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How to Check a Used Car Engine Before Buying

When buying a used car the thing that causes us more tension is the engine part. Many of us don’t know anything about the engine area and don’t know what to check before buying.

But that’s going to change. The engine is undoubtedly the most expensive part of a car and in this content, I’m going to teach you guys how you can inspect the engine area all by yourself.

When you’re inspecting a car the first thing you want to do is scan for any errors. Just keep an OBD2 Scanner with you and that will do the job. You will find the scan port under the driver-side steering wheel and if it shows too many issues then it’s not worth buying the car. So, always scan the car first and check in the app.

After you’re done with the scan, you can open the hood for further inspection. If the engine is too clean it might seem good visually, but it can also indicate that the car has a huge problem that the owner is trying to hide. So, check thoroughly all the engine parts.

Check if the structure is straight or not. Check the fender and fender bolts. If any major accident happens it’s very hard to fix the structure. So by checking this, you’re ensuring that the car doesn’t have any accident history.

Also, check the front-core support.

Keep a flashlight with you. Often times we miss things that we’re supposed to see. A flashlight will help us see better. Check for any type of leaks in the engine area.

The best way to check leaks is to go under the car. Check the transmission and the oil pan. If everything’s dry and not leaking then it’s a good sign that nothing is broken.

You can check the coolant box. Different coolants have different colors. So, as long as the color is bright and clear, it’s okay. Look for any oil stuck in the cap, it will indicate a head gasket leak.

Check the brake master cylinder and look out for any leaks underneath it. If it’s clean and dry then it’s all good. Also, check whether the minimum level of fluid is present there. That will indicate that the owner took care of his car well.

Next, you can check the power steering reservoir. Open the lid and check whether the fluid is dark or not. If it’s not then it’s all good. Check the power steering lines also. There can be leaks there.

Check the engine oil and open the cap. If there’s oil stuck and formed like jelly or milkshake then it’s a bad sign indicating there’s a head gasket leak. Pull out the dipstick and check that also.

After checking all these, check all the cables, belts & hoses. Make sure they are not brittle and in good condition.

Now get someone inside the driving and tell him to turn on the car. You can go behind and check the exhaust pump. After starting the car check whether any smoke comes out or not. If there’s no smoke then it’s a good sign.

If there’s white smoke it means a head gasket leak.
If there’s blue smoke it means a worn-out piston ring.

No smoke means the car’s in good condition and you can continue inspecting.

Also while someone is revving the car you can go front and check the engine one more time. If the engine moves a lot then it’s a bad sign indicating the mount holding the engine is damaged.

While the engine is on look for leaks in the engine area. Because often time leak is not visible when the car is sitting idle.

While the engine is on, open the engine cap and check whether any smoke is coming out of it or not. If there’s no smoke coming out then it’s a good sign.

Whatever you checked while the engine is off, repeat the same while the engine is on. Because cars behave differently in these 2 conditions.

While shutting the engine make sure there’s not any vibration or noise.
Make sure the engine hood is closing properly.

So that’s pretty much all the necessary things you can do in the engine area while buying a used car. I hope you find this information helpful and they can guide you on your next car purchase.

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