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Smoke Pro Diagnostic Smoke Machine - FAQ

1. What kind of leaks can my Smoke Pro® find?

Your Smoke Pro® will effectively locate leaks in any system that contains air.

Leaks commonly found in automobiles are rotted, broken or disconnected vacuum lines, leaking gaskets and fittings, cracked or broken plastic components, leaking diaphragms and seats, worn throttle shafts, leaking or cracked exhaust or intake manifolds, (especially plastic intake manifolds), engine blocks, catalytic converters, under dash climate control and central locking system leaks, idle motors and solenoids, brake boosters, charcoal canisters, intercoolers and turbo chargers, wind noise around doors and windows (see FAQ# 12 ), leaky headlamp and tail lamp housings (see FAQ# 13), you can even bench test radiators and water pumps before installation. One of our customers found a leak in his washing machine at home. Refer to the Manual for test instructions. (see our video)

2. What is the potential for return on my investment with my Smoke Pro®?

We believe there is no better tool in your workshop that can make you more money. PERIOD. Perhaps you’ll agree. Take a look around your workshop and ask yourself, how much money do I make on that battery charger, the parts cleaner, or the tyre machine?

Maybe you have a brake lathe that might cost well over £2500.00. You might get £25.00 to turn a disc. All of these tools you must have and the Smoke Pro® is no exception. Some shops charge £50.00 or more to do a diagnostic smoke test and that does not include the repair.

We ask people all the time how long it takes for them to pay for there Smoke Pro®. A common answer is “about a month”. One technician told us he did a £600 repair that was the result of an EVAP leak above a fuel tank. Another master technician was happy to tell us his Smoke Pro® generated £1500.00 worth of repairs in one week for his workshop.

Lost revenue is another way to factor value. What is the cost of sending a customer to the competition for not having the capability to repair an EVAP leak or diagnose a vacuum leak? What is the cost for guessing wrong on a repair and replacing a part that was not the problem.

How many times have you wasted time on a car that sat in your workshop that you could not diagnose even with your best technicians? We have all done this and these problems are easily solved with a Smoke Pro®.

3. Why should I purchase the Smoke Pro® instead of another smoke machine? 

There are many reasons to purchase the Smoke Pro® over other machines. Our simple to use compact and portable design has only one button and one knob (Total-Tech™)and still out performs the competition. Because the Smoke Pro® operates on pure medicinal mineral oil (baby oil not containing any lotions, aloe, or creams) and does not require nitrogen, your cost of operation is minimal offering a much faster return on your investment. One company sells a case of Smoke Producing fluid for £450.00. The Pressure Gauge (found on our Total-Tech model) performs leak down testing and verifies leaks that do not show up in the limited range of flow meters. The Smoke Pro’s® Flow Control feature (found on Total-Tech™ and Tech Mate™ Plus models)also lets you adjust the flow of smoke down allowing you to pin point leaks. Of course the affordability of the Smoke Pro® is a great reason also.

4. How is an EVAP smoke machine different than a regular smoke machine?

The EVAP system or Fuel Vapor Recovery System is very sensitive to pressure. Most of these systems allow only 15” of water column pressure or less. (Approximately ½ PSI) Excessive pressure can damage sensitive components within these systems. A good EVAP machine should be pressure regulated at 13” of water or less. It should also have a pressure gauge to visually verify the output pressure of the machine. Leak determination in an EVAP system can be accomplished with flow comparison, using a flowmeter or pressure decay by locking out the system under pressure and reading the decay on your pressure gauge. The Smoke Pro® Total Tech incorporates all of these elements as well as the thickest smoke of any machine on the market today.

5. What is the warranty on my Smoke Pro® and what if I need service?

The Smoke Pro® products are covered by a full one year warranty against material defects and workmanship. Its simple and durable design has no internal moving parts which means you will probably never need your warranty, but if you do, call us on 01823 328532 and enjoy our excellent customer service. Sometimes we get “flashing light” calls; this is easily fixed by hooking up the Smoke Pro® to another car battery that is not low or dead. A damaged pressure gauge is easily replaced with a 9/16 spanner and does not require return service.

6. Can Smoke Pro® products test an EVAP system with workshop air?

YES! Smoke Pro® diagnostic smoke machines test EVAP systems with air, similar to the method used by many vehicles’ onboard Leak Detection Pump (LDP). All Smoke Pro® products utilize an advanced computer design to precisely monitor and control temperature. Redline products do not use glow plugs. It is not necessary to use expensive and bulky nitrogen systems when operating a Smoke Pro® product.

7. Is UV dye needed to find leaks with smoke?

NO! Simply look for the smoke and follow it to the leak.

8. Is high pressure better for finding leaks than low pressure?

Absolutely not! The slower the smoke is exiting the leak the easier it is to see the smoke. A machine that operates at 1½ PSI is not nearly as effective as a machine that is operating at ½ PSI. Since EVAP testing must be performed at 13 inches of water, (less than ½ PSI) any machine that is regulated to this pressure is a better choice for general testing as well.

9. Can I use a Smoke Machine to find AC leaks?

Smoke machines will work in the climate control vacuum lines or the ducting of an AC system. Typically, leaks in an AC system are much too small to be located using smoke. AC leaks are best found using trace dyes or trace gas analyzers. You can use the Smoke Pro® to verify the presence of a leak with the pressure decay feature or verify a repair.

10. How long will the smoke oil last and how much will it cost me to replace it?

The Smoke Pro® automotive series will perform approximately 100 or more tests once filled with medicinal mineral oil ((baby oil not containing any lotions, aloe, or creams). Baby oil can be purchased at any supermarket or drug store for a few pounds.

11. We do not have emission standards in our area yet. Do I really need an EVAP smoke machine?

Yes. About 20 million cars in the Unites States & Europe are driving around with check engine lights on and a large percentage are EVAP related. Customers will want their check engine lights to be turned off and ignored EVAP leaks may affect a cars performance. Small leaks usually don’t get smaller, only bigger, resulting in more problems down the line and many are so simple to fix! If you don’t have emission standards in your area now, you may later. The Smoke Pro® will be able to address those EVAP issues. There are broken charcoal canisters and filler neck/gas cap issues that can be checked and fixed easily with the Smoke Pro®. (see our video)

12. Can I locate wind and water leaks around windows and doors?

Yes, roll up all the windows and turn on the fresh air fan motor to the max setting. Make sure this is not set to re-circulate. From the outside of the car using a diffuser, (any short piece of hose with a diameter of about 5/8 placed over the nozzle to create a thicker flume of smoke) move the smoke around the area where a leak is suspected. Hold the smoke a few inches from the test area and search for the disturbance caused by the leak. Now mark the area and make the repair. This test must be conducted in still air; you may want to close the doors in the shop for this one. (see our video)

13. Can I use my Smoke Pro® to repair leaky tail or headlamp housings?

Sure, simply insert the Smoke Pro® nozzle in the bulb hole to locate the leak then use a little silicone to make the repair. (see our video)

14. Do you offer a discount to colleges?

Yes, we offer a significant discount to schools, colleges and technical training centers that offer automotive training.

It is indisputable that simple diagnostic repairs are becoming a profitable part of today’s modern repair facilities. Today about half of all trouble codes can be attributed to some leaking condition in the car and these codes are increasing. It used to take about 10 percent of our time to diagnose a problem and 90 percent of our time to make the repair. Today most would say this is reversed making this tool even more invaluable. Not having a smoke machine now means falling behind in an increasingly diagnostic world where time is always money.