If you are in need of a pickup truck, whether for work or home use, you may discover that you do not have the funds to purchase a new one, but you do have enough for a used one. However, since pickup trucks are prone to rougher usage and greater exposure to the elements, you may worry that you may end up purchasing one with a rust problem. If so, check for hidden rust by examining the following two areas that are more susceptible to oxidation.
1. Examine the Undercarriage
The first place you should start your inspection for rust on a potential truck is the undercarriage. Especially if the pickup truck was used for work purposes on rough terrain, the undercarriage may have been driven through streams or even tall dewy fields that would expose the metal to extra moisture.
Using a flashlight, squat or lay down on one side of the truck, and carefully examine all of the parts, including the muffler and axles. You can also take this opportunity to check the underside of the bed for rust that would weaken its ability to haul heavy objects.
After seeing as much as possible on one side, switch to the other side, then the rear and back of the pickup truck. You want to get a good look at the entire underside to see if there are any rusty brown areas or even metal that has already become jagged from being eaten away by the rust.
2. Look at the Gap Between the Cab and Bed
Another area where a pickup truck is prone to rust is the gap between the cab and bed. Because water can become trapped in this space and remain wet for longer, it creates an ideal environment for oxidation to occur.
With your flashlight still in hand, start at the bottom of one side of the gap, then slowly move toward the other side. Look for areas that are obviously rusted, as well as the more subtle signs of rust damage. These signs include such things as rippled paint or odd, dark scaly textures.
Even if you do find some rust on a pickup truck you are thinking about buying, it may only be surface oxidation that is easily fixed. However, if you are in doubt about the condition and prior use of the vehicle, seek guidance from an auto dealer offering used trucks for sale.