look for those but this general overview
we want to show you some of the things that you’re gonna look for on trucks. Specifically very generally that’s gonna help you with your barking bargaining on
your price. Now listen before we go any farther with this I want you to know
this is not a how-to guide for you all to absolutely beat sellers up on pricing. More specifically it’s for guys for you not to pay too much money for these
trucks because this really hurts the market for the rest of us you guys that
are paying $15,000 for 98 to 02 trucks. Your kind of hurting it for the rest
of us because these trucks aren’t worth $15,000. They need to be in that taxable
range whatever you’re paying taxes on your vehicle and whatever the trade-in
value is kind of a mishmash to those two dollar figures. That’s really weird the
truck needs to lie. If your bank won’t won’t loan you the amount of
money for the truck that you’re trying to buy, you’re paying too much money for
it. You can pretty much bank on that and there’s other things that go into that
what modifications are done to that and so on but you have to understand as well
a lot of performance modifications to the truck also means the trucks
we’ve been run pretty hard so you’ve got to take that into consideration all
of that is part of the body of work of what amount of money that you’re gonna
pay for the truck. So real generally what do I look for when I’m buying a used
vehicle? Well first thing you’re gonna want to do is you’re going to want to
look underneath the vehicle and see if there are any obvious leaks underneath
the vehicle. If there is a humongous oil leak underneath of the truck, you’re
gonna want to figure out what that oil leak is and can you fix it. If you can
fix it and you know what that cost is gonna be to you then morph that into
your price and if you don’t mind go ahead and fix it and the trucks all
yours. Another thing that you always also want to look at is you’re gonna want to
look for rust. Rust especially in northern states is a very relative thing.
When rust starts especially on undercarriage it’s not going to stop. You
can slow it down, there’s a few things that you can do some aftermarket
products that you can add to it but you’re really just not going to stop it.
So you’ve got to understand that if you’re gonna keep this truck for a long
long time you’re gonna keep for a long long time
that means you’re gonna be doing a lot of work to it in the in the future.
Understand that if it’s got a lot of rust on it all the bolts are gonna
break and da-da-da you know all of those things you’ve got to take into
consideration. Now underneath the hood a basically stock truck no snow
performance modifications done to it it’s got the stock airbox on it looks
like the alternator has been changed on this truck that’s a good thing couple of
new batteries pretty clean underneath the hood that lets us know that the
person that had this truck they basically they cared about it they took
enough care of it to want to make sure that all the leaks were taken care of
you know you don’t have any kind of screwed up
you know splice is on the wiring harness or anything like that so this is a good
old truck. You know it’s an old truck it’s a cleaner truck gives you a
good base to start with. Now when you’re looking at a newer truck like the LML
here. You look underneath the hood of this and there’s a lot of different
performance modifications done to it. There’s dual CP threes, there’s an aftermarket
air intake, there’s a change of the the intake plenum, those are the things that
are going to go into into your price of what you’re going to pay for this truck.
You’re going to have to know hey this truck is higher horsepower a lot of
modifications have been done to it what am I willing to give for this truck? You
know we talked about rust, we talked about performance modifications, one
thing we really don’t talk about is the interior a lot. You know on an older
truck if you’ve got a clean interior that’s gonna go into the trucks overall
appearance leaks trucks really really clean inside. That’s gonna go into the
overall price of the truck you know that the owners have had it before took a lot
of care of it but don’t let armor all fool you just because they put armor all
on door panels doesn’t mean the trucks been taking care of it just means it’s
been cleaned up right before you went to buy. It you know that’s good you know
just general ideas of what to look for in a truck. You know if you have any
questions on the vehicle specific part of it you can always give us a call. You
know just be patient. Patience is a virtue in the in these things be patient
with it. Look for the truck that’s right for you. Don’t really settle. If you
settle you’re gonna get it yourself into a truck then a few months down the road
you’re gonna say man I really wish I hadn’t about this truck and I really
wish I hadn’t paid that much for the truck that I really didn’t want in the
first place. So be patient. Get what you want. Look for obvious signs on the on
the outside of the truck and on the inside of the truck as the condition of
the truck. Let mileage be a factor for you. Let the asking price obviously be a factor for you. Carfax, VIN check,
clean title, those things let all of that be part of the body of work in the
truck that you buy and when you’re spending this much money you want to
make sure that you do it right the first time. I’m Wade from thoroughbred diesel,
like and subscribe to our channel and if you’ve got any questions please give us
a call. Thank you. you

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. all I heard was traffic going by. If you are going to give professional advise, use a little more professional settings when filming.

  2. im in the market for an ecodiesel, but I like the longevity of a cummins.. mpg vs longevity and power…..dunno what to do.. suggestions greatly appreciated

  3. Wade, I am new to your channel and really appreciate the information you post. I am also new to diesels and have done as much research as I can. I have landed on the 2002 Ram 2500 4×4 as my choice and realize some of the issues with the lift pumps and injector pump. I have also followed some of the forums in regard to the 53 block as well. I live in the San Diego area so I am forced to look for trucks outside the area and have found a wide price range depending on the geographic regions that the trucks are listed. Do you have any ideas on the pricing structure of an '02 with less than 150k miles? Thanks in advance for your guidance.

  4. Awesome video. The traffic in the background wasn’t so bad. I would like to see the 24V Dodges and the 7.3L Powerstrokes first.

  5. Thanks for the southbend clutch..Its awesome..My factory oem 2nd gen 3500 CTD manual NV 5600 had the the new VP done..Its a 1 owner 148k no oil leaks no rust truck locally truck..Its not been tuned just banks cold air straight exhaust..upgraded radiator…Yes I bought a nice truck last Halloween day.Thanks for the video.PS LML spells $ trouble.

  6. One simple list my Dad and I have made is:

    1. Check the mileage and service history.
    2. Check for rust and leaks (Already in the video)
    3. Look at any performance mods done to the truck. Especially done to the engine to make sure it has been put on correctly. (Also in the video)
    4. Do an engine test. Whether a dyno run/compression test, etc.
    5. When doing a test drive, do a full throttle acceleration test to make sure the engine and turbo(s) sound great and aren't lagging, and make sure the engine reaches redline to make sure the engine is running correctly.
    6. Get it checked by a professional diesel mechanic.

    Anything I missed?

  7. Thank you! I've seen a lot of very overpriced diesels and people seem to be stupid enough to pay these outrageous prices for them causing many of us to never be able to afford one.

  8. kinda looki g at lbz's and it would be a first truck you have anything under the hood I should look for ?

  9. I’m looking into getting a 2003 gmc 2500 with 88k miles and one owner the dealer is asking for 14k for it. Am I getting a good deal and what should I look for if anything stands out that’s gonna be a problem.

  10. great advice!!! thank you!!! I love how you commented on the car that drove by… "that's a nice looking car."

  11. you may mean well…it is so hard to tell now, with all the vacant liars and thieves….but this vid seemed empty. very little useful info. like you want me to trust you so i'll buy from you. common. let the buyer beware, because you have zero recourse after the sale, unless your daddy's a billionaire…

  12. What about mileage? I’m a potential first time buyer and I’ve noticed a lot of diesel trucks especially dodges have over 200k miles on them. What mileage do you recommend?

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