7 Simple Steps To Check Secondhand Car’s Engine

While looking for a second-hand car, always keep in your mind that nobody has sold a completely flawless car. Always check it thoroughly before investing, no matter how much you like a car at first glance. The most important thing to check properly in a second-hand car is its engine.

Here are some easy steps for checking the engine of a second-hand car.

Seven steps of checking the engine of a second-hand car:

  1. Problem in starting

One of the most common problems with second-hand cars is the delay in starting. This delay shows that a vehicle’s engine needs to be in better condition or there are some problems in the ignition system of the vehicle because a vehicle with a good engine will only take one attempt to start. If the car takes multiple attempts to start, then ask the car owner about the engine condition of the car.

  1. Oil Leaks

If the oil is leaking from the engine, then it is also a sign of a major problem. Inspect the car’s engine thoroughly by opening the bonnet and see if there is any visible sign of oil leakage. In some brands of cars, minor leaks are usual, but if you notice a large patch of oil in the engine, it signifies the damaged gaskets and internal components of the car. It is best to avoid vehicles with oil leakage issues.

  1. Coolant leakage

A coolant is used to cool down the engine. The leakage of coolant from the radiator shows there may be some crack or damage. If the car has a cracked radiator, it can be a severe issue, so it is advisable to avoid spending on such cars.

  1. Smell from the engine

Before buying any second-hand car, always check it properly and take a ride on it for a few minutes, and then after the ride, check for any smells by opening the bonnet of the car. If you notice any burning smell, it is a sign of low oil level and incomplete combustion. It also indicates that there are some worn components inside the engine.

  1. Check the bottom of the car

Usually, the sellers of second-hand cars polish and wash the car before presenting it to the buyer. But they forgot to clean the bottom of the car. Always check the bottom of the car to find any damage. Greasy spots and plain dirt can be ignored, but if you spot any fluid at the bottom, they signify damage.

  1. Inspect the internal parts

Remove the car’s oil cap and inspect the engine’s internal parts properly. Firstly, remove the oil cap carefully, as it might be hot, and then you can see the engine’s internal components. If these components are clean, then everything is good. But if there is a lot of carbon deposit and sludge in the internal parts, then it shows that there is lacking maintenance of the engine of the vehicle.

  1. Inspect the turbo

If the car you are interested in runs on a turbocharger, it is not possible while it is running. But you can ensure that the turbocharger is well connected and there are no signs of leaks and rust.


These are some simple steps to check a car’s engine before investing in it. Apart from the engine, inspect other things like tier conditions, the body of the car, brakes, clutch, exhaust, interiors, acceleration, etc.

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