One of the best tools to use when you want to find boost and EVAP leaks is with a smoke machine.
When you are getting a trouble code related to a faulty fuel/air mixture or misfires, connect a smoke machine and you are likely to find the problem fast.
We tested some of them to find the best EVAP smoke machine on the market. Here is our review of these brands.
If you want to learn more about the evap smoke machines before buying one, check out our guide here: Guide.
1. OTC 6522 LeakTamer
The Best EVAP Smoke Machine
The OTC 6522 is our top pick of this review. This is because it’s a high-performance machine sold for a decent price. The kit includes a lot of required tools to make a good diagnostic of your vehicle. This is an updated version with half the size and twice the power of the recent model of this smoke machine.
This smoke machine can detect leaks below 0.010 inch and got a high-performance flow control adjustment for the amount of smoke you want to inject. It uses UV fluid to detect even the smallest leaks which could not be found with only the smoke. The kit does include the UV light and the UV glasses that are required to see the UV fluid.
- Detect small leaks below 0.010.”
- Patented UV technology to find the smallest leaks
- Glow plug technology which gives it a longer lifetime than competitors
- You can use compressed air or refill the CO2 bottle on mobile tasks
- Required adapters and tools included
2. Redline Smoke Pro 95-0003B
The Redline Smoke Pro is the smoke machine that I’m using myself at my workshop. It has worked flawlessly through hundreds of leak test, and it’s worth the price. Simple to use and the only thing you require is compressed air, car battery and the recommended oil for the tool (Baby oil works fine also).
It has a valve control to control the amount of smoke you want and a gauge for the pressure. It comes with the required adapters and tools to start to use it instantly after delivery.
A simple and high performing smoke tested for any use at workshops or home. Just connect compressed air and 12-volt power, and you are ready to go within seconds. Perfect to find tiny leaks both in EVAP, intake and Exhaust systems.
- Use compressed air + 12-volt clamps to operate
- Leak decay possibility
- OEM smoke producing fluid
- Includes Halogen inspection light
- Exhaust cone adaptor included
3. EVAPro 2000E
The EVAPro smoke machine from Vacutec is our highest performing smoke machine in this review. The price is higher than the other smoke machines in this review, and so it the performance. This machine may be a bit too expensive for the most home users and will probably fit better in car repair workshops.
It uses a patented UV solution to deposit the fluid at the required locations. It uses high technology 2 minutes test to get a passed or failed result which verifies leaks down to 0.020″. This is a real high-end machine which comes with all the functions you need and a two years warranty.
This smoke machine can find all kind of EVAP codes fast and comes with all the required adaptors for these tasks. Test the whole intake system or just the small EVAP hoses.
- Patented UV technology, comes with bottle good for 1000 uses
- A simple and precise control valve
- Two-minute EVAP test which gives a failed or passed result
- All required accessories
- 500 tests per refill
4. Smoke-Tek DT-46368
Best Budget Smoke Machine
Here is the smoke machine for those who should not use the smoke machines a lot and will do it for home usage. This is our budget smoke machine which has a lot lower price than the other devices mentioned in this review. But, You will get a lot for the money, and this machine is perfect for the price. Price-Worth if you should use it for home.
The Smoke-Tek uses mineral oil to perform (You can also use baby oil if you want). Just connect your air compressor and connect the 12-volt power to your vehicles battery and this smoke tester will perform. It gives a slightly lower amount of smoke than the other machines mentioned, but the price is a lot lower, and it will produce the required amount of smoke for most of us.
This is the smoke machine which I would get if I were getting a smoke machine to use at home a couple of times to get rid of my trouble codes!
- Uses mineral oil or baby oil to perform
- Just connect air compressor and 12-volt to the car battery
- Affordable price for any home-mechanic
- In-line fuse for wrong wirings
5. AUTOOL SDT-206
Then we have come to the last review of the automotive smoke machines in this article. It’s the Autool SFT-206. This is also one of our mid-budget alternatives. It’s double the price of the Smoke-Tek machine but half the price of the RedLine smoke machine. This is the machine for the garage or a small workshop owner that does not want to spend too much money on a smoke machine but still want a very reliable one.
This machine has an inbuilt air compressor which gives instant smoke generation. It has an adjustable flowmeter with a pressure gauge which you can get the right amount of smoke which you require for the task.
It comes with the required adapters for an intake leak test and EVAP leak tests. With this machine, you do only have to fill oil and connect the 12-volt power to your car battery to make it work.
- Smoke output: 6L/min
- 12-volt power connection
- Liquid Paraffin or baby oil required
- Overload protection
- Inbuilt air-compressor
- EVAP system tests
EVAP Smoke Machine FAQs
Q: I have a car repair workshop, which smokes machine should I choose?
If you want a good smoke machine for a reasonable price, you should choose the OTC 6522 LeakTamer. It’s a kit of the most required tools for any intake leak troubleshooting. The price is in the mid-range of smoke machines. If you do want an even better smoke machine and a bit more money to spend, you should choose the EWApro 2000E in my opinion. The price is double of the OTC smoke machine, but you will get much better performance.
Q: I do want an EVAP smoke machine for home usage, which one should I choose?
It depends on how much money you want to spend for your home usage. The cheapest in our list is the Smoke-Tek machine if you want more performance you to choose the Autek SDT-206 machine instead. You have to spend a bit more on this machine, but in my opinion, it is worth it if you check what you get for the money. The Autek machine will give you everything you need for troubleshooting for home usage.
Q: How often do I have to refill the EVAP smoke machines?
It depends on what machine you choose and what type of oil it uses. It will take a lot of troubleshooting before you have to replace the oil, depending on the length of the smoke test. In my machine at my work, it takes around 10-15 smoke test before I have to refill it. In most of these smoke machines, you can also use natural baby oil, which is not so expensive. You should always double check with the manufacturer of the machine to find out if you can use baby oil in the machine.
Q: With what should I fill my smoke machine?
Normally the smoke machines use a special oil in their machines. In many cases, you can fill the machine with baby oil instead. Double check with the manufacturer of the EVAP smoke machine to make sure it’s compatible with baby oil. If you can fill baby oil in it, the price for oil fill will get a lot lower.
Q: How long time will it take to fill the intake with smoke?
It depends on the smoke machine and what volume setting you are using on your machine. To fill an intake and boost pipes, usually does take a couple of seconds. If you are using it to find leaks on smaller hoses like EVAP hoses, it will just take a second to fill it with smoke. The most of these machines are pretty fast to fill it with smoke.
Q: Is a smoke machine an excellent way to find EVAP and intake leaks?
It’s one of the best ways to fix EVAP and intake leaks in my opinion. I work as a diagnostic technician, and I’m using these smoke machines for daily use to troubleshoot my customer’s cars. Whenever I got a lean mixture, misfire, boost control trouble code, I start to check the intake with a smoke machine. If you have a workshop and are not using a smoke machine, I can recommend you to get one, and it solves a lot of problems which could be hard to find if you don’t have one.
Q: Is it enough with 12v power to them?
Some machines use only 12v power, and some use 110/230volt wall electrics, depending on the machine. Some of the machines use both 12 volts and 110/230 volt connector. You can take the 12-volt power from your car battery. Check the machine before you are buying it to make sure you get the right connectors and get information on how to wire it correctly. Some does also require compressed air to work.
How to use an Automotive Smoke machine?
To use a smoke machine is very simple in most cases and with the most machines. This is a general list of how to do it, and you should always follow the instructions from the manufacturer when you are installing and using your smoke machine.
- Connect an adapter that will fit into the part you want to smoke test and make sure it fits tightly.
- Make sure you fill up the smoke machine with oil and other required additives
- Connect your power resource, either on your car battery 12-volt power or 110/220volt supply. Some smoke machines have both of the authorities. Some will also require compressed air.
- Start/Activate your smoke machine.
- Check for any signs of leaks around all essential parts. Some smoke machines have UV in the smoke, so you can use a UV light to check for any leaks.
What kind of trouble codes can you diagnose with a smoke machine?
You can diagnose the most kind of trouble codes with a smoke machine. You usually use it to detect EVAP leaks and turbo boost pipes leaks. It’s also perfect to find any leaks around the intake or the exhaust pipe. If you have any lean or rich mixture trouble codes, you should always use an EVAP smoke machine to find any leaks fast.
Misfire codes are usually caused by intake or boost leaks and should be diagnosed with a smoke machine. Worn out turbo boost pipes often cause turbo boost control problems, and a smoke machine will help you to find the problem fast.
So, intake and EVAP leaks can cause a lot of different trouble codes, and it’s a perfect starting point to start checking with a smoke machine the first thing you do. Air leaks can be hard to identify and can cause severe problems and a lot of trouble codes. I use an EVAP smoke machine on almost every trouble system I get when I’m finding problems on vehicles.
How does an EVAP smoke machine work?
A smoke machine uses a heater inbuilt and evaporates the special oil or the baby oil to smoke. It does then push it into the area which you want to leak test. Smoke machines can detect micro leaks below 0.010″ inch, and some of them does also have the ability to inject UV additives to the smoke, to check small leakages with a UV light.
The heater inside the EVAP smoke machine is either ran by 12-volt power or 110/220 volt power. Some smoke machines do also use compressed air to push it into the test area. Some have an air compressor inbuilt for this task.
- It is significant price differences in smoke machines, but as with a lot of items, you will often get what you pay for. It’s the same case with EVAP smoke machines.
- You can often fill Baby oil in these machines to create smoke. Check with the manufacturer of the machine before filling it with baby oil. Filling your machine with baby oil can damage the machine if it’s not compatible with it. Better safe than sorry.
- An EVAP smoke machine is one of the best ways to find a mixture, EVAP and boost related trouble codes, and I use one myself for a daily basis. You can solve a lot of different trouble codes with a smoke machine, and it will save you a lot of time on troubleshooting if you don’t have one already.
- Double check to make sure you get the right connectors for your country for the machine before buying it.
- Check if you get any oil required for the machine within the purchase.
If you have used any of these smoke machines and wanted to write your review about them, comment down below. If you have any other car questions, you are welcome to ask them at our homepage.