3 Tips to Keep in Mind When You’re Buying a Used 4X4

You always have to exercise care when buying used cars. However, you need to employ specific care when you're looking a 4X4. After all, such vehicles are made to perform well across challenging conditions. The vehicle you're looking at might have been fording deep rivers and clambering over rocks just a few weeks ago. That doesn't mean that it won't represent an excellent purchase, but the added stress these vehicles are put through means that you need to take additional steps to ensure you don't drive away behind the wheel of an unreliable vehicle.

Here are a few steps to take to make sure you get a 4X4 vehicle capable of going the distance.

1. Don't Be Distracted by Spotless Bodywork

One thing sellers know is that buyers can often be fooled into thinking a 4X4 has been well-cared for by simply sprucing up the body a little bit. If all blemishes are removed and the vehicle is given a whole new set of tires, it can be easy to assume that the mechanical underpinnings and underbody are all in sound order. However, keep in mind that scratches and dents are somewhat par for the course in a 4X4. Of course, they are never ideal, but don't let such imperfections put you off and otherwise mechanically sound vehicle, and don't let a fresh bodywork put you off performing a proper inspection.

2. Be Careful of Mods

Many 4X4 owners will use mods to personalise their vehicle and give it some added gumption when they need to navigate tougher terrain. Those mods can work in your favour, but keep in mind that people who mod their vehicles are likely to have pushed them hard across the great outdoors. Additionally, ensure that mods were installed professionally. If they were not, damage could have occurred; even if the installation process went perfectly, whatever is left of the original warranty will probably have been voided.

3. Check the Underside

It's always important to check the underside of a vehicle, but it's even more important when you're deal with a 4X4. When you go off-roading, the underside of the vehicle is what tends to take the most abuse. Whether from kicked up rocks, caked on mud, water from fording rivers, or even large rocks that protrude enough to touch the bottom of the vehicle, there is plenty that can damage a 4X4 when it is taken off-road. Luckily, skid plates will be fitted to prevent damage occurring; make sure these are free from rust and mud, as well as any serious dents that could indicate problems beneath. You should also inspect the springs and shock absorbers of the suspension system for signs of excessive wear and tear.