Compression test

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Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:57 pm

Compression test

Post by TomDoreenMurphy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:28 am

Hello All, I'm a newbie, just accepted to the club. I'm getting ready to buy my first classic car. It's gonna be a Packard because my grandfather worked at the plant for 30 years and I love the cars. It was my wife's idea to do this. I have a budget, which means I'm not buying a museum showpiece. I want something to drive during the warm weather months here in metro Detroit. I have found a Packard for sale in west Michigan and have driven it. Seems pretty sound, but a friend insists a compression test should be done to rule out any serious engine problems. I would certainly pay for this, as well as an overall assessment of the car. I figured this forum was the ideal place to find someone well qualified for it. Any takers?

Dave Czirr
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Compression test

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:35 pm

Greetings Tom, and welcome.

A compression test is just one of many different tests which can be used to evaluate the condition of certain aspects of an internal combustion engine. The compression test is typically used to evaluate the condition of valves and pistons and to diagnose possible head gasket issues. Other types of tests can evaluate the lubrication system, condition of bearings, cooling system, etc.

I would agree with your friend that it would be reasonable to have a compression test done on a prospective purchase, just recognize that it is not a fully comprehensive test, that is, it does not evaluate overall complete engine condition. Any auto shop that specializes in engine repairs and tune ups should be able to perform it. I would estimate that it should take no more than 2-2.5 hours to perform.

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