Buying a Used Car Engine

The engine is considered to be the heart of the car, so it is very important to ensure the proper functioning of a used car engine when buying a used car. One should check the following thoroughly to know the condition of the engine:

Oil level

It is important to check the oil level of used car engines. While checking the oil with a dipstick, if you notice any problem such as black oil (except for diesel engines), signs of lack of maintenance, or black stains on the dipstick, the engine could give problems in the future.

Any leakage

Thoroughly examine if there is any leakage in the oil, as a good engine look is not a guarantee of no-leaks!

Oil pressure

If the low oil pressure warning light goes on while engine is running or idle, or the engine oil pressure gauge indicates low oil pressure, it means that engine is worn out or has some defects. This is a major problem in used car engines.

Inaccurate repair

Check out if there is too much bulging of gasket maker, missing or loose bolts, stripped treads, altered wiring, and broken fastenings, etc. In case any such defects exist, engine is not in good condition.

Timing belt

A timing belt is present especially in four cylinder engines, and has to be replaced after some specific interval of time. Check for its history.


Smoke is one thing that you need to ensure when buying a used car engine. Check for smoke through exhaust by pressing the accelerator to about half way down, and if grey-blue smoke is there, it is a sign of bad condition. Black smoke means a possibility of some problem with the fuel injection. Diesel engines may have a slight black smoke when starting cold, but this is a normal condition.

Noises when the engine is running

Knocking, tapping, or rattling noises in the engine indicates poor maintenance and excessive wear of internal engine parts. However, whistling is due to loose belt.

Apart from these, a mechanical inspection, along with inspection of warning list, and a test-drive, will help you know the condition of a used car engine.

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