5 Tips to Inspect a Used Car Engine


The engine is the heart of your vehicle, giving it the power it needs to run smoothly. When damaged, it affects the car’s performance.

If you are the buyer, you should check the motor condition thoroughly before signing any agreement to avoid getting ripped off by unscrupulous sellers who might try to pass off worn parts as new. 

If you want to sell any car in Dubai, it is best to take your car to an automotive mechanic to ensure a complete inspection of the vehicle and suggestions for any repairs before selling.

  1. The “Check Engine” light is on

Dashboard warning lights allow the car to alert you to problems through its onboard diagnostic system. If the check engine’s light comes on, you should not ignore it. That could cause further damage to the engine and other parts. Many things trigger a check engine light.

  • A faulty oxygen sensor
  • Damage to the catalytic converter
  • Worn or damaged spark plugs
  • The fuel cap is not tight enough
  1. Hearing Strange Noises

An experienced driver knows that engine noises are common and often indicate nothing to worry about. However, if the engine makes loud banging sounds, especially at higher speeds, it may mean something is wrong with the car or the engine. 

It could be something minor like insufficient oil levels. Or it might be a major problem that causes severe damage and affects your car’s value. Keep in mind that we cash any car in Dubai regardless of its condition, which could come in handy depending on your situation!

A knock coming from your bonnet is a classic sign of a “bad” engine. That noise could be coming from the wear of the mechanical parts that make up the engine. That includes pistons, bearings, or any other moving parts.

You should watch out for other noises like popping, spitting, or thumping from the exhaust.

  1. Irregular Engine Rotation

Listen to the engine sound when driving. Is it consistent? A struggling engine will often stutter, shake, or lose power as the rpm increases. Here are some common solutions:

  • Replace the spark plugs.
  • Test/replace your ignition coils.
  • Check the fuel level.
  • Clean the airflow meter.
  1. Oil Leaks

Leaks can damage engine components over time. If you notice puddles of oil under the vehicle, it’s probably due to a leak. As the oil runs out, the engine generates more friction and overheats. 

Besides underneath the vehicle, there are a couple of areas that you should inspect too.

  • Look for Leaks Under the Hood

Find the oil drains and look under the vehicle hood. You’ll notice some places where oil drains to the bottom of the engine block. These are called pan holes. They’re necessary to drain excess oil away so that it doesn’t build up. When looking around the underside of the engine, you may also see hose clamps or tubing attached to these areas.

  • Inspect Areas Away from Oil Drains

Look for signs of leaking elsewhere in your vehicle. Start with the front bumper and move towards the back. See if there are any puddles of oil near the wheels or engine compartment. Also, look at the windshield wiper blades. Are they making contact with the surface before retracting? Do they leave any drips behind?

  1. Presence of Odors in the Car

Vehicles with high mileage are prone to engine wear that is obvious through multiple oil leaks.

The smell of car emissions should never be noticeable from inside the vehicle. If there is a strong smell of exhaust fumes, engine fumes, or any other strange smell, it could indicate that the engine is damaged.

Sometimes underneath the hood is dry, but you can still smell burnt oil after driving the car for a while.

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