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How to check the car engine when buying a used car

We often buy a used car rather than buying a brand new car. If you are going to buy a used car then you need to check the condition of the car’s engine. As there are several components of an engine, it’s very tricky and also a critical task to determine the actual condition of the engine. Even if the car looks good from outside or seems like there is no problem, still there may have some problems inside the engine of that used car. In that situation, the thing you can do is to follow some steps to check the condition of the used car’s engine. Let’s have a look at those steps.

Check service records

It’s very important to maintain a car regularly. Before you buy a used car, you should seek for the service records of that car from its owner. Though most of the time it’s not available, fortunately getting that record will help you to know the past servicing record of the car. Don’t forget to check mileage and the oil change records. According to some well-known manufacturers, the interval of oil change should be between 3750 to 10000 miles. If it’s not properly maintained, then the engine’s condition may get poor. If the car has a timing belt, check for the replacement record of that belt. It’s beneficial to change the timing belt every 60000-105000 miles.

Check the quality of oil and its level

There are some important indicators which determine the condition of an engine. The quality of oil is one of those most efficient indicators. The color of the oil should be yellow or brown. If the oil looks something like a mud-slush, then be sure that the owner didn’t change the car’s oil for a very long period of time. At the time of lifting the bonnet of the car, you should check for the seepage around the engine. You also need to open the cap of oil and look inside. If you find any kind of black carbon gunk inside, then that’s a negative sign. You can check the level of the engine oil using a dipstick.

Look for leaks

Leaks are an indicator that something is wrong with the engine of the car which may get worse and lead to a greater loss in future. So, it’s a must for you to check if there is any kind of oil leaks. You may not be able to find out the leaks easily from the above. Here you can be tricky and check under the car with a flashlight. If the lower part of the engine and transmission is dry, then you can assume that there is no leak. You can do another thing which is you can keep that car on a concrete and clean parking slab. Then leave the car there overnight. If you find the place still dry in the morning, then be sure the car is free from leaks. If there is any kind of fluid leaking out, then they will pool on the concrete.

Beware of smoke

You should look if there is any smoke or not while the car is accelerating. A little bit of black colored smoke coming out of a diesel car is quite normal. But if you are going to buy a used petrol car and any kind of smoke is coming out from its engine, then it’s definitely a bad sign. Different types of colors indicate different problems. If the engine has blown a gasket, then you will get white color smoke with a sweet smell. The dark black smoke means the car burns excessive fuel and also running rich. Blue smoke means that the car badly burns its motor oil. Excessive blue smoke is never a good sign even after the worm up.

Check the noise of engine

You need to keep a sharp air on the noises that the engine will make when you will attempt a cold starting. If the engine is warmed-up, it’ll definitely hide different types of weaknesses that the car carries. These weaknesses are only discoverable when the car is cold. Normal clicking sound coming from an engine is acceptable, as it’s the sound from cold tappets. There’s nothing to worry about that factor. As the car will heat up, the noise will automatically vanish. Make sure that there is no existence of any kind of heavy clunking or thudding sounds in the engine. If you see that the engine is creating too much mechanical noise which is unnecessary and also unexpected, it’ll be a wise decision to avoid purchasing the car. You can also take suggestions from the experts on that matter.

Check under the hood

Checking the underside of the hood is an important task before you make a test drive. There are so many clues hidden there about the condition of the car’s engine that will undoubtedly help you to determine the condition of the car’s engine you are going to buy. If the liner is clean and intact, then you have to understand that the car is performing well. You should consider the regular dirt and dusk. If the liner looks black, be sure this is an oil-burning car. You may find an evidence of fire. If so, then don’t forget to ask how and when it happened. You can also get the smell of burnt oil from there. Keep your full concentration there.

Make a test drive

Making a test drive is an effective way of not only checking the actual condition of the car’s engine but also getting satisfaction and having mental content. You should make a test drive even if the condition of the car looks well. A test drive allows you to check your transmission. You may not enjoy the ride even if the overall condition of the car’s engine is good. A test drive will also provide you with an entire picture of the car. You will be able to know about the noise, vibration, and the power of the engine. If the engine has no problems, it should run smoothly without any kind of shaking when started. But make sure your driving speed is normal. Drive the car as far as possible, because sometimes the engine may not show any problems during a short drive. It’s best to drive the car on a highway for a longer period of time.

Take it to an expert mechanic

If you are still not satisfied and have confusion about the condition of the car’s engine even after checking all the things and making a test drive, it’s high time for you to take the car to a mechanic. If the owner allows you, you should take the car to an expert mechanic for the ultimate checkup of the car’s engine. Only the expert mechanics can broadly inspect the real condition of the car’s engine. They will give you a report which will help you to make the purchasing decision.

You need to be very careful while buying a used car, as there is no guarantee that the overall condition of a used car is good. So, you should go for engine checkup which will give you at least a minimum idea about the condition of the car and the reason behind selling the car. Knowing the condition may also change your purchasing decision. Though it’s almost impossible to check all the internal components of the engine, you can still have a solid idea about the actual condition of the used car’s engine if you check the above things.

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