How to Use an Articulating Borescope to Detect the 3 Most Common Engine Problems

The visual engine inspection process for an automotive or marine engine is key to making sure that you are on top of maintenance. By using an articulating borescope and doing a proper inspection, an engine will run much longer, perform much better, and deliver a higher level of efficiency. Without doing a visual inspection with the proper tools, you are gambling with the life and performance of your auto or boat engine. These are not the kinds of machines you want to risk having break down due to overlooked problems in the engine when they could have been fixed before they became issues.

Engine Problems Explained

Almost every kind of common engine problem is both repairable if caught early enough, and can also get much worse if ignored. The internal combustion engine was meant to last for a long time, but it was also built to really tight tolerances. Even though you can drive for thousands of miles at a time without any issues, you should be aware of common engine problems that you can detect and repair with an articulating borescope. A regular inspection should be done on your engine every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, at the very minimum.

In theory, nothing should go wrong in between these intervals without any problems, but that’s not always the case. There are also other times when you should inspect your engine between the regular intervals. If you have had an event with your engine, say it overheated, you need to inspect your engine for damage afterwards. Any kind of extreme condition that causes extreme duty on the engine can cause premature wear and damage.

If you have any suspicion that your engine overheated or there is a slow of performance you need to check for these common engine problems right now:

Worn Components

This can sneak up on you over time, or happen in a matter or miles of poor conditions that worked against the engine. While not all engine components are made to wear, some are, and their replacement is normal. Not all components inside the engine are made to last forever. If you find signs of wear on any of the components, this could indicate a much larger issue, or it could be time to just replace the parts. Whether the part afterward prematurely, or it has just lived through its lifespan, inspecting related components is essential and replacement of any worn parts right away before you operate the engine again is necessary.

Burnt Fluids

A problem with any of the engine fluids indicates a much larger problem. Fluids that have done bad before they are supposed to is almost always the result of one of two things, either the engine got too hot, or something has contaminated the fluids. You should inspect the engine for signs of overheating, and look for leaks that could have let contamination in.


If you have a cracked component inside your engine, you should be very concerned. Engine components are not made to crack or break on their own. A cracked internal component has likely made contact with another component due to worn bearings. The cracked components should be replaced and the engine needs to be flushed and cleaned to remove all fragments before they cause further damage.




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