What To Look For When Buying A Used Chevy Truck (Best & Worst Models Revealed!)


Shopping for a used Chevy Truck can be overwhelming. Whether you are looking to save money, or you just want a truck with a good user history, there is a lot of information about buying a used Chevy truck out there. 

Through research from Chevy users forums, and official site, here is a breakdown of everything you should know when looking for a used Chevy truck. 

You will also get to know some of the best and worst models to buy or not to buy.

What To Look For When Buying A Used Chevy Truck

Check if the used Chevy has a clean title, ask how long has it been on the lot, check how many miles it has, enquire for service records, check the price, check for rust, and finally, test drive the car.

Answers to these questions will reveal if the Chevy truck is a diamond in the ruff or just…rough. Knowing what to look for is paramount when making a big investment like this.

The things to look for when buying a used Chevy truck include:

1. Does the vehicle have a clean title?

A clean title means the vehicle has never been in a major accident, and there are no outstanding financial obligations or liens on the car. 

This knowledge will help you avoid costly surprises down the road. Reputable used car dealers would not risk their business name by selling someone else’s problems or issues, so buy from them for assured protection.

2. How long has it been on the lot? 

The longer it has been on the lot means it has been passed by other customers and may be damaged. If you notice other people avoiding a particular unit, it’s not worth finding out the hard way.

3. How many miles does it have on it?

Ideal mileage should be not more than 120,000 – 150,000. A vehicle with more miles than that is probably not worth the investment. 

However, its mileage shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when buying a vehicle. 

There are other things to consider, like its overall condition. The mileage might mislead many buyers, but the important thing is how well the previous owner took care of it. 

However, that being said, high mileage is a sign of the car nearing its lifetime. Humans manufacture vehicles that have an expiration date after all.

4. Is it properly maintained and kept in reasonable condition?

Ask for service records and check to see if it’s been inspected for safety. Also, check the service history to know what has been changed and what needs to be changed, and when. 

Key things to check here are the frequency of engine services, such as the oil change and primary services, such as timing belt change. 

Irregular service is an indication of neglect, and you may not know what other areas of the car might have been neglected. 

With all this information, a technician can let you know what necessary repair or service is needed and how much it will cost you before you can start using the vehicle.

5. What are the prices being asked for that particular vehicle in comparison to other similar cars? 

Compare costs to average market price; lower or higher price warrants more questions or research on why that is the case.

A low price could indicate that the owner is trying to get rid of a troublesome car as quickly as possible, or it could be just that he’s under financial stress. Either way, due diligence is essential. 

A higher price than the market value could be that the seller is trying to get more than its worth, so avoid such kind of people.

6. Check for rust. Look for creaks and cracks in the body. 

The presence of any of these things are indications of potential problems. Some of these problems include unaddressed safety issues, expensive repairs, and even a possible total loss in case of severe damage. 

Rust, on the other hand, is harder to fix and more expensive. 

The main problem with rust is that it eats away at the body panels and metal parts and can cause damage to the engine.

7. Check for accident history and overall service record. 

A clean bill of health from an authorized center would also help determine the quality of service provided by the owner to maintain his vehicle. 

An authorized center can provide an accurate and reliable report on the overall condition of the cars. 

They do have a fee, so make sure to ask how much you’ll have to spend on this.

8. Test drive the car. 

Listen to how well the engine runs and how responsive it is. A slow response could be several reasons; from turbo boost leak to worn-out rings. 

Feel if the transmission or the clutch works properly. Notice the smoothness of the gearshifts and, if it’s manual, if there is any resistance in engaging gears.

If the car has rough gear changes, the gearbox hasn’t been serviced, and failure is imminent.

Experience how well the brakes work too. Take it out on the highway and see if it can run at a higher speed. 

Make sure to check all the accessories and see if everything works properly. 

Some of these accessories include lights, wipers, AC, power windows, and power mirrors. It’s better to be aware of these problems to make an informed choice.

If you can inspect the vehicle yourself, take a certified mechanic or other knowledgeable people with you. 

Having someone with a technical background or the ability to spot problems that you may overlook can save you a lot of money in the long run. They can advise you on whether to buy or not.

The above tips go hand in hand when purchasing almost any other vehicle like a Sierra.

What Is The Best Used Chevy Truck To Buy?

The best used Chevy truck to buy is the Chevy Silverado 2500HD (Hybrid) Extended Cab Long Box 4×4. It offers the most value for money with a liftgate and will get you the best mileage per gallon of gas.

Another reason it makes it the best Chevy truck is that it has a bed and storage in the back, you can move it into a different space of your lot, it is easy to transfer things from the truck to a house or some other place. 

It was ranked second by the iSeeCars website in the top ten long-lasting cars. The hybrid engine gives this model better gas mileage than most of the other models.

Another Chevy truck to consider buying is the Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew cab. 

This option is a truck that you can use to move things, and it also has a lot of storage space, power windows, and power locks. 

Because the truck bed is smaller than the Silverado 2500HD (Hybrid), it will be harder to load things on top of it or have a long-distance move with it. 

But this truck has good gas mileage and a longer-lasting engine than some of the other options.

The number three choice is the Chevy Colorado Extended Cab, which makes this an option for smaller loads and excellent gas mileage, but not as much load carrying capacity as other options.

What Are The Best Models Of Chevy Truck?

The best models to buy are the Silverado or Colorado. Both trucks are 6×4, have big V8 engines, and are two-door models with standard body types, including 4wd and crew cab models that come in a few different sizes. 

The main difference between these two trucks lies in their price, size, the number of parts shared by both models, and how much each model costs to maintain financially.

They both have similar names and look nearly identical. 

The Silverado

If you plan on towing things frequently, diesel would be your best bet. If you don’t haul items often and want something dependable, then the 2500HD would be your best bet. 

If you travel a lot and want something with more space to move about in, then I’d recommend the crew cab version of these trucks. 

People working in the construction industry or need to haul stuff around, this is perfect for them. 

It’s also perfect for towing materials and things like livestock as they need to be moved. The Silverado models include the Silverado 2500HD, the 2500HD Crew Cab, the 2500HD Denali, and the 6.0L diesel. 

The truck you want to buy will have a lot to do with what you plan on doing.

The Colorado

Colorado is made for a different purpose. It is more compact and was built to be a smaller vehicle. It is excellent for people who live in cities that don’t want or need the huge space of a regular truck. 

The gas mileage is a bit better than the Silverado, so if gas mileage is your biggest concern, you might want to go with this one. 

Also, Colorado is excellent for people who make many short trips around the city, like going to the airport or the mall. 

It is more of a people carrier than a luggage carrier. So that means that the interior is a bit refined and just an overall better place to be in. Since most people don’t need to haul heavy luggage every day, this will be the best option of the two.

What Are The Worst Model Years of Chevy Truck?

The worst model years to buy are the Silverado Ext Cab Regular Box, the Colorado Ext Cab Regular Box, the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, and the 2014 Silverado 1500.

The Silverado Ext Cab Regular Box 4×2 and the Colorado Ext Cab Regular Box 4×2were just too small to be helpful. 

They would make great compact cars, but not trucks. It is hard to fit large items in these trucks since they have a small bed, and the overall size is limited for plenty of room to move around in the vehicle. 

These trucks were built for highway use and personal errands, so you should choose one of the other models from these manufacturers if you need something bigger.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado Problems

Excessive oil consumption

Many users have complained of excessive oil consumption from their 2007 Silverado, resulting in a 1-2 quart of oil every 2000 miles. 

This was because of the oil leaks from the valve lifter, causing the engine to run on high. The fix was to replace the oil pan and filter, which eliminated these problems.

Rear-end clunking

The rear end of the 2007 Silverado had clunking noise when you hit bumps or went fast on a rough surface.

However, this was not a severe problem, and most motorists were OK with it since it wasn’t much of a bother.

Power steering going out

For a few ’07 Silverados, the power steering failed, making it hard to steer. This was because of leaking seals, which drained the power steering fluid quickly.it doesn’t put your safety at risk.

Loose wheel hubs

An issue common with some 2007 Silverado is loose wheel hubs, resulting in various tire and rim problems.

Exhaust leak due to manifold gasket failure

Some users complained about a manifold gasket failure that resulted in exhaust leaks and catalytic converter failures, resulting in increased fuel consumption and carbon buildup in the engine. 

However, this was not a very common issue, and many users were only OK after the gasket replacement.

2014 Silverado 1500 Problems

Service Brakes

Many users complained about the failure of power brakes. You are required to push the brake pedal hard and to stop the car. 

This problem was related to rusting of the brake hoses and piping. This issue was solvable by replacing the brake hoses and piping regularly.

Airbag

There were few complaints about the airbag system on the 2014 Silverado. This was easily fixed by replacing the components of the system. 

Sunroof

There were few complaints about the sunroof on the 2014 Silverado. An example was that some users said that the sunroof was not opening all the way out while they were driving. 

This happens when your glass is dirty and the rails are not well lubricated.

Electrical system

Another problem, but it wasn’t as severe as the above three. Some motorists complained about the dash lights going off while going over bumps and rough surfaces. 

Sometimes this was accompanied by loss of power steering. It was a programming issue that was easily fixable.

What Are The Best Model Years of Chevy Truck?

The best years to buy are from 2015 to 2017. In 2015, the Chevy Silverado got a fresh design and overall improvements. The engine was upgraded to a 5.3L v8, and also the towing capacity improved to 12,000 pounds.

The interior also received a significant upgrade even on the base trim levels. The interior improvements include a new dashboard, more storage space, better seats, and better cup holders.

The radio also got an upgrade with the HD radio feature. Another nice upgrade on the 2015 Chevy Silverado is the Chevy MyLink system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

The cargo box also improved with a closing assist, bed rail tie-down hooks, and a rear swing gate. 

The new safety features include a rear-vision camera, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.

What Years To Avoid When Buying A Used Chevy Truck?

What years to avoid when buying a used Chevy truck? The years to avoid when buying a used Chevy truck are the years 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. These models had many problems with the fuel gauge, faulty door handles, airbag issues, and motor mounts.

Also, these models had problems with the engine cylinder head problems. These could be a few things that lead to engine failures in the Chevy Silverado truck. 

Users also complained about seals leaking, wheel bearings going out, problems with the rear window latches, and other problems. 

Buying from these years will lead to a lot of problems in the end that will cost a lot of money to fix. 

Also, buying from these years will not make your truck safe to drive on the road since it will put you and other motorists in danger. 

However, the problem was not as prevalent, and it is possible to find units that didn’t have any issues and were correctly maintained.

Overall, the level of engineering during this era was not that great compared to the modern trucks. The vehicle’s durability was also an issue since some of these models broke down a lot. 

Also, the quality was an issue since the material used didn’t last very long. 

Consequently, not many of them are on sale today, and it is pretty hard to find one in a good condition. 

So, if you are looking for a used Chevy Silverado truck, then make sure that you buy a model that has already passed the quality control. The more recent the truck, the better off you will be.

A notable mention is a time from 2007 to 2016. 

The Chevy trucks had transmission oil leak problems. Some users have reported leaking transmission oil from their engines, which causes them to have overheating issues while driving. 

This leakage can quickly fix this problem by replacing the transmission oil gasket and sealing rings; however, these are not always available, especially on the earlier models. 

So, it might be best to get your car check by a technician first to check for any other problems. That being said, their concerns weren’t as severe as the pre-2000.

What Is The Best Size Chevy Truck?

The best size Chevy truck to buy is a full-size truck. The full-size trucks provide the most towing power and passenger space.  

Other sizes include midsize trucks and heavy-duty trucks. Depending on your needs and how you plan on using your truck, you will want to pick one of these sizes.

Midsize trucks

Midsize trucks aren’t big enough to tow a large trailer, but they’re still bigger than an SUV. The best midsize truck that Chevy makes is Colorado. 

This truck has a longer wheelbase than a standard pickup and provides more space for passengers. 

The gas mileage isn’t as great as the smaller trucks in its class, but if you plan on towing or hauling light loads and carrying and passengers, this truck will be the best fit for you. 

Don’t tow more than the recommended weight; otherwise, the truck will sag. To learn how to prevent your truck from sagging head over here to learn more.

Full-size truck

A full-size truck is an all-around truck that blends well the ability to haul luggage and at the same time carry passengers comfortably. An example of a full-size truck is the Silverado 1500. 

It comes with a powerful V8 engine that gives it the power to pull trailers and haul with ease. It also has lots of storage space for you to put your supplies.

It comes in three cab styles: two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and crew cab. 

The crew cab is more luxurious and spacious than other models and can comfortably seat five passengers if necessary.

The full-size trucks are excellent in deserts where minimal maintenance is required because they have ample space to work around the engine block and transmission area. 

Towing capacities are much higher and payloads up to 8,500 pounds, depending on the trim that you buy.

Heavy duty

If you’re into towing and hauling, then there are plenty of heavy-duty trucks to choose from. 

An example of a full-size truck is the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD. The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is powered by a Duramax 6.6-liter engine that generates 350 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque. 

The truck also comes standard with an Allison transmission that has three overdrive gears. 

This truck also comes with a more updated suspension system that makes it handle better than its predecessors. Not to mention it has cruise control, an AM/FM radio, and a tilt steering wheel. 

This truck has all the bells and whistles for its luxurious interior: a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, and four doors.

However, because of its big powerful engine, its fuel consumption is not the greatest. It has a 13/18 mpg rating, but it is compensated for by its power and durability. 

Unless your needs are on the side of heavy-duty hauling and towing, it might be best to go for a lighter truck. In the end, there are many options in terms of size for Chevy trucks to choose from. 

So, take some time to think about your needs before making your decision about which Chevy truck is right for you.

Buying A Used Chevy Truck

There are many things to consider when you’re looking for a used Chevy truck. The most important thing to do is to take the truck out for a test drive. You should also ask yourself what type of truck fits your needs the best. 

If you want a big and powerful truck, then the full-size trucks are the ones for you, like the Silverado 2500. 

However, if you want something that will provide you with moderate power, but fuel efficiency, then a mid-sized truck may be better suited for your needs like the Colorado. Also, heavy-duty trucks are good if you need to tow trailers or haul heavy loads around. 

Finally, avoid buying trucks from the late 1990s and very early 2000s, choose from 2015 upwards. 

So, when purchasing a used Chevy truck, think about what you need and find a model that fits most of these needs and, importantly, within your budget. 

Overall, Chevy trucks are very reliable to buy. They come in various models, making it easy to find the right truck for you. 

Some of these models have features that go with them, such as power windows and locks, which can help reduce your operating costs. 

Chevy trucks are also very durable. If properly maintained, they can last for a long time without any problems. 

They also come with various trims to choose from, depending on your taste. 

It is also essential to take care of your truck to get the most out of it. You want to make sure that you are not overloading your truck or driving it beyond its capabilities. 

This care will ultimately cause transmission oil leak and sagging issues, resulting in significant repairs. 

An excellent way to prevent sagging is by installing a suspension lift kit and increasing air pressure for the tires. 

Also, don’t forget to change your oil at least once every two thousand miles to avoid damaging your engine and keep it working properly for longer than expected.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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