Buying a new vehicle doesn't have to be a challenging process, especially if you know what you're looking for. Before you start your used-car-buying journey, it's beneficial to know which vehicle elements are most important to you, such as tech, efficiency, engine power, or safety features. If you're interested in vehicles with high torque and towing power, diesel engines may be the best option for you. If you're in the market for a used diesel truck, there are certain elements to keep an eye out for so you can ensure the vehicle is up to your quality standards. 

At Your Auto Source, our team members dedicate themselves to helping members of the York, Pennsylvania, community find the ideal used vehicles for their lifestyle. With this guide, we're confident you can find the perfect used diesel truck that meets your wants and needs at an affordable price.

What Is a Diesel Truck?

Red Dodge Ram truck parked on street

Image via Flickr by rogerblake2

Diesel is an alternative to gasoline that can have many benefits to a vehicle's overall performance and lifespan. For a vehicle to run on diesel, it must have a compatible engine. Diesel trucks have grown substantially in popularity over the past few decades, primarily because of the many benefits associated with vehicles that run on diesel as opposed to traditional gasoline. Beyond their ability to carry more weight than gasoline cars, diesels have better fuel economy than their petrol-powered counterparts, mainly because of their ability to auto-ignite without a spark plug. 

Diesel engines withstand a lot of pressure, resulting in a stronger engine design and longer lifespan. They also often have two batteries instead of one, mainly because of the need for extra power when the vehicle's compression alone can't ignite the diesel and get the engine running. This is most common during periods of cold outdoor temperatures that make it more difficult for the engine to self-ignite. Diesel trucks have glow plugs that act as heaters, which help the compression ignite the diesel and get the vehicle operating at its full capacity. 

What Should You Look For In a Used Diesel Truck?

When buying a used diesel truck, there are certain things you want to keep an eye out for to ensure you're getting a worthy deal on your investment. Here are some of the most important elements to look out for when narrowing your choices for a used diesel truck:


The mileage of your prospective diesel truck can have a significant impact on its ability to perform and its lasting power over the coming years. That said, just because a vehicle has less than 50,000 miles doesn't mean it's going to be perfect, but you can expect fewer complications than a car that has 200,000 miles. The higher mileage a vehicle has, the more likely it is that complications will arise. If you're planning to use the truck for towing heavy loads across long distances, lower mileage is definitely the better option for extending its lifespan. 

Towing Capacity

Towing capacity is another important factor when deciding on a used diesel truck. Most people in the market for diesel trucks are interested in them primarily for their brute strength and durability. The nature of diesel fuel makes it possible for these vehicles to generate high torque. Often, these drivers need pickup trucks with high pound-feet of torque to better accommodate heavy loads. If this sounds like you, you definitely want to consider how the diesel truck's towing capacity will affect your daily use of the vehicle. 

Maintenance Record

The maintenance record of a vehicle is always an important element to consider when buying used. You want to buy a used diesel truck that's been well-maintained to ensure the vehicle is running at the optimum level for its age. Having access to the service records of the vehicle's previous owners can provide a lot of context about its condition. For example, if you had the choice between a diesel truck that was consistently serviced for the five years it was with its owner compared to another that barely had maintenance, you'll likely have better results with the former.


One of the most important aspects of a used vehicle you can inspect before buying it is its level of rust and corrosion. Depending on the climate where the vehicle came from, there can be rust and corrosion on the vehicle's underbelly and other parts from exposure to oxygen and moisture. Metal corrosion can significantly weaken a vehicle's structure, causing long-term and sometimes irreversible damage that can make the vehicle unusable. If the truck comes from an area with constantly salted roads during the winter or constant humidity, there's a strong chance of metal corrosion on its underside. 

What Are the Advantages of Buying a Used Diesel Truck?

There are several advantages to buying a used diesel truck. The main reason people choose to buy diesel is their impressive torque compared to gasoline engines. The diesel fuel itself is denser in energy than gasoline, putting more pressure on the vehicle's piston and effectively increasing its pound-feet of torque. A diesel truck can produce even more torque when paired with a turbocharged diesel engine, making these vehicles popular for those who frequently tow heavy loads of cargo. 

Another benefit of buying a used diesel is that it's almost always going to be significantly less expensive than buying brand new. With the help of a qualified vehicle inspector, you can determine whether a used diesel truck is worth the investment based on its condition and save a substantial amount of money. Diesel engines have better fuel economy than gas engines, often being anywhere from 20% to 30% more efficient. They also last longer than gas-powered vehicles on average because of their sturdier build, giving you more value for your money in the long term. 

So there you have it. That's our guide for buying a used diesel truck that can satisfy all your transportation needs. We hope this article is helpful the next time you're in the market for a used diesel vehicle in working condition and at an appropriate price. If you're ever in the York, Pennsylvania, area and need a used car, truck, or SUV, our talented sales team at Your Auto Source is ready and qualified to assist you with each step of the used car-buying process. Contact us today to learn about our latest vehicle inventory and financing specials. 

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory