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

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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.

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