Best timing lights
There are few things in this world as frustrating as getting car trouble. Whenever I hear a new sound that I was not supposed to hear, or one of the lights go on, I usually roll my eyes and sigh as if the whole sky is going to come down. I assume that you know the feeling. However, some issues may be a little easier to fix than you think, which is why as a car owner, you should have some basic diagnostics and measurement tools in your garage. One of them is a liming light, also known as a stroboscope.
What is a timing light? It is a small device that you can use to fine tune the spark fire from the spark plug. That is the thingy that ignites your car’s fuel. If you use the device correctly, you can ensure that your engine will function perfectly and efficiently, and at the end of the day, that is what we all want. Now, a timing light may fix the ignition timing, but it cannot do much else. There are models out there that come with some extra features, but we will get to that in a minute.
The benefits of having a timing light
The thought that you are not a mechanism may cross your mind. Unless you actually are one and you are looking to replace your old timing light. How is that important? It may discourage you from trying to fix some issues yourself. I think that we are lead to believe that so mechanics would make more money, but I do not want to drag you down into my conspiracy theories. J There are a few benefits that the simple mortal men can enjoy if they buy a timing light, and here are a few of them.
- It can save you a trip to the mechanic – whenever you hear that nasty shudder your car makes, your first thought is that you need to see a mechanic. Well, your car does. I bet you do not want to see him that much. However, if the ignition is the problem, and you use the timing light, you may fix that issue yourself in a matter of minutes. You can just go about your business without interrupting your schedule. It is an easy
- A timing light is easy to use – just because it included popping the hood, it does not mean a timing light is challenging to use. Quite the contrary, actually. Once you get the hang of it, it is a piece of cake. All you have to do is read the manual and do as instructed. Many of us do not feel comfortable popping the car’s hood because we fear we may not know what we are doing and we are just looking for further damage. Rest assured that cars are not that sensitive.
- It works on most cars – when I say that, I am referring to all vehicles that have an internal combustion engine equipped with a distributor. Other cars need to be connected to a computer and have them diagnosed. It is an entirely different process. Leaving that aside, all cars mentioned above can have their ignition fixed with a timing light. Just attach the timing light to the battery and do what you have to do.
- It can save you some money – ever since I have I car, there is only one mechanic I actually like. He is nice, would not scam me, and some easy fixes are free. The others bill me for asking two questions. That is the thing about going to a mechanic. It costs you to have your car looked at. And if you want to fix it…well, you are going to get billed again. And what a bill. I understand that mechanics need to earn their living, but $200 for changing two little thingies is crazy. How much do you think you would be charged for fixing the ignition? A timing light is a cheap device, and whenever you have an ignition problem, you could save yourself the equivalent of a nice night out.
How to choose the best lining light?
Now that you know why a timing light is necessary, let’s get to the part where I teach you how to choose the best one for you. It is not difficult, and you need to pay attention. Here is what you need to consider before making a purchase:
- The purpose of your new timing light – before buying a timing light, you should ask yourself why you need it. Why? Because if you are like me, a person who pops the hood of the car only to put in windshield cleaning liquid in the tank, you need a basic timing light. The simplest one you can find. You will not be using the device for anything else, and after all, that is why you are buying a timing light in the first place. To fix the ignition. If you are a car enthusiast or a mechanic, however, some extra features may come in handy and you can learn how to do something other than fixing the said ignition.
- Dial back feature – if you want things to get easier, my advice is to go for a timing light that has a dial back feature. Most people like it, and I am sure you will too. It lets you adjust the timing with a small dial. Other kinds of adjustment features are not as accurate as the dial. Furthermore, the light on the dial back can also be helpful because you can know when the timing is perfect. In fact, this particular feature is something that attracts people who like to fine tune their cars as well, not only mechanics.
- The brightness of the light – if you buy a timing light whose light you cannot see during the day, your product is worthless. The light needs to be bright, but not too much. However, it is better to have a timing light that is too bright than not bright enough. After all, you need to see the target clearly. Otherwise, you will just have spent about $30 for nothing.
As for the additional features, some people like to go for all kinds of gimmicks just because. My advice is to not spend your money on things you do not need. When you are a mechanic or that kind of person who likes to stay under the car in your free time, you can go for it and buy the fanciest timing light. The mere mortal needs a simple but efficient timing light. Nothing more and nothing less.
What are the best timing lights?
Choosing the best timing light for you is not tricky. As I said before, you need to pay attention to what you are buying. Using the criteria above should help. You could also read some timing lights reviews online to see what other people purchased. Your last option is to choose one of the products below. Enjoy!
Innova 3551 Inductive Timing Light
Searching through the countless models online, I found this little device. It is among the cheapest that can deliver high-quality, and since budget is always a criterion, this timing light is the best thing you could buy if you want a cheap version. The Innova timing light works with most ignition systems. Whether you have a DIS, conventional, or electronic and computer systems, this simple device is highly efficient and you will able to check the timing, diagnose a no-spark condition and more.
The Innova 3551 is very easy to use. The device comes with an instructions manual, and you should get the hang of it in a few minutes. The plug and play design will allow you to set it up and use it right after you buy it. The barrel is slim and adjustable, which will enable you to aim better at the timing mark in the tightest spaces. The detachable lead and inductive pickups allow simple setup and make storage quick and easy.
The ergonomic design along with the protective hand guard make this device ideal for one-hand operation. The device features a patented skip circuitry test up to 9990 RPM, which allows you to diagnose other issues than no-spark conditions. The light of the device is bright enough to see during the day. The Innova 3551 may come cheap, but if you decide to buy it, you will enjoy a high-quality device that can save you time and money that you would otherwise waste by going to a mechanic. I recommend that you add this to your toolbox.
Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light
If you are looking for another timing light that delivers accurate reading and is highly efficient when it comes to no-spark conditions, the Actron device is another option that you could try, it is effortless to use. Just hook it up to your number one cylinder, you need the negative and the positive from your vehicle’s battery, and you are ready to shoot it up.
The Actron timing light is heat resistant over molding on battery clips. It features an on/off one-touch control with all metal inductive pickup. The pistol-grip design makes it comfortable to use, and I am sure you will have an easy time diagnosing no-spark conditions on your car, motorcycle, or any other vehicle you may have.
The durable ABS plated housing makes this device last for a very long time. With proper maintenance, chances are that you are going to use this timing light your entire life. The bright xenon flash is highly visible even if you are operating outside in the middle of the day. It has the ability to fix your problem in just a few minutes. I am sure you are going to like working with it.
Performance Tool W80578 Self-Powered Timing Light
Last but not least, the Performance Tool timing light is yet another excellent option. It is a bit different than the other two products, but you will like it just as much. Just as the title suggests, this is a self-powered timing light that runs on two rechargeable or regular D-cell batteries. The batteries need to be bought separately as they are not included in the price.
The Performance Tool W80578 is ideal for street rods, race cars, and power boats. It is effortless to use, and the slim design makes it very comfortable to hold. It is designed to work on all gas engines, outdoor power equipment, snowmobiles, mowers, tractors, and the list can continue. It works with magnets, and the detachable inductive pickup is easy to hook up. Everything about this device is easy, which is why even the most inexperienced user can work with it.
The push button switch ensures long life and reliable operation. A red light will let you know when the starter switch is connected to a hot circuit. The W80578 model is equipped with high current clips with protective boots and 5-foot oil and grease resistant 12-gauge wire leads. If you do not like the pistol-grip design for a timing light, you will very much enjoy this one.
All three products mentioned above will meet the purpose they were created for. However, if I were to choose one, I would go with the Performance Tool W80578 Self-Powered Timing Light. It is an excellent product, it is easy to use, and it does come rather cheap. I think it is one of the best timing lights you can get in this price range.
Having car trouble is nobody’s cup of tea. It can affect your working schedule. It is time-consuming, and your bank account will suffer as well. My advice is that small issues such as no-spark conditions should be fixed by your own hands. You may not be able to fix every single problem your car has, but you can fix this. And one of the timing lights above can help you. Click here to buy on Amazon
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