Tips to Remember When Buying A Used Truck

When buying a commercial truck, pay special attention to the cooling system and the oil for instance, can be a simple indicator of how the truck was maintained and how it should perform. A reputable dealer will take the time to inspect those areas, so the buyer has a high level of assurance that those systems are in good condition. But taking the time yourself to make a couple simple checks, or at least ask, gives you assurance that the truck you’re about to buy will perform in any season.

Pre-purchase systems checks help you feel better about what you’re buying. But to protect your truck and your business once you’re on the road, take some time to check out the value you get when you invest in an NTP warranty. That value? Peace of mind.  

When purchasing a truck, whether you’re an owner operator or a dealer, you should always take the time to check a couple simple components or systems that can tell you a lot about the truck and save you from costly repairs down the road.  

  1. Inspect the blow-by tube for any oil or water residual dripping out. If there is, it should be checked.  At times you might see the blow-by tube appears to be steaming or breathing heavy. If you don’t hear unusual noise coming from the engine, the truck should be run on a dynamometer to check the blow-by under load.  Most of the time the blow-by is measured with a magnehelic gauge for an accurate reading.  Each engine manufacture’s specifications are somewhat different so check engine manufacture’s tolerances and blow-by scale for the proper readings. 
  • Check for compression in the cooling system. Compression in the cooling system can be caused by several engine problems depending on the engine manufacture’s model. Normally there is a failed or near failed engine component allowing combustion from the engine to escape. Compression can also be caused by an injector sleeve, a damaged cylinder head gasket, a cylinder head, or air compressor. This is a simple check with a compression gauge.
  • Oil is the lifeblood of any engine so it’s always a good idea to perform at least one oil sample analysis. Taking just one oil sample won’t give you all the information you might need but it will pick up sodium and boron which could indicate a trace of antifreeze in your oil.  Oil temperature runs hotter than coolant and the coolant will burn off leaving the sodium and boron in the oil.  About 90% of the time having sodium and boron in the oil comes from a leaking EGR cooler. But it could also be a leak in a cylinder head gasket, cylinder head, a pitted liner or crevice seal. Any sign of something in your oil should be taken seriously as it could lead to major engine damage.