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Old 06-10-2012, 06:39 PM
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First diesel, what to be checking before purchase

Hello all,

I will start by saying I did look around for this info, so if I missed it just point me to the right link.

I'm looking to pick up a tow vehicle for my car. All said and done I'm probably towing 7k tops, 4k in the trailer and car, the rest in the van (people, tools, etc).

My price range puts me in the 99 - 03 model year with examples that have around 200k miles on them.

I'm not new to wrenching on cars and have no problem doing the maintenance, but this will be my first diesel. What things should I be looking for pre-purchase to make sure I'm getting something that will be a fairly reliable vehicle? What are a few common issues I could look for?

Thx in advance~!
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:09 PM
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Other than the general items (maintenance records, car fax, etc.), I would;

-check the blow-by, by opening the oil fill cap, while the engine is hot and running, and see how bad it is breathing in and out.

-check for any fluid leakage

-check how bad the rust is under the truck, especially the oil pan.

-try your best to see how often the fuel filter has been changed.

-Don't worry too much about oil leaking behind the engine. It's not the rear main seal, its the turbo pedestal (EBPV shaft).

-There are fault "soft codes" that do not turn the check engine light on. So make sure you try and get the truck pluged in to a good scanner to see if there is any faults to worry about.

I am sure there are other things, I just cannot think of them now.
At 200k miles, don't expect the transmission or injectors to be in the best shape. But pulling only 7k lbs, I wouldn't worry about the trans slipping.
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