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5 million new vehicles in the U. 2015, and more than half of those were light-duty pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers. New pickups continue to be a hot commodity in 2016, with more than 600,000 sold in the first quarter. At the same time, there’s a big demand for used pickups, both gas and diesel. The used pickup truck market is estimated by some experts to be three times bigger than the new-truck market. Those who can’t afford to buy a new pickup, or who like to take advantage of depreciation, are always searching for a good deal on a used pickup.
We guess that most of us shop within 100 miles of our home — and probably less than that — so the number of used pickups available in your area will drop considerably. When shopping for a used pickup, don’t be blinded by the bells and whistles, nice paint and attractive price. Be smart and thorough in your decision making, and be sure to see the truck in person and do your own inspection. Then we added a couple of our own tips garnered from first-hand experience. Diesel pickups are far more expensive to maintain and repair than gas models, so it pays to look them over closely before buying, especially if they have more than 60,000 miles. Check a diesel pickup’s coolant overflow reservoir for any signs of fuel or oil in the coolant or under the coolant cap. Contaminated coolant is a sure sign of oil cooler, exhaust gas recirculation cooler or head gasket issues, which can cost a load of dough to repair.
Are the drivetrain and smog system components still under warranty? Check the mileage against the truck’s drivetrain and the federal emission warranty, which covers some pickups for as long as eight years or 80,000 miles, whichever comes first. Some diesel owners are notorious for removing the diesel particulate filter, muffler, EGR cooler, and blocking or removing the EGR valve for more power. Yes, these «deletes» add power, but removing them is against federal smog laws. As with any vehicle, you want to take the truck on a test drive. Accelerate hard, give the brakes a workout, and get the engine and transmission up to operating temperatures. Is there play in the steering wheel?