Looking to buy a 2003.......need advice...new to Chevy

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by VisaliaIPA, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. VisaliaIPA

    VisaliaIPA Member

    Joined the forum today and hopefully will be a Chevy owner here soon....

    I've been looking at a 2003 Silverado 1500 stepside regular cab Orange with 20 inch black rims. Nice looking truck with grey interior. Its got 59k on it right now and they are asking 13998.

    The price seems a little high...I was thinking more like 10500 to 11500. Any input on that is greatly appreciated.

    Took it for a drive and runs nice. The paint is clean as well as the interior. Just a crack on the fold down center console but no biggie. Only thing I noticed was there was a "Service airbag" warning in the digital display.

    Engine is clean and no evidence of drip, leaks etc. One owner truck.

    Anything you can provide as far as advice, info on anything to look for I'd greatly appreciate it. My current truck is a Dodge 3500 MegaCab diesel that im going to be selling as i dont really need it any longer and want to buy a truck outright for what I clear off of this truck.
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    People always seem to think they have a hot item when they have an older truck with low mileage. While that's dandy, one must always question if a low-mileage truck was started/driven regularly enough to keep the fluids flowing through it rather than gumming things up. (This becomes ever more important as ports and openings become fine enough to barely pass a human hair through them.)

    On a low-mileage truck I believe that it's vitally important that you ask to see service records and get a carfax type report showing inspection history (which will give you an idea of actual annual mileage) if you're in a state that requires annual inspections. The other things to which you should pay particular attention on a low-mileage truck are hose and tire condition (assuming the tires aren't new), as these might be indicators as to whether the truck has sat (dry rot? tires have flat spots? etc.)

    Outside of these things, here's a past post with some very general things to consider. You probably know most of them but it often helps to have them in a written form so you can strike through them as you cover them: http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/sh...ed-truck-what-to-look-for?p=420576#post420576

  3. johnsstart

    johnsstart Rockstar 100 Posts

    Service air bag can be a number of things, but always a sign of a wreck check everything from the frame to all the panels. A orange black rimmed silverado is rare much less seen...c(-; take someone that knows what to look for to look at the truck. Could be a insurance bought quick fixed to sell deal that year and mileage i would sure deal deeper into the facts. Not to mention the issues of the bigger rims were the shocks and struts made to accomadate that change ? Sounds like a very exspensive "GUESS" chevy is the best if you can find some kind of history or troubleshoot things on your own.........I'm guessing the orange paint came from the parts store and cost a whole $20 bucks a quart just be really carefull before that much money goes out...:glasses:
  4. VisaliaIPA

    VisaliaIPA Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'll be doing a CARFAX on it today to see what it reveals. [MENTION=23365]johnsstart[/MENTION]-I didn't see any obvious collision damage and the orange appears to be the original paint. Its orange inside the engine compartment and other areas that people wouldnt hit if they did a "home" job. I didn't think about the shock/strut issue.....was it possible to put 20 inch wheels on an '03 without modifying anything or did you have to make modifications to make them fit?

    I'll give you an update later and again thanks for the replies.
  5. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Regarding the air bag light -- understand that if that light is on the airbag system is disabled.

    Get a mechanic to plug into the computer. One used truck I was looking at (literally a month before I bought what I now drive) also had the service air bag light on. I paid a mechanic of my choosing (and local to where the truck was being sold) his hourly rate to go over it with a fine-toothed comb AND plug into the computer to find out why that light was on. I was told it came on after a third-party installer put in an aftermarket stereo. What the mechanic found was interesting -- the truck's computer was DEAD.

    Someone clearly zorched -something- (in addition to the airbag system) when installing that stereo. Was it just the airbag system and the computer or were there going to be more wiring problems? It smacked too much of someone doing wiring who didn't know what they were doing and was a dealbreaker.

    If you're dealing with the individual owner did you ask about the airbag light -- when it came on ... whether they plugged in a computer to find out why it was on? A dealership should be able to tell you the latter. A small dealership and an individual should be able to do so, as well, if on its toes, as parts stores typically plug in and read codes for free ... and there's nothing stopping them from using such a free service.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  6. VisaliaIPA

    VisaliaIPA Member

    Yeah I plan on taking it to a mechanic to get it looked at. It's not from a private party its at an auto dealer lot. Did a carfax and it shows no collision damage....no salvage or loss reported and no airbbag deployment. Has had 4 previous owners. Originally sold in Arizona then to Nevada for 2 owners and finally California which is where i am at. Passed all emmisinos and insections.

    Is it feasible to put 20's on this truck?

    And I saw something about RPO codes..? If i looked at the codes would it show what the original paint color was. It doesn't look like a re-paint and after some rersearch they did have Tangier Orange as a color choice.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  7. 07XCSB

    07XCSB Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    The Air Bag light doesn't always indicate a wreck. The airbag light came on in my 07 Classic and it has NEVER been wrecked, I've owned since new. Its was a bad sensor. It costed me about 100.00 dollars to get fixed. I think the biggest issue with that truck is the price. My friend just bought a 05 Xcab Z71 4wd LT3 truck with 85k miles for 12,500. ( The red one in my Pic of my truck thread). Which ever truck you find, spend the money to have a third party check it out. 65.00 dollars now is alot cheaper than just about any repair.
  8. VisaliaIPA

    VisaliaIPA Member

    Thanks 07xcsb...............yeah i plan on getting it looked at. HOw is Murphy...? Small world.....thats one of the places im thinking about moving to when I retire.............
  9. BrownPats420

    BrownPats420 Member 100 Posts

    Surreal has a good point with the maintenance, I bought my 03 sierra 1500 with 79k for 13500. I say it's a good deal with the mileage but if you do buy go through everything before you throw the hammer down and drive the thing. You don't know if the kid just made it look pretty and had no idea what was going on under the hood. It's your choice if you like it, get it. The only major problem I had was a GM service recall on the blower motor resistor module. Other then that i love my 03.
  10. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Service airbag warnings are RARELY the result of an accident. I got that warning after changing the seats in my '03. I put '02 seats in and the airbag sensors in the seats were different. No biggie. Custom wheels have NOTHING to do with shocks, and I HIGHLY doubt that someone painted it with auto parts store paint. Sheesh! Pull a carfax on it. Scan the computer to make sure there are no problems. Look for rust problems and possible damage from any accidents that might have happened. If it was ever a total loss vehicle, that will show up in the carfax. Do yourself a favor and take it to a shop to be looked over whether or not you are knowledgable. Personally, I have let impulse buys cloud my judgment in the past.

    I had an '03 with 200,000 miles on it and it ran GREAT. Don't be afraid of a truck like that. Remember that customizations to a vehicle do not add anything to the blue book value. Go to KBB and find out what it is really worth. People have a habit of thinking that just because they added some chrome goodies to their vehicles that the value goes up too.

    If it is a salvage title, it will be clearly shown on the title and registration.

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