A vehicle can run into a problem anytime, anywhere. The advancement of technology has made it easier for car owners to detect vehicle and engine problems. One of the most difficult issues to identify in vehicles is evaporative emissions leaks. So, how do you know where a smoke leak is coming from? The best automotive smoke machine will make it easy for you to detect these leaks. You use this tool to test for both vacuum and EVAP leaks.
When you notice some smoke smell in your vehicle, it is crucial to know the cause, where it is coming from, and treat it before you continue using the vehicle. Fuel vapors are risky and can cause serious diseases such as asthma and lung illness. The wide variety of automotive smoke machines in the market makes it challenging for one to choose. This review guides you on some of the best models of automotive smoke machines.
Top 3 EVAP/Automotive Smoke Machines Comparison Table
The Best Automotive Smoke Machine
1. AutoLine Pro EVAP Automotive Smoke Machine
This automotive smoke machine is powerful, compact, and of high quality. AutoLine Pro EVAP smoke machine is made with a high performance and premium build. Thick solid metal is used to construct the machine for durability. This smoke machine is ideal for checking all types of leaks with the help of adapters.
The tapered smoke injection nozzle of this AutoLine Pro EVAP automobile smoke machine can fit in almost all lines and hoses. You can test connectors, seals, gaskets, worn rubber, exhaust or cooling systems, intake manifolds, low-pressure Turbo leaks, vacuum leaks, and EVAP systems. It is, therefore, perfect for all types of vehicles.
The AutoLine Pro EVAP smoke machine is safe and precise. The machine is locked and dialed accurately to 1 PSI smoke output, which is the safe pressure to test vehicle systems. It has a thick smoke output, which helps to detect even the smallest of leaks.
The automotive smoke machine comes with an OEM permitted smoke fluid, but you can also use the oil that you desire. The procedure to test for leaks is almost straightforward. After putting your desired EVAP smoke machine fluid, fasten the power cable and connect the air supply to check the leaks.
- High-quality build
- Features tapered smoke injection nozzle
- Safe for all vehicles
- Has a high performance
- Diagnose all leak types
- Comes with a port adapter kit
- Can detect even the smallest leaks
- Kit includes OEM accepted fluid
- Compact and durable
- Power cables are detachable
- Have a shop shook for hanging on vehicle hoods
- It may not provide enough smoke
2. Smoke-Tek Evap Smoke Machine Tool
This vacuum smoke machine tool is manufactured in the USA by Smoke-Tek. It is an affordable and well-designed battery-powered smoke machine. This unit is made to detect any leakages in piped systems of vehicles. This EVAP smoke machine has a patented Smoke-Tek technology to offer a smoke compound in the system being tested. This smoke compound is OEM approved.
Smoke-Tek automotive smoke machine features a flow meter, which is easy to read, enabling one to estimate the size of a leak. It comes along with a special adapter that enables it to be adequately fit in an EVAP system. It uses safe and special oil for producing smoke vapor. This vapor does not have any toxic particles which could cause harm to the body.
Smoke-Tek Vacuum Smoke Machine Tool can also detect leaks from engine gaskets. This smoke machine is lightweight and compact, making it an ideal choice to carry around. The smoke machine comes along with a user manual, taper pipe, taper plug, and medical-grade mineral oil. You can also substitute mineral oil with baby oil.
- Can detect even small leaks
- Comes with medical grade mineral oil
- Does not produce harmful or toxic smoke vapor
- Compact and lightweight
- The machine is low maintenance
- Comes with an adapter
- Easy to use the smoke machine
- Not usable with gas cylinders
3. STINGER Brand EVAP Smoke Machine
Stinger EVAP smoke machine was engineered by aircraft mechanics in the USA. Stinger Pro 2 smoke tester provides incredible smoke output. It is made with a heavy-duty heating or wick element which does not wear out. This feature, therefore, saves you from downtime inconveniences and money that would have been used for maintenance.
Stinger Pro 2 is among the best EVAP smoke machine since you can use it for a lifetime. The machine uses an affordable USP mineral oil which is available on Amazon and even local drug stores. The stinger smoke machine features two custom-made smoke tips that fit any engine hose perfectly. It also has a 1-PSI pressure regulator and smoke flows control valve.
Battery clips in this high-quality smoke machine are made of sturdy steel, and a shrink tube is wrapped in the cable. The users are recommended to use inert gas to test EVAP systems. As much as shop air is used for other types of tests, it is not ideal for testing EVAP systems. Make sure that the smoke machine has the proper oil level ad it will never wear out.
- The smoke hose has a big diameter
- Have an excellent smoke throughput
- Heavy-duty heating and wick element
- Battery clips are made with sturdy steel
- Has two universal smoke tips
- Comes with an EVAP port adapter
- Uses affordable USP mineral oil
- Has a 1-PSI pressure regulator
- Features a smoke flow control valve
- Not ideal for checking ac leaks
4. AutoLine Pro EVAP SMK-1 Automotive Smoke Machine
AutoLine Pro EVAP vacuum is a powerful and compact automotive smoke machine made with high-quality materials. This machine has gone through thorough testing, and it is safe for all types of vehicles. The smoke tester makes it easy, fast, and cost-effective for the user. AutoLine SMK-1 automotive smoke machine can test leaks in the exhaust and cooling systems, intake manifolds, vacuum tubing, and EVAP systems.
AutoLine Pro EVAP smoke machine is made to be entirely safe for all vehicles. It features an inline safety 15A fuse and 1 PSI-sensitive pressure regulator. This tool also comes along with a sensor-safe ALP smoke fluid. This fluid can last for up to 100+ tests. The machine is, however, compatible with mineral oil. It comes with a multi-size connector tip, which makes it fit perfectly on various vehicles.
This vehicle smoke test machine by AutoLine is quite easy to use. Start by adding mineral oil or the attached ALP smoke fluid. After it has enough oil, connect the + and – terminals of the battery with power cables. Connect the air compressor or air supply and go on to check the leaks. This package includes an SMK-1 smoke machine, universal smoke tip, safety fuse, instruction manual, power cables, and AutoLine pro-approved smoke fluid.
- The quality is tested and guaranteed
- Machine built to be durable
- Has a fuse for safety
- Comes with an AutoLine Pro smoke fluid
- Easy to use
- Diagnose a wide range of leaks
- Can be used for all vehicles
- Can operate with mineral oil
- Made in the USA
- Machines paint rusts quickly
5. OTC 6522 LeakTamer EVAP Smoke Diagnostic Machine
OTC 6522 LeakTamer EVAP machine is among the best machines for EVAP smoke tests. It is high quality, compact, and powerful. This high-performance smoke machine can reliably locate and detect leaks in the oil system, exhaust system, vacuum system, and EVAP system. This unit has an UltraTrace UV dye that dyes the smoke and makes it more visible under UV light. This is the only dye that is accepted by OM manufacturers.
The UV fluid makes it easy to detect even small leaks that you could not detect without the smoke. OTC 6522 LeakTamer EVAP smoke machine uses a plug technology that increases its lifespan. It is also made with high-quality construction and gives accurate measurements.
OTC 6522 LeakTamer EVAP smoke machine is smaller than its predecessor, but its features are double powerful. This unit comes along with an UtraTrace UV smoke-producing solution, cup plug adapters, exhaust adapter cone, UV glasses, service port adapter, laser pointer, and Schrader installation/ removal tool.
- High-quality construction
- Uses plug technology
- It is durable
- More powerful than the predecessor
- Detects micro leaks
- UV dye approved by OE manufacturers
- Gives accurate measurement
- UV fluid helps to detect small leaks
- Can be a bit expensive
6. AUTOOL 01 Automotive Smoke Detector
AUTOOL 01 is a portable, mid-budget, and battery-powered automotive smoke machine. SDT-106 smoke machine is constructed for detecting leakages in pipe systems of motorcycles and vehicles. You can use it to find leaks in the cooling tank, air intake tank, and fuel pipe. The machine comes with an adapter, which makes it fit in various EVAP systems.
AUTOOL SDT-106 has a smoke outlet pipe of 4 ft, which connects and reaches perfectly in different applications. This automotive smoke machine is battery-powered and uses a 12V DC battery. It has an output pressure of 9-11PSI and a smoke output value of 10-13L/Min. The unit uses baby oil or mineral oil as the operating material.
The AUTOOL smoke machine heats up the baby oil or mineral oil to smoke, and the blow smoke is taken through the sealed pipe system. You will note the leaking point when you see smoke coming out through it. This automotive smoke machine is, therefore, quite easy to use.
- Detects small leaks
- 12V DC battery
- Has an output pressure of 9-11PSI
- The smoke output value of 10-13L/Min
- Model is low maintenance
- Compact and easy to use
- Cannot be used in as cylinders
Automotive Smoke Machine Buying Guide
With the many automotive smoke machines present in the market, it can be tedious to get the right one to meet your needs. Each of these machines comes with its own outstanding features. Here are some of the factors that will guide you in getting the best EVAP automotive smoke machines:
It is crucial to consider the power of an EVAP machine before you purchase it. You will get to know the machine’s power by checking its wattage and cubic feet per minute. Most models have a wattage ranging from 400 to 1000 watts.
Automotive smoke machines with high wattages are more durable, powerful, and produce more smoke. Powerful machines are more durable since they do not have a reheat cycle.
One important factor of an automotive smoke machine is the smoke fluid. The best automotive smoke machine should come with a high-quality smoke fluid that will last you for at least 100 applications. This information should be indicated on the package. It would be prudent to get a machine that uses mineral or baby oil or any other readily available oil.
The size of the automotive smoke machines should depend on how you want to use it. If you want something to carry around, then go for a compact and portable automotive smoke machine like the Autool smoke machine.
If you are using the machine in your garage for commercial use, you will need a large and powerful machine. Large EVAP machines are suitable for professional settings but are heavy and difficult to move or carry around.
The hose diameter of the EVAP machines is a vital factor when determining your ideal smoke machine. Consider a machine with big hose diameters that can fit a wide range of hoses and lines.
The smoke output is determined by the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The CFM is the density of smoke generated by the EVAP machine. CRM ratings, however, are not the same and range from one manufacturer to the other. Therefore, it is crucial to check the CFM of an automotive smoke machine before you purchase it.
A combination of high wattage and good CFM will get you a high-performance EVAP machine. It is also advisable to check the distance of smoke ejected by the automotive smoke machine.
An easy-to-use EVAP machine gives you an outstanding user experience. It is crucial to check the machine’s controls and ensure that it is not only easy to install but easy to use. Some brands go the extra mile of providing remote controls, which gives you convenience.
It is recommendable to buy a timed automotive smoke machine. This feature gives you the liberty to leave the unit without the worry of overheating. Therefore, the feature protects the machine from permanent damage. Automotive smoke machines with timers will automatically turn off and on at your preferred times without monitoring.
Automotive smoke machines are quite noisy. Therefore, you should try and get an EVAP smoke machine with less noise. Best smoke machine EVAP leak testers tend to produce less noise, but they are a little more expensive. However, it is crucial to note that all EVAP machines produce a “hissing” like sound.
Automotive Smoke Machine (FAQs)
Q. What Is the Best EVAP Smoke Machine?
Ans: There are several models of EVAP smoke machines in the market, and the best will depend on your needs. However, these days manufacturers have made compact units that you can easily carry anywhere you go. Above, we have mentioned some of the best automotive smoke machines. Among the most compact, powerful, and well-performing automotive smoke machines is OTC 6522 LeakTamer EVAP Smoke Diagnostic Machine. When selecting the best smoke machine, ensure that it can detect even the smallest leaks.
Q. Where Do You Put The Smoke Machine for EVAP?
And: When using the automotive smoke machine, hook its cable to the vehicle’s battery. Since it requires chart air, insert the compressor sharp air supply at the back of the machine. You can then press the red button to start producing smoke. When it starts producing smoke, plug it into a valve, and start checking for the leaks.
Q. How Do You Make a Homemade Smoke Machine?
Ans: DIY prefers to make their smoke machines instead of purchasing. When making an automotive smoke machine at home, you will require a bicycle pump, vinyl hoe, a cheap soldering iron, a bit pen, and a glass jar with a lid. Once you have the materials:
- Drill three holes on the glass jar lid
- Cut the tip of the pen cap and the part at the back of the BIC pen.
- Insert each of two pieces in the holes drilled on the side of the jar lid
- Insert the soldering iron in the hole at the middle of the lid
- Glue everything together with epoxy. Ensure the two sides of the jar lid are sealed tightly
- Test if the hose and the bike pump fits perfectly
- Put a cotton sock in the glass jar.
- Fill the glass jar with baby oil.
- Leave it overnight to soak.
- Plug in the unit and wait until the soldering iron is invisible due to the smoke
- Push the pump of the bike and a nice puff of smoke
How to Make a DIY Smoke Machine YouTube Video:
Q. How Do You Find Smoke With a Vacuum Leak?
Ans: A vacuum leak is detected easily using a smoke generator. Follow the process to find the leak:
- Plug up any potential ports in the intake manifold
- Connect the nozzle of the smoke machine to the manifold
- Seal the inlet by wrapping the air cleaner with a tight food wrap. Always remember the remove the wrap after finishing the process.
- Press the smoke button and wait for few minutes to fill the intake tract
- Check for any sign of smoke from the system.
Q. Does AutoZone Do Smoke Test?
Ans: Yes, you can use AutoZone to do smoke tests. The unit helps you to identify to check all types of leaks irrespective of where it originates from. It features a smoke detector, cone adapters, an inspection light, and a specialized smoke agent.
The above best automotive smoke machines help you to detect and diagnose leaks in automotive. This unit gives you confidence in the places leaking on your vehicle. You should also understand how to use an automotive smoke machine. This is the best way of treating and fixing automotive leaks. It will save you time and money you would have paid an auto mechanic to solve the problem for you.
It is also crucial to learn how to fix leaks by yourself. Leaks could originate from different parts of your vehicle like cooling, evaporation, fuel, exhaust, intake, and vacuum systems. The process of testing EVAP leaks should be done indoors, where there is even ambient airflow. This allows the leaking smoke to come out gently without being wafted.