Used Truck Sticking Points?

TexAg09

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Nov 18, 2015
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My company changed their personal use policy on my work truck in December, so I'm slowly/patiently looking to buy a used 4WD crew cab truck within the next year or so for hunting, etc. A few questions I've had are how many miles are too many miles on a used truck? What are your thoughts on a "rebuilt title"? I'm not stuck on any make, so I'm just looking for a good deal. I'm not trying to blow a lot of cash, but I'm also looking for something that will be safe, reliable and comfortable for my family to ride in. What are some other points to consider? I know your answers will be just opinions, but I appreciate all of them and they will help shape my thoughts on how to move forward. Thanks!
 

Dave N

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First question. Full-size or smaller? If full, diesel or gas? IMO, mileage on a diesel means less than a gas engine vehicle. To me a rebuilt title smells like potential trouble. You never know why it was rebuilt!

Figure out what your needs are as far as hauling, towing, interior space, etc. and try to narrow down your options.
 

SFC B

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Mileage is a hard thing to gauge. 100k highway miles is a lot different than 100k ranch and hauling miles. I look at the wear and tear of perishable items (shocks, bushings, brake rotors), fit and finish on doors (really anything with hinges and latches), interior condition and finally any things I would have to do to bring it up to the standard I want. I have a lower standard than what you are probably looking for as my truck(s) are hunting and chore haulers only....but I am pretty happy with Doug so far. ;)
 

elkantlers

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I may be wrong, But I think if it has a rebuilt title that you will only be able to get liability insurance.
 

TexAg09

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Central Texas
First question. Full-size or smaller? If full, diesel or gas? IMO, mileage on a diesel means less than a gas engine vehicle. To me a rebuilt title smells like potential trouble. You never know why it was rebuilt!

Figure out what your needs are as far as hauling, towing, interior space, etc. and try to narrow down your options.
Great questions, sorry. Looking for a full size gas truck. My current company truck is a 2015 Colorado. It's nice and handles almost everything I need, but it does have some limitations. Also, I just don't have any experience with diesel vehicles.
 

Bambistew

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I've made some great buys on used vehicles, I think... My best advice is to figure out what you want and be patient, you'll find a good deal.

Engines last longer than transmissions and the rest of the drivetrain. Transmissions ($3500ish) and transfer cases ($2000ish) are not cheap, so look for pickups with new/rebuilt. Where the vehicles "life" was spent prior to purchase can dictate how much the 4WD was used. A pickup in Texas vs Colorado for instance would be vastly different. Flat ground no snow, vs the opposite. Running around in automatic or 4-hi up and down the highway for months at a time isn't good for longevity. Front diffs are also spendy, but not as bad as the transfer case/tranny.

Look for vehicles that have been well maintained, its pretty easy to see it, pop the hood, look at the seals, ask questions on maintenance, etc.

Ask how much its been used to tow.

I wouldn't touch a rebuilt title, but thats me. I've seen some great deals, but I just couldn't do it.

Lots of little things start to go out or need to be maintained around 80-120k. Alternators, starters, water pumps, U-joints, breaks, front hubs/bearings, fluids, etc, etc. You might get a "deal" and have to drop a lot of money into it make it reliable.

How many miles is too much? Depends IMO, but I wouldn't buy a used vehicle with more than 60-80k on it tops, unless you don't plan on driving it much, and/or its short term "investment." The potential for added costs start to eat up the savings.

I can't justify owning a diesel. The added up front costs, maintenance costs, etc just don't pencile out for me. I don't pull heavy trailers, and can't see owning a vehicle longer than 150k (10-12 years). The motor may lost longer but the rest of the components have a similar life span as a gasser and are far more expense. For a daily driver, it makes zero sense for me. The newer gassers get better mileage as well.
 

mtmuley

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montana
Look at Government auctions. They aren't all green anymore either. I have a GMC I bought as an ex government rig. No heated seats, leather or any other useless options. Good solid truck. I paid half what others of the same year full of creature comforts went for. mtmuley
 

MJE2083

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I usually think that age trumps mileage to a point. I prefer to get a newer vehicle even if it has higher miles. Of course this only goes so far.
 

Sandpounder

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Nov 19, 2018
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I agree with the previous info. I would just double down on doing a really good pre-purchase inspection on anything. Sometimes you will find one where the previous owner just trades them in at 100,000 if there is something wrong or not, sometimes they get rid of it because its a dud. I think at 100,000 miles, even gasers can have quite a bit of life left on them. We put around 35,000 on a year on our everyday drivers, but I expect 200,000 out of them. So like was said before, it depends on how it was used and how it was maintained. Bambistew was also right, little things do start to go out at 100,000 ish, but I figure that in the cost of ownership. My thought is a couple hundred in parts every couple months kindof equals out a payment, but there is a limit. Mostly I am trying to remind myself publicly that I don't need to be truck shopping.
 

rideold

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Oct 28, 2015
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Front Range of Colorado
Pretty much what everyone else has said. I'm a big believer in Toyota but that's just me. Had the best luck with them over the years. Last one I bought had 195k on it and now has 257k. I like to see all the repair records so I can see if there are any persistent issues with the vehicle. High mileage trucks that have had more than two owners don't feel like a good bet in my mind. Ideally you want a single owner vehicle or a second owner that bought it off of a lease return or rental. I made sure the 4WD was working correctly on the last two I bought. I've seen too many that were never put into 4WD have issues as they get older.
 

ajricketts

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Sep 19, 2016
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South Florida
Pay the money to buy a Carfax report on anything you consider buying.

And just to throw mud into the mix, I bought a 2000 F250 Super Cab 4x4 (5.4L) with 269,000 miles on it a couples years ago. A lot of guys wouldn't touch a truck like that but I work from home and have only put about 5,000 miles on it since I got it. Plus it only had 3 owners with the 2nd owner keeping it for something 13 years doing regular maintenance and the 3rd owner (who I bought it from) using it as a daily driver with no issues. Plus he had done a handful of recent repairs to things like ball joints and tie rods.

For my specific situation, the price was right and it all made sense. I paid $3,600 and, even if I have to put new engine or transmission into it over the next 5-10 years it's way cheaper than buying new, lol.
 
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