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How To Check If A Used Auto Engine Is Good

CarPart  ·  March 10, 2021

How To Check If A Used Auto Engine Is Good

Contrary to what some people may believe, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a used auto engine. It’s a great way to save money when getting an engine for whatever vehicle you’re trying to get back on the road. Plus, in another sense, you’re also giving that engine a second chance at life.

However, the tricky part about buying a second-hand car engine is that you can never be 100% sure about its conditions inside. Most engine components are inside the block, and unless you’re going to take it all apart and inspect every tiny part, you’ll have to evaluate the engine somehow.

That’s what we’re going to try and help you figure out in this article. Before you look around at used motors for sale, you’ll need to ask the right questions and inspect the engine the right way. To cut to the chase, you’ll also want to start your search for a quality used engine by only going to the best places that sell them.

That sounds like a lot to cover, but don’t worry. It’s a lot more straightforward than it sounds.

Let’s get started.

Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Engine

The first step towards getting your hands on a quality used engine is to understand more about buying a second-hand car engine. What’s the best way to do that? By asking the right questions, of course!

Here are some things that your questions should focus on:

The Engine’s History

Firstly, you must find out the engine’s life story, from the beginning to the point when it was put on sale as a used car engine. For starters, that’ll give you a sense of how old the engine is and how much wear and tear it may have experienced.

Plus, that history should also tell you why the owner put it on sale. Was the vehicle totalled in a major accident? Or did the owner just want to upgrade to a better car or engine? The answer matters because if has figured in a significant incident, there might be undiscovered problems with the engine components inside.

Any Previous Testing

Next, you’ll want to know if the engine has ever been through any kind of testing or inspection. Suppose you’re buying from a private seller. The odds of them having tested the engine might be relatively low. However, a professional dealer selling you a quality used engine may have tested it already as part of their standard procedures.

Engine testing and any documentation or proof that they can show you are excellent ways to buy a second-hand car engine with added peace of mind. At least you’ll know the odds of it having problematic engine parts are much lower.

Compatibility with Your Car

Again, this tip will depend on who you’re buying from. A knowledgeable seller will probably advise you on whether or not the engine you want to buy is compatible with your vehicle. A private seller may not be able to answer this question unless the donor car is the same as yours.

Any Warranty or After-Sales Support

Lastly, ask about any warranty or after-sales support that’s provided. A professional outfit that sells you a second-hand car engine will typically give you a warranty of some sort (a few months at least), and they’ll have a support number that you can call if you experience any problems later on.

How to Inspect a Used Car Engine 

Asking questions when you want to buy a used engine is excellent. Still, you need to take whatever answer you get with a grain of salt. Yes, most sellers are honest people, but their priority is to get you to buy the engine. That’s why you need to learn how to inspect a used car engine yourself.

It’s safe to assume that no seller would let you take the engine apart and inspect the engine components piece by piece. However, there are some essential points that you can check before you make your final decision.

Here are some things to look out for when inspecting a used car engine you’d like to buy.

Water or Oil Leaks

Don’t be afraid to grab a flashlight and look at the engine up-close. What you’re looking for are visible leaks, regardless of whether they’re water or oil leaks. An engine that’s in good shape shouldn’t be leaking anything, period.

Signs of Damage

Unless the car has been in a collision, there should be no signs of damage on a good second-hand car engine. Of course, if the seller was honest and upfront about any damage and you confirm it during your inspection, then that’s a different story.


One big no-no on a used auto engine is rust. That’s why you’ll want to be thorough and check for it with a flashlight. Excessive rusting is never a good sign, and it should discourage you from buying that second-hand car engine regardless of how cheap it might be.

Best Place to Buy Used Engines

There are plenty of places to buy used engines, from direct sellers online to certified professional used auto engine dealers. Whether you’re buying a used engine in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia, things have gotten much easier in so many ways, thanks to the internet.

When shopping for a second-hand car engine, your first stop should be, and for more than one reason. Firstly, the Marketplace is an excellent place to check out used motors for sale and find the best deals possible. That includes engines from private sellers and dealers alike.

Besides that, you can also use the website’s Directory to find second-hand car engine dealers, wreckers, auto shops, and car mechanics closest to your physical location. With the details provided on the Directory, you can give these dealers a call and drop by to inspect your future used auto engine!

By Ray Hasbollah

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