How To Check A Used Car Engine

It's not as difficult as you may think to learn how to check a used car engine as long as you have the right tools. You can check a used car engine with an OBD reader on your own if you have a used car made in 1996 or later.

To check a used car engine, you will need:

  • OBD II Reader
  • Computer (optional)
  1. Purchase an OBD II reader to check a used car engine. This is a device that will check your used car engine by reading computer codes from car. You can find one online or at your local auto parts store. You can buy one of these for as little as $50. Some of these readers allow you to read the code right on the screen while others require you to connect the reader device to a computer via a USB or serial cord. Compare that to the cost of getting a diagnostic test done at an auto mechanic (could be $100 or more per instance).
  2. Connect the OBD II reader to your car to check a used car engine. The OBD reader connects to the car via a connection that is usually located under the dashboard or near the driver's seat. Check your car's manual for the exact location of the OBD II port before you attempt to check a used car engine with this device.
  3. Turn the car into the "On" position (read the directions for that particular device) and run the check. Press the start button on the OBD II reader to begin the check on your used car engine. When it's done, you can read the screen to see if there are any messages regarding your engine, such as a worn part or other issue.
  4. Reset your check engine soon light if it is on. There is an option on many OBD II readers to turn off the check engine soon light on the car after you've checked the used car engine.
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