Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2011 Chevy Silverado at a quarry

Five Ways to Maintain Your Used Truck

If you’ve been searching around for used trucks for sale, we’re sure you’re already familiar with all of the factors that go into the purchase of a used vehicle. While pre-owned vehicles aren’t nearly as risky as they were a decade ago, there’s still no denying that the vehicles’ condition is inferior to a new ride . After all, these pre-owned vehicle have been on the road for several years, meaning they’ve endured their fair share of wear and tear (that’s a little nifty saying, right?).

Well, you can maximize your recently-purchased used truck’s lifespan by constantly completing some easy maintenance. By monitoring specific aspects of your pickup, you can be assured that your pre-owned vehicle continues to ride. Who knows, if you’re particularly cognizant of your used truck’s condition, you might be able to get another tens of thousands of miles out of the ride.

Continue reading below to see the specific steps you should be taking to assure that your pre-owned truck remains in tip-top shape…

Step #1: Watch the Cooling System

Naturally, your used truck’s engine will require most of your focus. After all, replacing this entire unit could cost more than the value of the used vehicle, and you’ll be exasperating your financial situation if you’re forced to pay for these costly repairs and replacements.

Well, one of the best ways of assuring that your used truck’s engine is in top-notch shape is checking that the accompanying cooling system is working properly. The cooling hoses prove to be one of the most indispensable aspects of your vehicle, as it helps transport the coolant directly to the engine. Unfortunately, these parts see considerable wear and tear, and there’s a good chance that a used truck’s cooling system is close to being compromised.

Therefore, if you just purchased a used vehicle, it’s in your best choice to have this part replaced. While it may be a temporary hit on your wallet, this is still preferable to having to ultimately replace the vehicle’s entire engine. While you’re at, it’s also a good idea to replace the water pump and heating hoses, a pair of inclusions that also need to be replaced in a timely manner.You’ll know when the water pump needs to be replaced when it starts to leak green antifreeze.

Finally, to top it all off, you should constantly be replacing the coolant. Similarly, you should also replace the transmission fluid, as both of these maintenance tasks will assure that your vehicle doesn’t overheat.

The cooling system is one of the most crucial aspects of any vehicle, but it’s especially important that you maintain this part of a used truck . If you don’t, you may find that you just wasted money on a pickup that will only last several months on the road.

Step #2: Check the Oil

This should be a task that you’re constantly completing regardless of whether you’re relying on a brand-new truck or a 10-year-old vehicle. To assure that your engine is constantly in tip-top shape, you’ll want to make sure that it’s constantly lubricated. This will be possible if your oil conditions and levels are always maintained.

Furthermore, clean oil will help cut down on friction, something that can completely compromise an engine. Plus, dirty oil often contains plenty of grime and dirt. While these inclusions are generally microscopic, their presence can still play a major role in reducing the quality of your engine.

It’s generally recommended that drivers should be changing their oil every 3,000-5,000 miles, and they only have to add a quart during each change. If you find that your vehicle is requiring more-frequent oil changes, then you should probably check in with your mechanic to assure that everything is working properly.

Step #3: Keep Your Interior Clean

A gray interior of a 2010 Chevy Silverado

There are a variety of reasons why keeping your recently-purchased used car clean could be beneficial. For starters, you’ll never be embarrassed by all of the trash and grime that’s compiled inside your cabin, and this means you’ll be more-than-willing to bus your friends or family around town.

Beyond that, maintaining a clean interior could benefit your wallet several years down the road. While you surely won’t make a fortune on your already-preowned vehicle, you could still have an opportunity to sell the ride at some point in the future. By assuring that the interior is clean, you may be able to target a higher asking price when you finally put it back on the market.

Now, maintaining a clear interior obviously won’t have any impact on your used truck’s performance. However, when it comes to the potential resell value, you’ll surely find that this makes a huge impact.

Step #4: Visit a Mechanic

This may be cheating a bit, as this is one task that you surely won’t be completing by yourself. However, unless you’re incredibly savvy when it comes to cars, it will be in your best interest to have a mechanic consistently inspect the ride.

Beyond the standard oil and filter changes (which are generally required yearly, anyway), there are a number of additional incentives to constantly visiting a mechanic. These experts can better identify any developing or existing issues with your ride. While the subsequent repairs may be a pain, they’ll still be preferred over having to pursue an entirely different ride once your current car inevitably breaks down.

Furthermore, by assuring that every aspect of the used vehicle is working properly, you’ll have a better chance of getting the most out of your used ride. In other words, if the engine and mechanical components are constantly maintained, you may be able to get another 50,000 miles out of your recently-purchased ride.

Of course, you can’t be visiting a mechanic every other day… if that was the case, we’d assume you’d rather be dishing out your money on a brand-new ride. Rather, it will be up to you to monitor if your vehicle is working properly. Pay particular attention to any odd noises that are emanating from under the hood, and be cognizant of the vehicle’s drivability. If you notice that anything seems odd, this should indicate that a ride to the mechanic is necessary.

Overall, despite “only” purchasing a used vehicle, you shouldn’t be avoiding mechanics. If you do, you may find yourself purchasing another vehicle relatively soon.

Step #5: Bleed Your Brakes

This is an understated step when it comes to maintaining your used truck, but it’s important nonetheless. Bleeding your brakes won’t only optimize your vehicle’s stoppage power, but it will also play a role in maintaining the other mechanical aspects of the ride.

Experts generally suggest bleeding your brakes once every two or so years. This will require you to jack up your vehicle, so you might be better off relying on a professional. However, if you’re required to complete this maintenance yourself, you should pay particularly close attention to the color and condition of your oil. If the fluid is clear, amber, and devoid of debris, it’s good to go. If the fluid is dark and contains floating particles, you may want to completely flush the system.

As we mentioned, bleeding the brakes will also help to maintain the calipers and other important engine parts. Furthermore, when completing this maintenance, you should also be focusing on the brake lines and rotors; if these parts aren’t in good shape, that’s a cause of concern.