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What to Check in Car Engine When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car shouldn't be as easy as 1, 2, 3. There are a few important details you should check. The most important being the car's engine! While it may be a bit complicated to most people, there are a few things you should be able to check by yourself.

In this article, we will take you through what to look out for in an engine of a used car. We will help you understand its components and their importance. If your engine doesn't run, your car won't start.

An engine consists of these main parts:

  • Engine block: houses most engine parts such as cylinders, camshaft, pistons, and crankshaft.

  • Cylinder head: This hosts the components that enable intake and outtake of air and gases. These are camshafts and valves.

  • Crankshaft: turns the movement of pistons into the needed circular motion.

  • Connecting rods: Enables collaboration between the crankshaft and the pistons.

  • Pistons: By their motion, pistons provide energy to the crankshaft. Piston rings reduce friction in the cylinder.

  • Spark plugs: These enable combustion by providing the spark that ignites incoming air and fuel.

  • Fuel injectors: They provide the engine with fuel.

  • Valves: There are two types; intake valves allow gas and air into the engine, while the exhaust valves release the exhaust.

  • Camshaft: It enables the opening and closing of valves.

  • Timing belt: It helps make sure the camshaft and crankshaft are in sync.

There are some types of car engines. The difference in those is mainly in the arrangement of cylinders. They include:

  1. Inline engines - cylinders in this are in a straight manner.

  2. V-style engines – The cylinders in this are separated into two groups and end up forming a V-shape.

Other types are tuned according to the power or efficiency the owner/manufacturer wants to achieve.

What to Check Old Car Engine before Buying

Now you got general knowledge about a car engine. After checking the interior and exterior conditions of the car, one more important step you should take next is to check its engine. Below are what you should check for:

2.1 Check Service History and Maintenance Record

Checking the service records of the vehicle is one of the most crucial steps to take! You get to learn about the health of the engine and any potential worrying signs from this. If you can get your hands on service records, you will know if the car undergoes regular maintenance. Details to look for are those on oil changes and mileage. Depending on the car's manufacturer, an oil change should be between 3,750 to 10,000 miles. You should be concerned if the intervals are irregular. If the vehicle has traveled longer than the period of an expected oil change, internal damage could occur, or the motor could be affected. Also, check to see if there have been changes to the timing belt (if available).

2.2 Check the noise of the engine

To check this, cold start the car. If the engine was already warm, it could hide some noises. Keep your ear out for any unusual noise, e.g., thudding sounds or heavy clunking. Normal clicking sounds are okay as they will disappear once the car hits up. If you notice unusual noises, it is better to leave the car or seek the advice of your trusted mechanic.

2.3 Inspect Under the Hood

To do this, make sure that the engine is off, the handbrake is engaged, and your vehicle is in Park mode. Once done, open the hood and look for traces of any leakage, funny irregular smells, signs of bad maintenance, or lack of, and any enhancements that have been done. When a used car is on sale, the sellers try to have everything as clean as possible! Don't let this trick you into thinking all are okay. Check under the hood is an important step to check used car engine. Look for the following:

  • Check the quality of oil and its level

Use a dipstick to check the oil level. If it's low, it either means it has been a while since the last oil change or that the engine consumes oil. An engine with low oil wears faster. If that's the case, avoid buying the car. Also, take note of the color of the oil. The expected color is either yellow or brown. Any other color should be a red flag! If the oil looks like mud, avoid that car as oil hasn't been replaced in a long time.

  • Look for leaks

Oil leaks may not be visible when you open the hood of the car. Because of this, you have to kneel and check from the bottom. To be sure that the engine has no leaks, it has to be completely dry.

  • Beware of smoke

Perform this test while accelerating. For diesel cars, a bit of black-shaded smoke is okay. For a petrol car, however, any sign of smoke from the engine is a bad sign:

  • White-colored smoke: the engine has blown a gasket.

  • Dark-colored smoke: the engine burns a lot of fuel.

  • Blue smoke shows that the car excessively burns motor oil.

2.4 Cold start the car

Cold starting is the best way to identify most engine problems. Make sure that the engine has not run in a while. If the battery is aging, it may not start and may need boosting. Be on the lookout for any peculiar noise or smoke emitted by the engine. If any of this is evident, it may mean you need to look for another vehicle.

2.5 Take a test drive

Even after taking all other mentioned steps, take the used car for a spin. When you start the car, check to see if the check engine light will stay on. If it does, you can use an OBDII scanner to diagnose the issue. It is advisable to get a scan tool specifically made for the car brand you're buying. For example, if you're testing a Ford vehicle, you should go for an accredited Ford scan tool. Check for any signs of irregular noise from the engine or smoke, especially if it's a petrol car.

Final Words

Buying a used car is a cheaper option than a new one. But if you buy one with a bad engine, this could end up being too costly for you. With constant engine repairs, you may end up having to buy a new one. As such, be sure to use the steps above to verify the engine's health before buying that used car.

Cruz Autos LLC - Best Full-Size Pickup Truck

Please Read Cruz Autos LLC - Best Full-Size Pickup Truck

Content provided by CarAndDriver.com

Turn any friendly neighborhood barbecue into a backyard wrestling match with this simple trick: declare your pickup king. Well guess what, brother? Being the best isn’t about who has the biggest Calvin and Hobbes sticker on the rear window. Full-size pickup trucks are America’s best-selling vehicles, and the fight among them is closer than ever.

Trucks today are capable of accelerating quicker than sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and can tow up to seven tons using conventional towing. That’s a lot of folding chairs and steel cages. The truck is the backbone of America. In 2019, pickups represented over 3.1 million vehicle sales in the U.S., or more than the entire population of Iowa. Each of these trucks can handle classic pickup needs with ease, and if you haven’t already sorted yourself into the Toyota, Nissan, Ram, Chevy, or Ford camps, we’ve ranked the segment's players from worst to best to help you in your search.

  1. Ram 1500 - The Ram 1500 is king of the mountain, having bested its biggest rivals from Detroit in our latest three-truck comparison test and won another 10Best Full-size Pickup award for 2021. We’d let those accolades do the heavy lifting for us in explaining why we dig the Ram, but here are a few more reasons: The available EcoDiesel V-6 engine has the most power and torque among all light-duty diesel pickups and is fuel efficient; the interior is a step or three above the competition; and it just plain drives well. Fans of the all-black Dodge Ram can carry the dark baton with a new for 2020 Night Edition, which offers all-black exterior trim along with your choice of paint. We’d suggest, um, black.

  2. Ram 1500 TRX - The nearly 3.5-ton Ram 1500 TRX is a lot of truck, but it knows how to use it. The 702-horsepower Hellcat engine is a screamer, and despite its heft, the TRX gets to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, making it the quickest truck we've ever tested. Bilstein dampers underneath provide more than a foot of suspension travel, allowing its 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler AT's to droop. It's beefy too, measuring 5.9 inches wider and 3.3 inches taller than the regular Ram 1500, but inside it's just as luxurious. A 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard, and a head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats, and carbon-fiber accents are available options. Many aspects of the TRX make it the greatest truck as nothing else can cruise to, climb up, and fly over whatever's ahead of it quite like this.

  3. Ford F-150 Raptor - Packed with a powerful 450-hp twin-turbo V-6 and an off-road-ready suspension with adaptive shocks to soak up potholes and landings off of sweet jumps, the Ford F-150 Raptor is just plain rad. But this is no one-trick brute—it’s nearly everything you might never need in a truck and useful. The SuperCrew is rated to tow up to 8000 pounds, so the Raptor can haul more than just ass. Its wide fenders and large street off-road tires can make navigating parking lots and narrow streets a challenge; we prefer to think of them as reminders as to where the Raptor truly belongs.

  4. Ford F-150 - The Ford F-150 has been a full-size favorite for decades, and nearly 1 million F-150 pickups were sold last year. So it’s little wonder why the Ford has become ubiquitous and familiar. The fourteenth-generation Ford debuted for 2021 with a new 430-hp hybrid powertrain with 570 lb-ft of torque. That's a 30 horsepower and 70 lb-ft improvement verses the nonhybrid twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 for those keeping track. The hybrid powered pickup gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg for both city and highway travel, putting it fourth overall in fuel efficiency for the segment behind diesel-powered Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500. The interior is also improved in terms of materials and ease of use. An optional Work Surface allows you to transform the front row into a work table. New variable-assist steering, standard on the higher trim King Ranch model and above, is tight and direct, and even on lower trims the ride is quiet and composed.

  5. GMC Sierra 1500 - If you can swing the new GMC Sierra 1500’s price premium over its mechanically identical, Chevrolet-badged sibling (the Silverado), do so. The GMC is simply more attractive than the Chevy. We’ve ranked the Sierra above it because the extra money seems worth it when staring both trucks right in the eyes. Like the Silverado, the Sierra has five different engines, three different transmissions, and is available in either rear- or all-wheel drive. Although there's no high-flying off-roader option like the Ram TRX or Ford F-150 Raptor, a Sierra AT4 model is available with 2.0-inches of suspension lift and other off-road equipment. Unfortunately, the pricier GMC suffers from the same unimpressive interior styling and firm ride quality as the Silverado, but the extra chrome does wonders for GM's half-ton pickup design.

  6. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - After a full redesign, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 doesn't feel quite as new as you'd expect. Its new body bears only a face a mother could love, the interior is mediocre, and the suspension isn’t terribly refined. Those whiffs are offset by its new 6.2-liter V-8 that can deactivate up to six cylinders for fuel savings, as well as the available turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder that can tow up to 9300 pounds. The brakes offer stellar stopping power, and the four-door crew cab has superior rear-seat headroom. Chevy's also added the Multi-Flex tailgate as an option for 2021 models, making the bed of the Silverado more useable than ever. Silverados with the 277-hp turbodiesel engine in 2WD are the most fuel efficient in the segment with an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway rating.

  7. Nissan Titan - The Nissan Titan, like the Toyota Tundra, exists slightly outside of the mainstream in this segment. It lacks engine choices—there is but one 400-hp V-8 option—which severely limits configurability relative to its competitors, and the Titan’s overall execution seems lacking. Its ride quality is poor and the steering lacks sharpness; look to the Pro-4X trim for off-road capability, but look everywhere else in terms of towing capacity as the Titan has the lowest in the light-duty class. Every model now has a 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is something fleet versions of its domestic competitors don’t have.

  8. Toyota Tundra - The Toyota Tundra has been around in pretty much the same form since 2007—that’s pre-Instagram if you need a cultural reference point. So, it’s old. But the Tundra offers a spacious cabin and a decent roster of standard features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration functionality for most models. A 5.7-liter V-8 is the only engine option, an oddity among full-size pickups, which generally offer a plethora of engine choices. The Toyota’s V-8 engine delivers mediocre fuel economy and towing performance, but the truck itself at least shines in off-road capability even in base form. The Tundra TRD Pro model adds to that dexterity with new Fox 2.5-inch internal-bypass shocks and lighter-weight 18-inch BBS wheels.

Original Source: caranddriver.com (Austin Irwin - Dec 5, 2020)

Expert Checklist for Buying Used Car from Dealer

It is not unusual to get anxious before purchasing a second-hand product, especially if you are investing a whopping amount of money. Buying a used car from car dealers is something exactly like that. It may bring a lot of risks and problems if you don’t check the vehicle thoroughly beforehand. So, here is a complete used car checklist for the buyers who intend to go for such a deal with enough confidence and information. You are supposed to scrutinise every function of the car, as the seller is not bound to inform everything involuntarily. Different categories of cars, trucks, and SUVs demand different kinds of checklists. Here in this checklist, our experts have provided you with a complete buying guide and questions that you need to ask the owner, to purchase a sustainable product and take care of your pocket as well. So to help you in checking history to get a profitable deal, here are the handy car buying tips for you.

How Should I Check a Car Before Purchasing?

There are many steps of examining a used car. Apart from checking the basic exterior and interior parts, you need to go for a test drive, check the engine in detail, examine the exhaust smoke colors, etc are very crucial steps in the process. We will be dissecting the whole process in three primary stages - checking the construction and status of the exterior, the interior and then following some practical key steps.

Checking the Exterior Conditions

Getting double sure about the external parts of a car is a smart way to start the whole process of checking. The most important and basic things that you may want to inspect are the following-

  • The lid on the trunk of the car, the roof and the hood should be examined to see if there are any problems there.

  • Checking the number of tires that they have got can be an intelligent thing to do. Along with that check how much tread the tires have got, and what is the rubber quality of them.

  • Usually, you should expect four matching premium tires, especially if you are investing in a performance car. The tires should be even across the tread and the tread tops flat across the top.

  • One of the most important things to do here is to detect any kind of scratches, dents, rust or dust on the surface of the car and find out if those are caused by kerning on wheels.

  • Find out if there is any kind of waviness because that indicates body damage to the car.

  • The tires should not have any form of cuts, splits, gouges or bulges. Uneven tire wear also needs to be examined properly. If any of these problems happen to appear, then the tires need repairing or replacement, especially if the desired vehicle is a truck. especially if the desired vehicle is a truck, like Polaris Sportsman. In that case, you may consider buying new tires for your Polaris Sportsman.

  • Look for any other kind of external damage overall and see if those have been repaired recently. Large panel gaps can be the result of serious car crashes so be careful about that and be sure that there is no difference in the colors of the panels.

  • Examine if there is any chip on the windshield of the car. You should also look into the front and rear light to check if there are any chips or cracks in them.

Checking the Interior Conditions -

Not only the outer sections of the car, the interior parts can also cause inconveniences for you later if not checked properly earlier. You don’t want to leave the oil cap or upholstery unchecked, of course. So let’s jump into the list -

  • Checking for any type of dust in the engine would be one of the firstest duties of you as a customer.

  • See if there are any spots, stains or tears on the car seat.

  • Make sure there is no bad odour inside the car because a permanent smoking smell or anything like that can be quite difficult to put on with.

  • Not just smell, even the seats can carry some burn marks if the owner was a smoking person. So along with looking for any holes drilled in the dashboard and a sagging roof lining, check that as well.

  • Check all the internal organs of the car like, ventilation system, radio, steering wheel or central-locking to see if all of them are performing accordingly.

Basic Practical Key Steps in the Checklist

Benefits of Truck Bed Tonneau Covers

The performance of a car or truck is not all about the exterior and interior equipment. The fitness or performance depends on many other things. And to get them all in a boosted and sharp condition, you have to take some practical steps.  Those steps are -

Test drive - May it be a new car or a used one, the moment every buyer cherishes the most is that of the test drive.  After visually scanning the entire car, going for a test drive is a must. Through the test you can -

  • examine the response of the car during sharp turns and highway drives.

  • drive at various speeds and at the same time check the brakes, clutch as well as engine noise.

  • see if the air-conditioning, radio and all the other electronics inside the car work properly.

  • find out the mileage and the warning lights.

Documentation- Something that as a buyer you would wait the most for is that box of papers containing the history of the car. Every time the car has been repaired or every aftermarket auto parts that have been purchased for it, and the original model of the product - the box has stored it all.

Leak Test - During your test run you can easily check the leaking problem of the vehicle by running the car for merely 30 secs in a parking lot. If you notice any kind of leakage then, determine the problem by the color of the liquid.

For example, green fluid indicates leaking of the coolant or antifreeze and black fluid’s leakage indicates leaking oil. You should open the bonnet to check all the other types of leaks like a power steering fluid of reddish brown color.

Engine oil - Apart from all the leakage-related investigations, checking the engine and its oil is considered a general car maintenance process. The level of dipstick reading and consistency and color of the engine oil are necessary to be checked by the probable buyer. Along with these be cautious of any other form of dirt or grime.

Read reviews - If possible then read customer’s reviews on the dealers’ official website and on any other possible source found in Google.

Take enough time - This checklist doesn’t mean that you should purchase the very first vehicle that passes all the tests. Before taking the final decision, look at all your options. Otherwise, your bank account will make the ultimate sacrifice and still won’t be able to make you happy and satisfied.

Final Words

If you can thoroughly follow the used car checklist provided by our experts with patience then we can assure you of a great deal in buying the car of your choice. Both your yard will be showing its pride to have the desired car and your pocket will dance in happiness as well.

Cruz Autos LLC - Best Midsize Sedans

Please Read Cruz Autos LLC - Best Midsize Sedans

Content provided by MotorTrend

MotorTrend tests more than 200 vehicles at the track every year. We rate cars using the same factors you do, including how they drive, interior space, efficiency, tech, value, and safety. Ratings are only applicable within each respective segment.

  1. 2022 Honda Accord - 9.1/10 - After a midcycle refresh for 2021, we're not expecting any major changes to the Accord for 2022. Barring any significant revisions, it will carry forward with two gas engines and a hybrid option. The Accord competes with other affordable four-doors including the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Kia K5, and Subaru Legacy.

  2. 2022 Subaru Legacy - 8.6/10 - Subaru knows its buyers and delivers on their priorities with the Legacy. The midsize sedan offers a compelling blend of technology, safety, and performance in a roomy and comfortable vessel. Middling style and a vexing CVT are the Legacy's greatest Achilles heels.

  3. 2022 Hyundai Sonata - 8.5/10 - Hyundai has been selling the Sonata here in the U.S. for more than 30 years, and the current eighth generation is the best version yet. Redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Sonata is among the better midsize sedans on the market. It's mechanically related to the Kia K5.

  4. 2022 Kia K5 - 8.3/10 - The midsize sedan once known as the Kia Optima has transformed into the K5. Introduced for 2021, the K5 stands out in the segment with evocative exterior styling. Yet despite those looks it remains a relatively normal car in terms of features and capabilities. The K5 is offered with a choice of turbocharged engines and available AWD. Like the Optima before it, the K5 targets sedan stalwarts like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and mechanically related Hyundai Sonata. The K5 is built in West Point, Georgia, alongside the Kia Telluride.

  5. 2022 Toyota Camry - 8/10 - Although it's no longer Toyota's best-selling model (that title now goes to the RAV4), the venerable Camry remains a go-to choice for those seeking a dependable midsize sedan. The current-gen Camry was introduced for the 2018 model year and sees a mild face-lift for 2021. The Camry sits squarely in the center of Toyota's lineup of sedans between the compact Corolla and full-size Avalon. Besides its longtime rival, the Honda Accord, the Camry also competes with midsize four-doors including the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Altima, and Hyundai Sonata.

  6. 2021 Nissan Altima - 7.7/10 - Positioned above the compact Sentra and below the full-size Maxima, the Altima is the middle child of Nissan's sedan lineup. Nissan issued a full redesign of the Altima for the 2019 model year, and the family sedan has been relatively unchanged since. The Altima competes in the midsize sedan segment alongside cars such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and Subaru Legacy.

  7. 2022 Volkswagen Passat - 7.1/10 - Once one of Volkswagen's most successful cars in the United States, the Passat enters its final year of production with a Limited Edition trim. It rides on the platform that's been on sale in the United States since 2012, the same year it won our MotorTrend Car of the Year award. The Passat last received a major refresh in 2020. Although this midsize sedan no longer feels like a fresh offering, it comes with the traditional advantages of its segment, namely a comfortable ride, a large trunk, and spacious interior.

  8. 2021 Chevrolet Malibu - One of the longest-running nameplates in the Chevrolet lineup, the Malibu has been a mainstay in the midsize sedan segment for decades. Since its inception, the Malibu has evolved from a rear-drive car that's available in multiple flavors to a front-drive model offered only one body style. Chevrolet even offered a hybrid Malibu for a short time to lure eco-minded consumers to the brand. With only a short time left before it's discontinued, the Malibu lineup has been streamlined. A number of cosmetic packages are also offered.

  9. 2021 Mazda Mazda6 - As we wait for the rumored RWD, inline-six-powered, next-gen 6, Mazda adds some polish to its midsize sedan for 2021. The current-generation model debuted for the 2014 model year and saw a mid-cycle facelift for 2018, adding a turbocharged engine option. The 2021 Mazda 6 competes with other affordable midsize sedans including the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Hyundai Sonata.

Original Source: https://www.motortrend.com/style/sedan/

How to Buy a Used Car From a Dealer With Cash

Buy a used car

Buying a car is one of the most significant life decisions, perhaps second only to buying a house. For some people, buying a car is the largest purchase they have ever made. For others, it is just a typical purchase.

Whichever side you are on, the first important decisions to make when buying a car are;

  • whether to buy new or used

  • to pay cash or use financing

Each of these decisions is hard to make. For first-time car buyers, for instance, these decisions can be overwhelming. Buying a used car can be a good choice since it costs less than buying a new car or financing. Since it is not a loan, it does not attract any interest, and Insurance companies charge less on used cars. Below is a step by step guide on it.

7 Steps to Take When Buying a Used Car With Cash

1. Set your budget

There are various opinions about what percentage of income is wise to spend on a used car. For some people, it is 10%. For others, it should be between 15-20%, although there is no golden rule. Every person should decide on their own.

2. Do your research

After setting a used car budget, the next big step is to do your independent research. Research allows you to gain knowledge of all the requirements for the deal. Find out the applicable charges on used cars in your state before going out to buy. Consider factors such as documentation, gas consumption, and repair records in your research.

3. Settle on a car type and model

Having decided to buy a car often means your mind is already fixed on a specific model. On the off chance that you have not made a decision, this should be your next step. But, even if your mind is already made up, it is advisable to compare the alternatives. Car type examples include; Sedan, station wagon, convertible, minivan, and sport-utility vehicle(SUV).

4. Visit the seller

Once you have decided on the type and model to buy and set a budget, the next big step is to have an in-person look and feel. This step is critical regardless of whether you are buying from a dealership or the owner.

5. Have the Car Appraised

Checking out the car on your own is good, but it does not help enough if you do not know what to look out for. Unless you are a trained auto mechanic, it is advisable to hire a professional. A trained mechanic will check the car’s condition and flag any faulty parts. This will help you avoid incurring extra charges when you decide to buy. The trained professionals can check if the steering wheel and breaks are responsive. They can also check if the car's clutches and gears are in good condition.

6. Take a test drive

After appraisal and adjusting for repairs and replacements, the next step is to take a test drive. Taking the car for a test lets you gauge the comfort levels in the car and ensure it feels the way it looks. Some dealers might even allow you an extended test drive for a couple of days. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer or owner to let you try out the car on different terrains.

7. Pay and transfer of title

If everything looks good and you have decided to buy, payment is the next step. Ensure you bargain for the best deal and also ask for a discount. The cash price of a used car should be lower than financing since it is not a loan and does not attract interest. To complete the transaction, transfer of ownership takes place after payment. In some states, the current owner signs the title to transfer ownership to the buyer. The buyer then presents the signed title to a licensing agency for a new title.


Buying a car can be such a frustrating experience. But, there are steps to ease the burden, especially when buying a used car with cash. Plan around your budget based on your own research to determine which car type best suits your needs.  It is advisable to hire professionals to appraise the car and determine its value. The professionals ensure the car is fit for sale. They also help the buyer to avoid hidden charges arising from faulty parts if not disclosed.

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