Are you shopping for a used school bus? Such a shopping journey is usually compared to purchasing a used car.
The most important aspects to look for in such vehicles are a healthy engine, which has plenty of life left, as well as a healthy chassis. The chassis is a crucial cost factor, as it determines the lifespan of the bus. There are various bus dealers in Western Canada, such as https://thebuscentre.com, offering an extensive range of used vehicles.
The tips below will assist you in the buying journey.
Check the overall condition
The first piece of advice to consider when buying a used school bus is its overall condition. Potential buyers should inspect the interior, frame, and drive-train of the vehicle to see if their condition is satisfying. Another point to check is whether the vehicle has been maintained by inspecting the interior for signs of wear and tear.
Buyers should look for rust between the joints, as well as run a test on the interior features, such as its audio equipment and HVAC systems. Overall equipment improvements should be considered as well, as there are new regulations and improvements in the design of school buses, which are standard, not optional. Consequently, you’ll probably be required to update some of the equipment, such as tires and mirrors.
The condition of the chassis serves as the best indicator of the life expectancy of a used bus. It’s of the utmost importance for the body to be sturdy enough to ensure passengers’ safety. Therefore, it should be attentively examined for signs of corrosion and rust, along with the safety of steps and solidity of the floor. All these factors speak volumes about the overall safety and longevity of the vehicle. Check out the difference between rust and corrosion.
Check the maintenance records
The following tip to adhere to when buying a used school bus is to check the maintenance records. Potential buyers should be provided with an insight into where the vehicle has been in the previous 10,000 miles. Make sure you receive a detailed view of the maintenance work and repair performed on the bus over the years.
Moreover, the maintenance records of these vehicles can help buyers understand more about the one they are buying. Maintenance is also of incredible importance after making a purchase, as it serves to ensure the future safety and performance of the used vehicle. Make sure your used bus becomes part of a regular program for preventative maintenance by following the guidelines of the original manufacturer.
Inspect transmission and engine health
Other aspects to check prior to purchasing a used school bus are the health of the engine and transmission. Prior to purchasing the vehicle, you should arrange a test drive to gain a better insight into the transmission, which usually starts out fine but might slip upon reaching higher gears.
Nowadays, most people prefer automatic over manual transmission. In terms of engines, diesel engines are known to function better with a heavier load. The engine’s weight and fuel efficiency should also be considered when choosing an engine.
Check for rust and leaks
Another helpful tip when buying a used school bus is checking for rust and leaks. Buyers should keep their eyes open in search of rust signs, as the last thing on your agenda should be investing in a bus with a corroded base. The weather conditions play an important role in rusting, particularly referring to humid environments.
Furthermore, it’s paramount to purchase a used bus with minimum levels of rust, which can be removed easily. As far as steel is concerned, rust spreads like cancer. Once the body of a vehicle gets affected, its condition only becomes worse. The best-case scenario would be for no rust to be found underneath the body or on the frame.
Looking for leaks is particularly important if buying a used bus with automatic transmission, as these are considered especially leaky. Leaks usually appear when vehicles become hot on long trips.
Make sure to inspect the battery’s condition for leakage, as well as its bottom for oxidation signs. The following link, https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-oxidation-in-chemistry-605456#:~:text=Oxidation%20is%20the%20loss%20of,%2C%20molecule%2C%20or%20ion%20decreases., explains more about the oxidation process. No spots should be found underneath the vehicle that point out potential leakage.
Used buses with rust and leaks require a replacement of the infected parts, which is costly due to the availability of the parts. Keep in mind that if you need to make a lot of repairs, the investment might turn out larger than you’ve expected.
Consider the size and body style
The size and body style of the vehicle is worth considering, as you should purchase a used bus that meets your requirements. Make sure it has a rear and overhead entrance storage room, as well as enough seating capacity. The standard capacity of seating is thirty passengers.
The body style, on the other hand, should be based on your preference. There are several models to choose from, including the dog nose and flat nose model. The most suitable body type should satisfy your needs in terms of storage, headspace, exits, emergency exits, and interior space. Comfort and safety are also important as well when settling on a used bus.
Prior to purchasing a used vehicle, buyers are advised by federal and state guidelines to check whether some items need updating. Depending on the specifications and condition, a used bus might run between $3,000 and $7,000. In contrast, new ones might cost over $50,000. Despite the scope of initial savings, repairs are bound to be performed, which significantly increases the cost.
Purchasing a late-model used school bus is considered the best investment. An increasing number of school districts have started purchasing extended warranties for their new school vehicles. These warranties can be eventually transferred to the new owner and increase the value of the vehicle.
We hope these tips pave the way to buying the ideal used vehicle!