Last Updated on June 20, 2021
It is no doubt that winches are necessary, especially if you have instances of trending on off-road conditions. Sadly, new winches are quite expensive and may not suit your budget. On the plus side, you still have good news: you can buy a used winch.
Whenever you are buying a winch, whether brand new or used, there are factors that you have to consider. Nevertheless, there are additional things that you should take into account when buying the used winch.
Note: If you’re on a tight budget, then you can read our reviews of best winch for the bucks. We have reviewed 10 winches that provide good value for the money.
What to Consider When Buying a Used Winch
Don’t fret though, because we have compiled a simplified guide on all the factors to be considered. So, shall we get down to each of them?
1. Winch Capacity
Once you consider buying a winch, the first thing that should come to mind should be its capacity. First, identify the capacity of your car, or the heaviest trailer that you need the winch to haul.
Second, multiply the gross weight by 1.5 to get the minimum winch capacity that you should consider. This stems from the winch should have a capacity that is higher than the vehicle to get the vehicle out of any situation. For instance, if the vehicle is drenched in mud, the weight increases, so the winch will be lifting more than just the vehicle weight.
Whether or not you are buying a used winch, the winch capacity does not differ, and it is usually written on the winch.
2. Winch Rope
Unlike the winch capacity, the winch rope will differ in quality for the used new compared to the new winch. This is because the rope will depreciate with use.
The first consideration should be the winch rope type, where you have two options. You can either go with a steel cable or consider a synthetic rope.
While the steel cable is cheaper and great for pulling the car and heavy objects, it is prone to rust. Though it lasts long, it can break from lack of flexibility.
On the contrary, the synthetic rope may be strong and flexible, but it is vulnerable to UV lights, abrasion, and even chemicals.
Consider which between the two would work for you before making a step to purchase.
Over and above that, check the condition of the rope when you already have the winch. Ensure that it is not already subjected to wear and tear. If it is, consider getting a price that is lower, so that you can buy a new cable.
Also, ensure that the length of the cable is suitable for your tasks. If you anticipate sticking in rocky areas where getting an anchor will be difficult, consider a longer rope.
3. Waterproofing Mechanism
When getting the used winch, consider its water-resistant percentage. You should consider a winch that will not damage an inch even when subjected to snowy areas and tough rainy conditions.
You can ask the seller about this, and even suggest testing the winch before taking it.
4. The Solenoid and Switch
The solenoid will basically break the circuit in a winch, hence preventing overheating and electrical damage. On the other hand, the switch offers you the convenience of putting on and off the winch without necessarily being close.
You can test the winch solenoid before purchasing the winch to ensure that it is in good condition. If it is faulty, consider cutting off the cost of the solenoid from the cost of the winch. In any case, there is no way you will use the winch without the solenoid.
As for the switch, it is easy to replace, hence not much of a big deal. However, getting a working switch will add some points to the winch in question
5. The General Condition of the Winch
You will have to inspect the winch before making any buying commitments. Given today’s technology, you may have to buy the winch online. However, this does not mean that you will only believe the word of mouth. After all, you will be chatting with a complete stranger, who could be a fraud for all you know.
If the person lives close to your town, you can ask to visit for the viewing process. If it is too far, you can schedule a live video chat, where they will show you all the parts of the winch. Actually, you can request that they put it to work in the video, to be sure that the winch is not a fake.
Additionally, you can have a closer look at the winch outlook. Is the painting too old and rusty for the price? Are you ready to make a few adjustments because the cost is worth it?
6. Where to Install the Winch
Winches come in different methods of installation. Consider where you want to install yours before checking on the list of used winches.
The best recommendation that we have is the winch bumper, which you install at the front of your car. It will fit in as though it was part of the car, and so compact that it will not take up much of your space.
However, it may be more expensive, and if you have a trailer, you can go with the cheaper mounting options.
- 5 best winch with hitch mounting options
- The best winch for car trailer (review & suggestion)
- Warn Zeon 12, Warn Zeon 10 & Warn Zeon 8 Winch Review
7. Where to Buy a Used Winch
You will be surprised at the range of shops you have for used winch options. However, the most widely known places are local winch stores, Craiglist, Facebook, and eBay.
Local stores are safe because you are dealing with something you can see and even touch. Therefore, you end up making a decision based on all the qualities you really needed.
eBay, though online, is also a safe platform, but you can contact customer care for the full information of the winch, including the downside.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Craiglist and Facebook. The two are full of fraudsters, and you have to be extra careful. Ensure that you follow up with the seller before you make any commitment. In case of any meeting arrangement, ensure that it is in an open and public place for your own safety.
With this used winch buying guide, you can finally make your move. Don’t hurry, because this should be a long-term investment. Make all the considerations and enquire more from a winch store for optimal satisfaction.
I’m Daniel Galbreath, founder of OffRoadersWorld.
I spend my spare time writing on this website, OffRoaders World. I share my thoughts and reviews on different types of gears, share tips sometimes. This website is specially created and regularly updated basically to help other folks like me when I started to solve the various problems they face, specially when they go off-roading.