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Read This if You Are Thinking About Buying a Used Ford F-150

A blue 2018 Used Ford F-150 is driving past desert mountains, shown from the front.

Ford trucks tend to keep going and going, so it’s not uncommon for people to search for used Ford F-150’s when searching for their next vehicle. This particular model is one of the best choices out there in terms of reliability and reputation. The F-150 has a reputation for being powerful, advanced, and safe, even with a higher-than-average amount of miles on it.

While going through the purchasing process of a new vehicle, whether it be a used Ford F-150 or otherwise, you should expect a decent amount of mileage to be wracked up already. Typically, drivers average around 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, so you would expect a car with 60,000 miles to have 4 to 5 years’ worth of wear and tear. With this logic, the higher the number on the odometer, the less expensive the car should be, generally.

A Brief Overview of the Ford F-150

In 1948, Ford started the F Series. It was the first pickup truck that they ever built from scratch with its own chassis. The earlier ones were based on car chassis, with a truck body on them. The F Series was the first one with a full-size truck frame made just for trucks.

From 1948 to 1952, they made the F-1 Series truck, but in 1953 they decided to call the F-1, the F-100, possibly to make it sound better. Today, the F Series is in its 13th generation. Since 1948, the company has sold over 35 million F Series trucks.

Being in its 13th generation today, you may realize that they must be perfecting the pickup truck. They make the trucks to fit buyers’ needs. For instance, a short time ago, Ford took a bunch of steel out of the body and replaced it with aluminum to make the vehicles much lighter while maintaining a solid steel frame. This makes the trucks get better gas mileage overall.

Of course, anyone who has owned a pickup truck knows, they don’t get great gas mileage. Trucks are high up in the air, they aren’t aerodynamic, and they are heavy. The models are made to haul things, not necessarily to be fuel-efficient. With that being said, with the modern invention of the 10-speed automatic transmission, F Series trucks actually get decent gas mileage on the highway for a pickup truck.

Many people want to know if they should go with a diesel or gasoline used Ford F-150. The answer lies in your intentions for the truck. If you carry a lot of loads, such as heavyweights or hay, or drive a lot on the highway putting many miles into the vehicle, you may want a diesel pickup truck. That’s because diesel engines have a lot of torque specifically. This makes them great for pulling things, and if you are pulling something on the highway with a diesel pickup truck, it doesn’t change the gas mileage all that much. Comparing this to gasoline engines, you will notice a considerably worse gas mileage overall while towing large loads.

A 2018 Used Ford F-150 and F-150 are parked on dirt in front of distant hills.

Why Buy a Used Ford F-150?

The Ford F-150 has consistently adapted to what the market wants. As discussed previously, you have a wide array of options as far as engine types go, which can be important depending on how you are using the vehicle.

In terms of rideability, the F-150 has upgraded its suspension system in recent years. You won’t find a better full-sized truck on the market in terms of rideability versus functionality. Sure, you may see luxury pickups from manufacturers like Lincoln, but those models are made for flash. You’d be lucky to fit a 2 x 4 in the back of some of those truck beds.

The reason that used Ford F-150’s are the best used trucks out there is because they’re made to last. They can take a lot of use and haul most loads. Ford has continuously improved upon the series since its inception in 1948 and hasn’t stopped since. Many other manufacturers will build a model and scrap it as soon as it falters compared to the competition, but Ford has stuck to its design principles and adapted its F Series trucks to beat the competition, resulting in a superb truck at the end of the day.

General Tips for Buying Used Cars

A black 2014 Used Ford F-150 is towing a large boat uphill with a lake in the distance.

Even if you don’t find yourself buying used cars all that often, it is important to understand the process and what would be considered good practice when doing so. Whether you are eyeing a used F-150 or a Toyota Prius, the following is some great information for individuals in various buying situations. Even though some of the information relates to buying from other drivers directly, you can apply this advice to purchasing used vehicles at a dealership as well.

First and foremost, you should make sure that the title is in possession of the seller and clean. You would be wise to hold off on any payments before you have seen the title and that no liens or sketchy information are on the title, such as “not for highway use” or “for salvage.”

You should also review the service records. You should get a good sense of whether the vehicle has been kept up over the years if you research the history of the car in question. You could also take a peek at the oil sticker; is it even there? If the previous owner self-serviced the vehicle, you should ask what type of oil they used, and if they’ve been keeping track of it.

While we’re at it, how long did the previous owner have the car? If they only had the car for a few months, it warrants a few additional questions to figure out why that’s the case. It could signal warning signs, or it could be easily explained away. You need to ask to know for sure, though.

All of this can be done on your own, of course, but you also have the option of using a website such as CarFax to compile all the information. CarFax gives a summary of the history regarding used cars. As long as the information has been reported correctly, you can see the car’s history of repairs, collisions, and more in one spot. CarFax also displays the mileage on any given car, which is important when you are evaluating cars based on how much they have been used to reach a fair price. Sure, you could buy a car produced in 2016, but if it has 200k miles on it, you may find more longevity in a 2012 vehicle that has 100k miles.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you’ve made a great choice to research used Ford F-150’s. It’s a great model with a manufacturer that is known for its ingenuity and reliability behind it. While you should always keep an eye out for imperfections when purchasing a new vehicle, Ford F-150’s tend to have very low maintenance and repair costs, as most components are easy to access and fix compared to pickups from other manufacturers. If you are looking for a used pickup that is going to last you a long time and ride well even with a higher odometer reading than usual, a used Ford F-150 may be the vehicle for you.

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