If the engine in your vehicle is shot and you need a new engine, it is often more affordable to purchase a used engine than it is to replace the engine with new parts. When it comes to purchasing used auto parts like an engine, you need to be careful. You need to take your time and know what to look for so you choose a quality used engine that is not going to leave with an engine that just needs more attention.
Purchase a Complete Package
When you purchase a used engine, you can purchase one that is a complete package, which essentially means that the engine is completely put-together and ready to go. You want to the engine to have an uncut engine harness, as well as charge pipes that are intact and sensors that are ready to go.
Avoid buying an engine that has been torn apart and is being sold as a basically a kit for you to put back together. With a torn apart engine, there is a great chance that the parts are not in good shape, and more risk is added into the process since you now have to put together an engine that you didn't take apart correctly.
Analyze the Oil in the Engine
When you purchase a used engine, you are going to want to check the oil. The state of the oil inside of the engine will tell you about the state of the engine overall. You will want to remove the oil filter cap and look at the cap itself first. If you see black carbon on the underside of the cap, that means that the engine has not been taken care of properly over time. If you see a white substance, there is a big problem with the engine, and you should walk away from that engine.
Next, pull out the dipstick and inspect the engine. If the engine has a mud consistency to it, then the engine wasn't changed for a long period of time, which could mean the engine will have internal issues. If the oil color is white or looks more like a brown mocha, then the head gasket on the engine is blown. If the engine is brown, that is normal and just means that the oil needs to be changed.
Check the Spark Plugs
Next, you need to check out the spark plugs on the engine. Looking at the spark plugs can tell you a lot about the overall condition of the engine and can let you know what the inside of the engine may be like. If the spark plugs have oil on them, the engine could have a piston ring problem. If the spark plugs are white, the air to fuel ratio may be too lean for the engine. If the spark plugs are black, then the air to fuel ration may be too rich.
When you purchase a used engine, make sure you are purchasing a complete, put together package. Take the time to check out the oil and spark plugs, and see what they will tell you about the condition of the engine. You want to purchase an engine that is going to be better than the engine you are currently have.