How to Know if Your Junkyard Car Engine is Any Good? 5 Tips and Tricks

Once upon a time there was a junkyard car with an engine that had seen better days. But how do you tell if it’s worth the effort to repair and restore? Fear not! We’re here to help you decide if your junkyard car engine is any good or not. So read on and let’s get you back on the road!

What to Look For When Inspecting a Junkyard Car Engine


If you’re thinking of selling a junkyard car engine, there are several things to consider. Inspection should go beyond the obvious superficial examination of the visible components and take into account the non-visible, but important components as well.

Visible inspection – Make sure that all fittings and hoses have good connections with signs of no leaking fluid or over-spray of oil. Check for cracks in any moving parts. Ensure some moving parts are properly lubricated such as the oil pump, fuel injectors, and distributor magnets. Listen for noises coming from pulleys or fans that indicate worn-out bearings. If present, identify where it is coming from and note it for future repair blocks or replace mats when necessary.

Non-visible inspection – To get optimum performance from a car engine, its components must function correctly with no air leaks and provide even compression passages throughout the engine block to provide a balanced fuel & air mixture in order to achieve maximum power output from any cylinder configuration. Inspecting each block with a borescope can determine what kind of shape it is in, as well as checking if any pitting is present, as this will determine how much mileage you are able to really get out of your engine before having to contend with degraded performance due to wear and tear on valves, cylinders, or pistons, etc. It is also crucial to understand what happens when a serpentine belt breaks. A serpentine belt failure can lead to multiple issues, such as loss of power steering, the alternator not charging the battery, the air conditioning system malfunctioning, and even engine overheating. Regularly checking and replacing the serpentine belt is essential for maintaining the overall performance and functionality of your vehicle.

How to Test a Junkyard Car Engine


Before selling a used car engine, it is important to test it thoroughly to make sure you are getting the best value for your money. To make sure the engine is in good working condition, you should pay attention to five key components:

  1. Start by checking the oil levels and make sure they are adequate; if they are low, this could be indicative of an old or inefficient engine.
  2. Look at the spark plugs and check for any signs of wear or damage; faulty spark plugs can decrease the lifespan.
  3. Examine the radiator hoses for signs of stress or cracking; these can cause coolant leakage or other problems down the line. Also make sure there is enough coolant in the reservoir as well.
  4. Check all belts and wires, as well as any clamps or attachments that look damaged; worn out components can cause major issues with performance and reliability down the line.
  5. Finally, give it a spin – this will help you determine how smoothly it runs when cold, how hard parts seem to rotate and whether there are any loud noises that could indicate issues deep inside the engine block itself.

Overall, testing a car engine requires some technical knowledge but taking these steps can help you to determine the best price for your sale. Keep these things in mind when inspecting used auto parts, and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about whether or not to buy them. Doing your due diligence before laying down your sale can save you lots of complaints in future!

How to Check for Leaks


One indicator of whether a car engine is in good condition or not is whether or not it has any oil or fluid leaks. Excessive leaking suggests that the engine is malfunctioning, which can be a costly repair. To check for fluid leaks, start by examining the ground around your vehicle for any oil stains or wetness. If there are no stains and the vehicle does not appear to have leaked anything on the ground below it, then you can move on to inspecting other areas of your engine for signs of fluid loss.

Check areas including hoses and tube connections, gaskets and seals, as well as sending air into the intake manifold. Look out for discolorations or wetness. If your car has coolant leaks, look out for green liquid seeping from the radiator’s cracks and joints, which may indicate an issue with its components such as those mentioned above.

Also look out for fuel leakage – this may include fuel dripping under the hood while running or having a gas smell inside and outside of your car’s engine compartments where gasoline should normally be contained. In addition, pay attention to sounds such as gurgles when turning off your car’s engine to determine if coolant or gasoline leaks may exist somewhere in its components.

How to Check for Corrosion


It can indicate current, or past damaging environmental exposures, such as salt water, salty air (exposure to roads during winter months), and other harsh environments that things like moisture, oxygen and ionic transfer interact with.

Corrosion can affect surfaces in different ways depending on composition. These indicate incomplete or incorrect cleaning after being exposed:

-White powdery residue indicates flash rusting; this often happens when thin sheet metal parts are left exposed for too long in humid environments

-Stains or discoloration may be the result of damaged fuel tanks or lines which will give off unburned gasoline inevitably leading to corrosion

-Pitting looks like small spots on metal surfaces that indicate acid attack from something like coolant passing its expiration date

-Surface scaling refers to large flakes of metal coming off due to long term submersion in water


When considering a used engine from a junkyard, it is important to do your research, examine the available options, ask questions, and trust your own judgement before you make a decision. By understanding all of the different variables associated with a used engine and being able to effectively identify any potential problems and red flags that may be present, you can ensure that you are making a perfect sale. With the right information and care, selling a used car engine can be a beneficial way to acquire a reliable source of money for your next project vehicle.