1. Check If The Vehicle Has Been Marked As “Running”
When visiting a scrap yard you’ll see some vehicles are marked that it one time the engine was running. However it’s advisable to do a close inspection of the engine, since a lot of things can happen once a vehicle reaches a salvage yard.
2. Check For Water Damage or Neglect
If you see standing water in cylinder wells or spark plug wells – it’s not worth looking any further!
3. Check The Collision Damage
The first thing I recommend you look for is vehicles that have been in a collision. You can reasonably assume that the engine and gearbox was running perfectly at the time of the collision. Therefore there is a pretty good chance that the engine and gearbox is still operational.
4. Check for broken engine parts or housings
If you are inspecting an engine or gearbox that has been in a collision. Look closely at the aluminum housings and look for broken parts, either on the cylinder head or where the engine and transmission mounts to the body.
5. Inspect the engine block or oil pan for damage
If you see holes or pieces sticking out the side shown in this picture, it’s definitely not the engine for you!
6. Check if the engine has any missing parts!
If you see that there seems to be missing parts, then MOVE ON! This engine is not worth looking at!
7. Does the Crankshaft Spin?
Another check you can do, is to see if you can spin the crankshaft by hand. If you cant spin the crankshaft by hand, it means the engine cannot move and maybe ceased.
8. Check the dipstick
Look for discoloration or signs of contamination of the dipstick. This could indicate a problem with the engine or gearbox.
9. Remove & Check The Oil Cap
If you remove an oil cap and you see a crusty build-up like this I say that’s an engine to be avoided.
10. Remove and check the spark plugs
Take the spark plugs out of the engine and have a look at them. If you see abnormalities on the spark plugs that’s an engine to be avoided. The above picture show that these plugs have a little bit of residue on it, which it’s probably burning oil or something. This is not the engine for you!
These tips will help make the process much easier and give you when buying used car engines for sale.