7 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Toyota Tacoma in Michigan
So you are ready to jump into overlanding, off roading, or just want to adventure further and the Toyota Tacoma looks like it will fit the bill. Well most likely you are right, the Toyota Tacoma can be built into a great adventure vehicle to get you to that new fishing spot, campsite or even haul your mountain bikes. At Expedition Vehicle Outfitters we have quite a bit of experience with building up Toyota Tacomas and know that buying a used Toyota Tacoma in Michigan there are definitely some things to consider. Let’s go over a list of 7 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Toyota Tacoma in Michigan.
For most that has lived in the upper Midwest for any period of time they know our main enemy is rust. The Toyota Tacoma susceptible to rust just like any other vehicle in our salt ridden winter climate. When looking over a used Toyota Tacoma in Michigan our main concerns will be frame and body rust. Check over all four sides of the frame for signs of surface rust and much worse structural rust. A small ball peen hammer is always a good tool to tap the frame with and check for structure issues. We suggest being as thorough as possible during an inspection.
Check metal lines (fuel & brake lines) for leaks and excessive rust. Look rust causing structural issues on skid plates and around bolts. On the body and cosmetic side be sure to check for rusted rocker panels, cab mounts, fenders, tail gates and door jams.
Expedition provides vehicle pre-buy inspections and assessments of used vehicles as well.
Request for the vehicles maintenance records, if maintenance was performed at a dealership or quality independent repair facility there will be records of all the maintenance performed on the vehicle throughout its lifetime. Look for timeframes and mileage between regular maintenance services like oil changes and fluid maintenances. On higher mileage Tacomas look for maintenance on brakes, suspension, and timing belt service. A thorough maintenance history will help you understand the vehicles care throughout its previous lifetime.
Far too often vehicles purchased with lack of maintenance history or a service light on assumed it is no big deal to see the vehicle need extensive repairs. The Toyota Tacoma drivetrain is known for reliability and the ability to last to very high mileage but this requires timely recommended maintenance.
Previous Upgrades can be tricky, on one hand you are usually saving money but on the other hand you need to be very careful to make certain the upgrades were performed properly and have proper documentation for future maintenance. At Expedition we modify a lot of Toyota Tacomas so we know the benefits that can provide but we also run into a lot of Tacomas with issues from corners being cut etc. Make positive you know exactly what you are buying all the modifications that were made to the truck along with their timeframes, request for documentation to be sure.
In some circumstances we’ve had clients buy Tacomas that were modified and we’ve had to sort the truck out figuring what all had been done to it, parts used, etc. We can do this but it is much cheaper and easier to start with invoices from the initial build when available.
Make sure to check for tire conditions, don’t know what to look for? Let’s dive into that. Look for even tread wear across the treads by running your hand across the tread feeling for high and low spots in the tread. Look for premature wear on the inside or outside of the tire tread. The reason we are looking for even tire wear is to give us a quick look at the Tacoma’s alignment and suspension. This isn’t a precise method but uneven tire wear will point us in the right direction towards a suspension or alignment fault.
FLUID LEAKS & WETNESS
Be sure to slide underneath the Tacoma and look for leaks and wetness. In some cases you can expect a higher mileage vehicle to have some seeping and oil dampness but we definitely want to know about it before purchasing. One of our favorite times to check for leaks is after test drive. Take the Tacoma out, get it nice and warm then look for an drivetrain leak.
Now this may sound obvious but check the title status to figure out if the vehicle has a clean title, rebuilt title, flood title etc. Don’t forget to ask about the title before you start your paperwork.
YOUR BUILD PLAN
Lastly consider your Expedition Vehicle Outfitters Build Plan. Through years of build a lot of used Toyota Tacomas we have found, the better condition the truck is in when we start will net better results at the end. We would always recommend taking your time finding the truck that is in the best condition both structurally and maintenance vs. possibly the most flashy as a majority of the time with a used truck we start from the bottom up and redo a lot of previous modifications. Our goal is to build the best vehicle for your needs and we look forward to working together.