Inspecting a Used Truck
Truck Inspection Tips To Uncover Hidden Problems
OverdriveOnline.com posted an article we felt was worth sharing to provide tips for inspecting a used truck. We recommend doing a thorough pre-trip inspection, it can uncover obvious problems, such as oil and water leaks, faulty lights and loose belts. The tips below include some pre-trip basics and gives further pointers on assessing a truck’s condition.
- EXAMINE FRAME for cracks, welds or bends. Rust bleeding from bolt holes indicates loose bolts.
- LOOK FOR CRACKSand signs of deformity or attempted repairs on the wheels. Rust around lug nuts indicates slippage.
- RUN YOUR HAND ALONG THE BODY PANELS to check for proper fit. If the surface feels inconsistent, try attaching a magnet to check for plastic body fillers. Surface rust indicates that structural integrity may be compromised.
- OPEN AND CLOSE DOORS to make sure they seat, latch and lock properly. Run your hand along the bottom of the doors to check for jagged or rusty edges. Check condition of the gaskets.
- CHECK WINDOWS FOR SMOOTH OPERATION. Inspect the track felt. If an owner didn’t bother to fix a window, there’s a good chance overall maintenance hasn’t been up to par.
- LOOK FOR CRACKS, chips and pitting on the windshield.
- CHECK WIRING AND HOSES for cracks, loose connections, and corrosion. Firewall insulation should be secure.
- CHECK THE EXHAUST SYSTEM for cracks and corrosion. Mounts should be secure. Fittings should be tight and well-sealed. Exhaust streaks around fittings indicate leaks.
- EXAMINE FUEL TANK STRAPS and gaskets for wear and slippage. Check tank itself for wear and leaks. Crossover line, if installed, should be free of fraying and cuts. Shutoff valves should operate smoothly.
- CHECK STABILITY OF MIRRORS.
- INSIDE THE CAB, listen for leaks in brake valves. Check seat operation. Make sure drawers, doors, and appliances work well.
- CHECK TRAILER SERVICE LINES and gladhand connectors for damage and leaks.
- NOTE WEAR IN RIVET AREAS and mounting brackets of sleeper and cab exterior.
- ENSURE LIGHTS WORK in all federally required positions and are the correct color. Examine headlight housings for rust and general condition.
- CHECK TIRES FOR SCUFFING and “river wear,” signs of misaligned axles and other irregular wear. Check inner and outer sidewalls for damage. Look for multiple branding marks on sidewalls, which indicate recapping. Check for proper tread depth.
- IDEALLY, DRIVE TIRES ARE IDENTICAL and made by the same manufacturer; they should at least be the same size. A tire from a different manufacturer is a red flag that the tires aren’t being replaced on the same cycle.
- CHECK THE RADIATOR for bent, missing or plugged fins. Look for signs of oil or fuel in water, which could signify leaking injector sleeves. Make sure connections are free of corrosion. If the fluid color seems off, the engine probably overheats regularly.
- CHECK FIFTH WHEEL LOCK by stretching truck and trailer.
- ENSURE THE STEERING LINKAGE IS TIGHT.
Photo Credit: CanStockPhoto.com/Karammiri