Repossessed Trucks – 5 Critical Checks to Make Before Buying a Repossessed Truck

Eleanor Hanson

Repossessed trucks are widely available at auctions and the savings that you can achieve when purchasing a repo truck can help you expand your business without breaking the budget. In order to get the best advantage you want to make sure that you purchase a good used truck that will require little or no investment from you in terms of repairs. While you can’t take auction vehicles for a test drive, you can inspect the truck prior to the auction and I highly recommend that you do so. Ideally you should take a qualified mechanic along with you for the inspection, but if this is not possible, please ensure that you make the following 5 critical checks on any repossessed trucks that you are interested in.

1) Check the Vehicle History

Prior to the auction, you can access a list of vehicles for sale. Select the trucks that you are interested in and note the VIN. Run a vehicle check to ensure the truck has not been totaled, salvaged, suffered flood damage etc. in the past.

2) Inspect the Body of the Truck

Do a visual inspection on the body of the truck to ensure that there are no visible signs of damaged bodywork, such as bubbled paint work, mis-matching colors, scratches, bumps etc. Some bodywork defects may be minor and not particularly relevant at the price you will pay at auction, however it is important to check as defects could indicate the vehicle has been in an accident and there could be damage to the engine or inner workings of the vehicle if this is the case.

3) Check all Doors and Hinges

Open and close the doors to check that the hinges and locks are working smoothly. I also recommend visually inspecting all hinges to ensure that there are no signs of welding or other work that may indicate a patchy fix up has occurred.

4) Start the Engine

You are entitled to start the engine during a pre-auction inspection and it is critical that you do so. Listen to the sound of the engine and ensure there is no knocking or other unusual noises that may be symptomatic of engine damage. While the engine is running, also check that the air conditioning and electric windows are working.

5) Check Fluids

You should dip the oil, with the engine off, to ensure that it is reasonably clean. If the dip stick shows a low-level of oil, that is black and dirty, it may indicate that the engine has been poorly maintained, although it doesn’t necessarily mean that the vehicle is in bad condition and the truck may just need a service and an oil change. If the truck has an automatic transmission, you should also check that the transmission fluid is clear. If it is dark or smells burnt, then there may be problems with the transmission.

It is important to check a vehicle, as thoroughly as possible, prior to making a purchase at repo truck auctions. However, it is important to note that many repossessed trucks, are being auctioned because the original owner cannot afford to keep them and not because they are damaged goods. Given the sudden change in economic conditions, you will find many late-model vehicles at a repossessed truck auction. Being in a position to buy such a vehicle, could give your business just the advantage it needs.

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