What can I look at to check the quality of a cheap old truck?
January 21, 2011 11:04 AM Subscribe
What to look for when buying an older truck?
posted by true to travel & transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm in the market for an older pickup truck. It'll likely be a Ford F250, 1990 - 1996 or so. I previously owned an '84 F150 that couldn't keep a charge and stalled at red lights, so this isn't entirely new to me.
I'm not looking for an everyday driver, so the trucks at my price point (sub 3K) will almost certainly have some issues. What can I do in a quick inspection to know which issues are likely to be significant? For the most part it's unlikely I'll be able to take them to a mechanic prior to purchase, this will be a cash-in-hand craigslist transaction.
What kinds of things can I check out quickly to give an overall indication of health, or an indication that a truck might need money right away? I'm quite handy, but have little automotive experience.
(As a bonus question, any pros or cons to diesel vs. gas for trucks in this era? There seem to be a few of both around.)