What is Good Mileage for a Used Truck?

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When buying a used truck, it’s important to understand what counts as good mileage for a used truck as well as how to determine whether you’re getting a good value for that mileage.

Keep reading to learn more about used truck mileage and what to consider before making a purchase decision.

Used Pick-Up Truck Mileage 101

So, what exactly is good mileage for a used truck?

The rule of thumb is always that the lower the mileage the better. For gas engines, many buyers want to stay under 100,000 miles, but will double that number when shopping for pick-up trucks with diesel engines.

bronze Nissan frontier

That’s because diesel engines are easier to maintain; they don’t require spark plugs and they put out a higher compression rate, so the components of diesel engines tend to suffer less wear and tear compared to gas-powered engines.

A diesel-powered truck may last longer, but it also may not be what you’re looking for. Fortunately, there are plenty of gas-powered trucks out there built to last, you just have to know what to look for beyond mileage.

Is High Mileage For A Used Truck Bad?

The most important thing to remember is that mileage is mostly an indicator of wear and tear. Plenty of trucks are built to last a long time: 200,000+ miles with proper care and maintenance. However, there are other factors that define whether high mileage or even low mileage on a truck is good or bad.

Age is an important determining factor in whether high mileage is good or bad.

odometer glowing in the dark

For example, an older truck with very low miles on it can be an indication of long periods of idle time. Any vehicle that goes unused for a long time is more likely to accumulate a range of potentially costly issues as it gives way to corrosion of vital components.

Put simply, higher mileage on a truck isn’t bad so long as it’s proportionate to the truck’s age and usage history. Having said that, you’ll need to be aware of the potential issues that can crop up as the miles pile on.

What Type of Problems Can Occur With Higher Mileage?

When we talk about wear and tear on a truck, we’re not just talking about the engine components. There are several systems and parts that wear down a little more each time a truck is driven.

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For example, shocks and struts — which are part of the suspension system — typically need replacing between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. Alternators are supposed to last between 80,000 and 150,000 miles, yet they tend to wear out much faster.
You can expect an older truck with 100,000 miles or more on it to start having issues with the following:
  • Air conditioning system
  • Alternator and starter
  • Axles and differentials
  • Emissions system
  • Exhaust system
  • Brake systems
  • Fuel injection system
  • Fuel pump
  • Water pump
  • Suspension system
  • Steering system
  • Radiator
  • Power windows, seats, and locks
  • Sensors
  • Engine and transmission
  • Rust
Not all high mileage trucks will have issues with the above, especially if they’ve been maintained properly. Ultimately, it’s less about the number of miles and more about how the truck was driven and cared for.

Your Used Car Mileage Checklist

Trucks are not made to last forever, and that’s okay; many of a vehicle’s parts will deteriorate eventually and will almost certainly need to be replaced.
checklist on a notebook

That’s why you have to consider the condition of a used truck against its mileage, wear and tear, and what parts you can reasonably expect to have repaired or replaced in the future. This will help you determine how reliable it will be and the overall value it will offer you for your money.

Always remember: Good mileage for a used truck is mileage that matches the truck’s age, condition, and past usage — as well as its price.

Here at Motobyo, we make sure that our used truck mileage matches all of those things and more. We also offer complimentary pre-sale certified inspections so you can bid and buy your next used truck with confidence.

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Browse our used truck and SUV inventory today and be sure to get in touch with our industry experts if you have any questions.