- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
Automotive Equipment-auto shop machinery and equipment- 4-5 gas engine analyzers or analysers.
New and used engine analysers.
Engine analysers have been with us for a long long time, and it is only lately that they have measured 5 gas emissions.
If you have a workshop and are considering buying an analyser, there are quite a few things to consider.
- The best of these new machines range upwards of $4,000 each with 4 or 5 gas capacity.
- All the latest ones will take the fifth gas module, but it is not always included.
- The central gas analyser at the heart of the machine is only made by 2 manufacturers and quality of these units does not vary even in the cheaper engine analysers
- The cheap Chinese ones have a pathetic screen card.
- Some machines are more robust than others.
- All analysers need a new C02 module annually.
- A new C02 module fitted varies between 2 and 3 hundred dollars on average.
All this in a small case.
Portable 5 gas analysers.
There are a huge number of new makes and models of gas analysers on the market today and many of them are very good quality too.
The very smart briefcase type that has all the connections tucked away until needed is a great way to go.
Quality units are not cheap though, so be sure you can see a return if you are going to pay out for one of these units.
The Coda opposite is a fine example of high quality in these briefcase sized units.
We have used these, sold them new and used. They are reliable and sturdy.
No crappy screen on these, you can still see it when it faces the light, or from where you are working on the car, unlike some other gas analysers.
I find it makes a huge difference to doing tune-ups if you don't have to keep the machine next to you so you can read the screen.
A few of the smaller hand held ones have lousy screens.
A Sun MEA
Other engine annalysers.
Although a good experienced mechanic may be able to analyse many engine fault with a straight gas analyser, some prefer more tests to drill down to where a problem may be, and older model autos require readings such as dwell angle to be checked.
I know many mechanics who get great results with gas analysers that are very old but include many more tests as well as omissions.
One example of a fine old machine that will do most anything is the Sun "Interrogator"
This is a big machine on wheels and does take up a fair bit of space.
The interrogator walks you through it's own self test with a built in voice.
The voice then tells the mechanic which leads to hook up and where they go.
Like many early full engine analysers like this, the gas module forms a small part of what the machine checks and many workshops have one of these as well as a modern 4 or 5 gas analyser.
All the test are spoken as completed as are the results, and a printed record is produced for the customer.
If buying one of these machines remember if it has been kept in top condition it will have receipts for annual calibration and C02 module replacement. Watch your step. A bit like buying a used car!
The Allen DEA
You will still see these old Allens in good workshops today. Although the plastic cases were a bit easy to break, the Allen is mechanically and electronically very good and many have survived.
The huge filters on these older machines allowed them to work hard and long with few service intervals.
A very popular machine when it was produced, Allen made a lot of top quality diagnostics and analysers and have a reputation for high quality results.
You can still buy a fully refurbished one of these at the right price in America. I have refurbished and sold them in Australia and know they are reliable if kept serviced. I sold many of these without one problem.
When buying an Allen make sure you get the 4 gas analyser model, as they all look the same, except the one with the analyser has a smaller toolbox.