How to Check a Car Engine Before Buying A Used Car – Ute Guide

How to Check a Car Engine beforehand Buying A Used Car


Used UtesWhile buying a used car is cost-effective, it’s a worrying experience. My grandad former to say “when you buy someone’s car, you buy all their problems” – he had a point.

No former car is perfect, but there are one essential things you must inspect

before purchasing a pre-owned vehicle

if you desire to drive off the lot in one piece.


Here are our practical tips for checking a pre-owned car’s engine. Don’t get ripped off!

Try an OBD2 Scanner Tool

OBD2 Scanners can be picked up pleasing cheap these days, and they’re a luminous way to check the error codes and danger lights on newer vehicles. If the vehicle has had a “check engine” light recently which has happened fixed or deleted, the tool will be able to repeat you.

Similarly, if there are frequent warning codes throughout a certain issue with the vehicle, the OBD2 necessity be able to show you this too. Essentially, you’re running a very basic diagnostics test on the car to fabricate sure that major engine problems haven’t remained swept under the rug temporarily.

Look for leaks

If you’re buying a vehicle which has dapper high mileage, it’s normal for there to be a runt seeping here and there, but it shouldn’t be anything major. If possible, get on the ground and check underneath the car to see if any noticeable leaks are dripping from the chassis. This might be best to do with the engine organization too.

Also, be sure to grasp the bonnet and look for any certain leaks around the engine itself. If the engine is orderly and dust-free, this is actually quite suspicious. A super-clean engine makes a leak less certain to see, so it can make the vehicle seem healthier than it is. A dusty engine desire allow you to spot wet patches tidy away, so keep an eye out for that.

Check the oil

Lift the oil cap to check that there isn’t any sludgy or foamy-looking oil underneath. If there is, this could be a imprint of “blow-by” where air pressure comes up through the oil, causing problems. You might want to check this by turning on the engine of the car and halting your hand over the open oil cap to check you can’t feel any air blowing out.

Next, take the dipstick and check the oil directly. Make sure it’s within the recommended range. If the oil level is low, it could be that the survive owner hadn’t topped it up, or it could be that the vehicle has problems plus oil leakage. If the car has happened cleaned up and serviced yet the oil directly seems low, this is a cause for concern.

Also, when checking the oil in the cap and on the dipstick, keep an eye out for small metallic flakes too. Anything you see that isn’t a runny-looking soak should raise an eyebrow.

Get the engine running

If you’re able to, turn on the engine and get it operating. We can look at fluid levels and error codes all day, but a consecutively engine is one of the easiest ways to space problems. First of all, does the engine sound normal? Yes, it might sound a bit old, but are there any new noises or sounds that indicate trouble?

If you hear an

unusual noise

from the engine, try to follow it and locate the get of the problem. It could be a little fix that is easy to repair, or it could be a major dealbreaker. I’ve known cars with drive belts which squealed like banshees while the engine was on, but they happened cheap to repair so I didn’t want buying them regardless.

Also, while the engine has been running for a few minutes, try taking the temperature of the car to check that it isn’t overheating. Engines running too hot is a approved problem with older vehicles, so make sure everything is in operational order.

Look at the fluid levels

When the bonnet is up and the engine is off, check the levels of the engine coolant, oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, etc. Are they all in their principal ranges? If you find that one fluid is suspiciously low, this could be a obtain for concern. Perhaps the owner forgot to top it up, or perhaps there’s a leak you’re not aware of.

Checking the fluid levels too helps you to calculate any additional expenses you may maintain. For example, if all the levels are low because the car easily needs them replaced, you need to cheap for getting that service performed after you remove the vehicle.


We hope you enjoyed these tips for checking a customary car’s engine before you buy it! Ultimately, it’s difficult to know if a second-hand is 100% problem-free pending you drive it for a few days, but hopefully these tips can eliminate any scrape cars from your shortlist.

This article was written by www.uteguide.com.au with title How to Check a Car Engine Before Buying A Used Car – Ute Guide.
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Author: apprentice

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