If you are considering buying a new or used cargo van body, inspect it or have someone knowledgeable in the areas of mechanics and cargo vans thoroughly go over it. This is such a good idea that the government even stands behind it! They state that all commercial vehicles should be inspected.
Buying used is a phenomenal way to save lots of money. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re watching your pennies in an already established business, saving money is never a bad thing. Make sure that if you buy used, however, you do so from a reputable source.
Now that we’ve established the need for an inspection, let’s take that inspection apart. Here are things to check out before you sign on the dotted line for that used vehicle or cargo van body.
What kind of shape is the interior in? Make sure that interior lights, air conditioning knobs/levers, and power windows function properly. Are the seatbelts working properly and are they complete?
How’s the Steering?
You probably have good alignment if a well-cared-for van has steering that is smooth and accurate. There should be no excessive play and it should be responsive.
Check the Transmission Fluid And Engine Oil
While the van is idling and in neutral, pull the transmission fluid dipstick out and look at it. Check the color of the fluid after wiping the dipstick with a towel. Black could mean trouble, brown means that the fluid has to be replaced, pink or red is a good sign.
Also check the oil dipstick by wiping it off with a paper towel and checking the color. Black could mean trouble. Light brown means service will be needed soon.
Look At And Listen To The Engine
Start the engine and let it idle. While it’s running, check for noises or smoke. Look for excessive exhaust by pressing the gas pedal and revving the engine.
Do More Than Kick the Tires
Check tires for uneven wear, damage, or bulges. Poor alignment, steering issues, or worn suspension could be indicated by uneven wear. Is there a spare?
How Are the Brakes?
Test the brakes during a test drive. Simulate an emergency stop. Does the van stop in a straight line or pull to one side? Listen for noises such as grinding. You may need a full brake replacement if you hear grinding.
Does the Air Conditioning Work?
Make sure that your air conditioner is doing more than just “working”. Listen for noises, check that it works on all speeds, check the compressor, the fan, etc. How’s the charge?
Look at All the Lights
More than just checking to see if all the lights work, make sure there’s no flickering or dimming. Check indicator lights, interior, brake, headlights, and the rest.
Check the Suspension
If the van bounces once and then returns to its normal position, the shock absorbers are probably good. Always test drive!
Look Over the Bodywork
The basic and most important thing you’re looking for is rust. On the van’s sills, below the bumpers, and on the wings are places that corrosion may show up. Around the corners of the windshield, below the wheel arches, and around the doorframes are places to look as well.
Signing on the Dotted Line?
Before you sign, make sure that all the paperwork is in order. In fact, obtaining a full service history from the seller is also a good idea. You’re more likely to get something in good condition, guaranteed, and pre-inspected, if you go through a proven, reputable source.
Speaking of Repeatable Sources…
Mickey Genuine Parts has used trailers, van bodies, and more. Because this particular inventory changes on a regular basis, always check for new or still-in-stock used items. If you need parts, we’ve got you covered there as well. We sell parts and accessories which, if you place your order by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time, we will begin shipping to you the very same day. Special order items may take up to three days for shipping to begin. We also have certified service centers located conveniently throughout the United States. There is probably one near you. With questions about any of this, or something else, feel free to contact one of our friendly, helpful representatives. Find out why more and more people in the trucking and transportation industry are turning to Mickey for their parts, service, accessories, and more.