There are many, many possible uses for people who buy a used Toyota Hilux. They can be used for camping, fishing or as beach vehicles. They can also be given to beginner drivers who need a rugged car. There are also groups who have been known to buy a used Toyota Hilux, drive it to remote areas and then donate the vehicle. Then there are the people who buy 20-year old Hiluxes as project vehicles, outfitting them with raised suspensions, big tires and more powerful engines for serious off-roading. And need we mention the constant demand for Hiluxes in conflict areas for use as gun and infantry platforms?
Except for the last example, people who are looking to buy a used Toyota Hilux still need to do a few checks to ensure that the vehicle they are eyeing is still in decent, usable condition. Despite the Toyota Hilux’s well-deserved reputation as being almost indestructible, it’s going to be exceedingly frustrating to buy a used Hilux and discovering that it has a bent frame, or needs new brakes or has a rusted chassis.
Since the Toyota Hilux has been in production since the 1970s, there are myriad examples you can buy, with decades separating all the various models available. With an older Hilux, you should check if the alternator is still in good working condition and if the cooling system is in top-notch order. Even when new, some generations of the Toyota Hilux were found to have marginal cooling capabilities when used for towing in high heat environments. There were also generations of Hilux that suffered from head gasket and/or cylinder head failures. These were most common in the four-cylinder diesels.
If the Hilux is a four-wheel drive model, check all the prop shafts as well as listen for any whine in the transmission and transfer case. When you test drive the vehicle, check for vibrations at low and high speeds. Sometimes, it can just be an out-of-round or unbalanced tire. Or it can be worse, at which point you can walk away from that vehicle, or find out exactly what needs to be repaired if you really like the rest of the pickup. Apart from that, you also need to do the usual checks like you would when buying a car, such as checking for leaks, checking the operation of the check engine and other diagnostic lights, and making sure the air conditioner and other accessories are in good working order.
The one thing that’s comforting when you buy a used Toyota Hilux is that since there are so many that have been built, knowledge about repairing them and parts availability are not a problem.