3 Common Problems Your Used Car’s Engine Might Face

March 22nd, 2016 by



Buying a used vehicle is almost always a good idea. Whether you’re saving money on an excellent, slightly used model or simply looking to get your hands on a cheap beater to play around with, used cars can be excellent options for the more money-conscious consumers out there. But for those who do decide to pick up a pre-owned machine, it’s possible that you might run into one or two common problems along the way – and knowing how to spot those problems, and deal with them, can be the difference between your used car lasting for the long haul or bowing out before its time has come.

While no two used cars are quite the same, just about any you’d find in used car dealerships in Albany will have seen some experience before they even get to you, meaning there’s a greater chance that one of these common, preventable problems might affect your vehicle. Obviously, the best way to keep your car going strong for miles to come is to catch problems before they become major issues – and fix them before they become expensive repairs.

Worried your new used car might run into an issue or two once it hits the road? Here’s a rundown on some of the most common problems facing used vehicles on the road today, and what you should look for if things start to feel not quite right.


Sludgy Transmission

After pushing through thousands of gear shifts and thousands of miles, your used vehicle’s transmission may start to feel a bit sticky. This could come in the form of rough shifting, with your engine jumping between gears or not shifting when needed, or simply a rough idle while sitting in park or neutral. Any and all of these signs can point to a sludgy or worn transmission, most likely the result of dirty transmission fluid left to run for too long in an aging system.

Luckily, the sooner this problem is caught the sooner – and more cheaply – it can be fixed. The obvious fix is to drain your transmission of old fluid and replace it with fresh, many of which feature additives to help remove built-up sludge as they work. This can help keep your transmission in good health and keep your shifts as smooth as possible no matter where you go.


Worn Belts and Hoses

As engines age, their constituent parts also take on some wear and tear – and when those parts are made of rubber or plastic, elements like the cold and high humidity can accelerate damage even further. These can include your engine’s basic belts and hoses, elements crucial to your engine’s optimal operation. Have a professional mechanic take the time to inspect and assess the quality of your engine’s hoses and belts and see if any need replacement. Acting early can save you from the hassle – and expense – of having to do an emergency repair if one of these elements does break from age in the future.



Often, older engines that have been exposed to rough conditions may develop cracks or holes that can lead to leaks and seriously affect the performance of your engine. These leaks are usually pretty noticeable by a growing spot or puddle that may gather under your vehicle when left in park, or could be as serious as a stream of leaking fluid as you drive. Either way, it’s always smart to check these out as soon as possible and see what can be done to either repair the leak or salvage your engine’s working parts.


Whether you’ve been starting up your used car every day for decades or are just about to pick up your very first from a local dealer, keep these guidelines in mind when it comes to inspecting your used car’s engine. With the right eye, you can prevent a minor problem from turning into one major headache – and keep on driving, worry-free.