Q: How do you tell how long an engine is going to last / how healthy it is without disassembling it?

asked by on

What're the best tests you can do to gauge how healthy an engine is / how long it'll last, aside from literally lifting the engine out of the car and disassembling it?

For example, you can start the car and listen to it idle. You can drive it. I heard something about doing a compression test, etc.

What is the suite of tests like this you can do to gauge how how healthy an engine is / how long it'll last?

Also, how accurate of an indicator are these tests? Knowing the results, how confident can you be that the engine will ultimately last a long time?

My car has 161000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

While there is really no way to tell how long any engine will last, a compression test is a good way to determine the overall health of an engine. If the compression test reveals that compression on all cylinders is within factory specs, then the engine is healthy but again, this is not really an indication of how long it will last. maintenance is key to a long engine life. If it was maintained well - oil and other vital fluids changed regularly - and continues to be maintained well, it can last a good long time.

If this is a vehicle you are looking to purchase, a pre-purchase inspection may be an option for you. Note that a compression test may not be a normal part of a pre-purchase inspection and may be an additional cost involved no matter who performs the inspection.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How do you tell how long an engine is going to last / how healthy it is without disassembling it?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Can't find the little hole that releases the key cylinder to take it out.

The key cylinder is not removable and is replaced as an assembly only. You have to remove the multi-function switch first then remove the bolts holding on the ignition lock assembly. If you need guidance on your ignition repair, a...

Q: Will go in reverse not forward what are the choices I have

If the fluid level is correct, and there are still no forward gears, there is most likely a problem inside the transmission. Typically, if it were something outside of the transmission, both the forward and reverse gears would be affected....

Q: Q: Bad oil leak

Hi. Valve cover gaskets are a common leak point for high mileage vehicles. The repair is not very complicated and in most cases can be performed by a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic. Once the gaskets have been...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.