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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

I've come across what I think might be a good deal on a 2006 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Regular cab with the 6.0L and am planning to take a look at it on Friday. I need to replace my old 2001 Dakota that has just about rusted itself back into the earth with something a bit more reliable.

The Chevy I'm looking at claims to have about 160K of highway miles on it, no rust or rot, and garage kept most of its life. The current owner also claims he's put some new parts on it recently including brakes, and front wheel hubs.

Can anyone clue me in to things I should look for on this truck? I do most of my own wrenching but I'm not familiar with these trucks and thought maybe I could get some advice on common points of failure I should look for.

Thanks!
 

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RUST,,,
If the truck has been in the north east, there must be rust. (unless it was only driven in the summer time, ha, ha)
Check the frame, springs and spring mounts. Check the cab corners and the rear bottom edge of the door frame, close to the cab corner. Check the bottom of the doors for rust. Also check the brake lines that run along the frame. That seems to be a common rust problem area.
I'd listen to the engine idle, both cold and worm.
Check the trans oil.
Check, then check again. There are lots of common problem areas on all trucks. If you've been around trucks for a couple years, you know where to look. That's a lot of miles. But if the truck has been garage kept and maintained, it'll give you plenty more trouble free miles.
Last minute thought. If you can, do a VIN search, title search using something like Carfax. That will tell you where the truck has spent it's life. (I think it's worth the money) I found several trucks that were in the south, but had spent most of their lives in the rust belt. Personally, I stopped looking at them.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info!

I went and looked at the truck this morning. The underside of the thing looked like it was brand new except for some remnants of mud caked way up in the deep dark crevices of the frame (more on that in a minute). The cab corners, frame rails, and even the brake lines looked like they were on a 1 or 2 year old truck. There was the faintest hint of some oil dripping at the back of the tranny but otherwise the bottom the the engine was clean and dry as well.

But then, I looked at the interior and that's where things went downhill. The pictures on line showed a clean interior with little signs of wear. The reality was that the interior looked and smelled like an old ashtray. Seats were cigarette burned and there was dirt, ashes and debris everywhere. The inside of the bed was filled with beer cans and all kinds of loose trash.

Under the hood, the engine looked clean and dry but many of the plastic covers appeared to be missing. The current owner clearly did his own wrenching and didn't worry too much about putting everything back that he took off. The truck started right up and seemed to run smooth and quiet though. The check engine light was on and the owner claimed it was due to an oxygen sensor. I brought a scan tool with me but didn't bother to check it as I had written the truck off by that point.

The owner told me the truck had been previously owned by a family member who babied it and that he had only bought it a year or two ago. He claimed he only drove the thing to and from work on the highway. But then when I questioned him about the mud up in the frame he chuckled and said something about that being 5 years ago. So Either he was lying about owning the truck for only a couple of years or lying about the last time he went mudding with it.

All 4 tires were quite worn - especially in the centers. That could be form being over inflated and running lots of highway miles as the owner claimed or it could be from spinning them repeatedly while navigating mud holes. I suspect the later especially since the owner told me he had recently replaced the front hubs.

I thanked the owner for his time and decided to pass on the truck. The fact that this thing is rust-free here in new England is very interesting. The truck was clearly taken care of for some of its life. But its also clear that the guy who owns it now has beat the hall out of the thing which is a shame. So I decided to pass on this one even though the price is reasonable. I'm not in a hurry for a truck so I'll keep looking.

Thanks for the help and advice!

--Bv
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought about low-balling the guy. A buddy of mine is a top notch detailer at a dealership and could take care of the interior for me. But after seeing all the missing engine parts and talking with the guy a bit I didn't feel real confident in his wrenching skills. Even if I got the truck cheap I figured I may have a lot of work to do to sort out his work and any shortcuts he might have taken. I just don't have the time for that sort of thing anymore.

The good thing about buying a vehicle from the previous owner as opposed to going through a dealership is that you can talk to the person and get a feel for how they may have treated the car or truck in the past. The guy I talked to seemed like a good guy but I got the vibe that he just didn't really value this truck that much. He had a couple of other trucks in the yard that clearly were getting more attention than this one was getting. I got the impression he had used the 2500 as a beater and was now "done" with it. Or maybe there was something major getting ready to fail that he knew about and figured he'd move it along before he had to deal with it.
 
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