Your engine, without a doubt, is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It can be considered as the heart that makes your car or truck function, giving life to the latter. With this, it is important to maintain it in its tip-top condition, not only to save on costly repairs, but also to be assured of your safety.
With too many options for the best compression testers, however, which one should you buy? If you have no idea how to proceed, keep on reading the rest of this post and know more about compression testers, including how they work. More importantly, we will give you a quick look at five of the best products that you might want to take into consideration.
What is a Compression Tester?
The obvious is perhaps already stated – it is a device that is used to test compression in an engine. However, it is not as simple as that. The mechanism at which it works can be more complicated, especially for someone who lacks technical knowledge about cars.
Regardless whether you have gasoline or diesel engine in your car, compression is necessary for it to operate. Your engine will basically function in a similar way to a pump that is self-powered. The absence of compression, therefore, will hinder it from functioning. This is where the importance of a compression tester would enter the picture. It is a handy device that will help in assessing the condition of the different parts of the engine, especially the valves. If the engine is in its tip-top condition, the test would reveal that the compression is more than 100 PSI in every cylinder. Doing the test can be accomplished in as quickly as just 20 minutes and with the use of a few tools.
When is it necessary to use a compression tester to check the condition of your engine? You can do so if you notice that the power produced is lesser than normal or when it seems to be functioning roughly. Also, every time that a tune-up is performed by a pro, it is also likely that an engine compression test will be done, which is considered as a sort of preventive measure. After the compression test, it is also necessary to identify the root cause of the problem, which can be attributed to broken valves, too much build-up of carbon, and deterioration of the piston rings, among others.
How Compression Tester Works
Here, we will talk about how a compression tester will work. The good news is that you do not need to be a pro to use it. There is no technical expertise required, as using it can be done in a manner that is pretty much straightforward.
Once you have removed the spark plug, the next thing to do is to crank the engine of your car by as many as four times, which will lead to compression. Crank the engine more, even by as many as ten times or until you are able to achieve equal readings.
Also, after reading the compression, it will be a good idea to take down notes. You do not need a pen and paper to do this. You can simply use chalk and write outside the engine.
If your engine is in a healthy condition, the PSI should be more than 100. There are also some instances where it can be higher, which is basically because of the type of the engine.
Choosing the Best Compression Testers
If you are finding it hard to decide which one to purchase, the following are some of the considerations that can help you:
- Reviews: One of the most important things is to consult with the opinions of other people. Their feedback will be helpful in evaluating the pros and cons of the possibilities. Through the experiences of other people, you can narrow down the choices.
- Case: There are some models that are already inclusive of a hard case, which can be an excellent way to stay organized. This means that all of the parts will be kept in a single bag, making it also easy to bring it wherever the compression test needs to be done.
- Tools: In most cases, there is only a hose and a gauge. However, in the case of some models, you will have more. Especially if there is a case included, chances are, there are different types of hoses and fittings, which will allow you to use the compression tester in more ways than one.
- Ease of Use: The good thing about compression testing is that it can be done even on your own. There is no need to approach a neighborhood mechanic to ask for the test to be done. You can do it alone, provided that you find one that is user-friendly. The manufacturer must also provide detailed instructions on how to use it.
- Construction: It is also important that you look for a compression tester that is built to withstand the test of time. It must be durable enough to make it last through the years. From the hose to the fittings, it should be made from premium materials that could resist external damages.
- Gauge: The gauge is perhaps one of the most important parts in a compression tester. In case you are not aware of it, this is the part that will show you how much is the compression in the engine. It should be large enough so that you can easily see the display. Most importantly, it must deliver accurate readings.
- Warranty: If the manufacturer believes in the quality of their product, they will not hesitate to offer an extensive warranty coverage. Within the duration of the warranty, the manufacturer can offer free repair if in case there are defects experienced.
Top Picks for the Best Compression Testers
In this section, we will identify five of the best compression testers that are currently available in the market, as well as a few of the reasons why they are unmatched.
In sum, with the best compression testers, it will be easy to evaluate the condition of your engine, and in the end, be sure that it will deliver optimal performance. Be sure to find the one that has high-quality construction and that can deliver accurate results. You should consult with the opinions of other people to narrow down the possibilities. If you do not know what would make the perfect choice, go back to the five products that we have recommended above.
Are you looking for other diagnostic tools? Searching for other products that can be used for your car? Click here and learn more about the choices that you will have.