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Buying an automobile is a commitment that you should research ahead of time. However, buying a used car requires a little extra thought before making an informed decision. Here are three things to consider before buying a used Ford F-150.

Ask for maintenance records on your used Ford F-150

There are many ways to buy a car these days: private party sales, certified-pre owned vehicles, CarMax, AutoTrader, and regular dealerships.

A private-party sale is the cheapest way to buy a car, but it can be complicated. You also might incur more of a cost for maintenance if the warranty is expired, but that is expected. The previous owner should properly maintain any car, truck, or SUV.

If you are buying from a company, the records should be easy enough to find. If you are buying from a private party, it can be a bit more tricky.

In the instance that your seller can’t come up with records to prove maintenance, it probably has not been maintained the way you want.

Do an extended test drive

Depending on where you and your future truck live, be sure to check for rust. Some places are less prone to rust, like Florida. But there can be similar issues from being close to the ocean like there are from the snow.

A front-end vibration is an issue. Be sure to look at the suspension if you find an F-150 over 150,000 miles. This might need to be replaced shortly after 200,000 miles depending on the condition.

Most vehicles would benefit from a new suspension system after that long. New fluids, suspension, and a few other odds and ends will increase your F-150’s longevity.

Know before you buy an F-150

If you plan to tow a large boat with your used Ford F-150 daily and go off-road on your boating off-days, be aware that it puts a lot of strain on your truck. Similarly, be sure to ask if that’s what your truck’s previous owner did.

If that’s your plan for the truck, try and go for something with less miles. This leaves more wiggle room for wear and tear down the line.

Trucks are made to withstand towing and general wear and tear, but towing a lot can cause it to deteriorate faster. That means you might have to replace certain parts sooner than anticipated. Things like the fuel pump, spark plugs, or head gasket might pop up.

Read up on what other drivers had to say


Best And Worst Times To Buy Used Cars

These days, there are plenty of websites to help you make the right decision. Sites like Consumer Reports, U.S. News, Edmunds, and other reviews sites will give you insight into what other owners have run into with the same truck.

Most reviews offer a section called “owner-reported reliability.” This measures how satisfied owners are with the vehicle after a few years.

J.D. Power ranks many cars, trucks, and SUVs based on how satisfied owners are. The dependability study specifically studies how reliable vehicles are after three years. This includes breaking down, poor functionality, or unexpected repairs.

Overall, just educate yourself before buying any new or used car. It will benefit you in the long run to spend a little extra time up front!