10 Best EVAP Smoke Machines of 2022 – Review & Buyer’s Guide

With an EVAP smoke machine, you can greatly reduce the troubleshooting duration for vacuum leaks and other problems. Here are the best EVAP smoke machines to use

10 Best Evap Smoke Machines

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to track down a pesky vacuum leak without the right tools. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on a mechanic, but you also don’t want to purchase a tool that doesn’t get the job done.

We understand your frustration, and that’s why we tracked down and reviewed the best EVAP smoke machines out there. From there, we came up with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know when shopping for the best automotive smoke machine out there.

We’ll have you troubleshooting, diagnosing, and repairing your EVAP system in no time!

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Top 10 Best EVAP Smoke Machines in 2022

1. Stinger Pro 2 Smoke Machine – Best Overall

Stinger Pro 2 Smoke Machine
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: 5 pounds

If you’re looking for the best EVAP smoke machine out there, it’s hard to top what the Stinger Pro 2 Smoke Machine brings to the table. Not only does it produce a ton of smoke, but it’s available for a phenomenal price and lasts a long time.

Even better, it’s one of the most durable and reliable smoke machines on the market. Stinger makes all of their smoke machines right in the United States, and their Pro 2 Smoke Machine is no exception. This ensures the highest quality standards and the highest reliability standards on the market.

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Additionally, this smoke machine comes with tons of accessories that allow you to use it on just about any vehicle. However, you will need to invest in a separate air compressor to use this smoke machine. It’s pretty standard for EVAP smoke machines, but it is something you need to account for.

The only real complaint with the Stinger Pro 2 Smoke Machine is a small one – the power cord is not detachable. It’s not a huge deal and does ensure you won’t lose the cord, but it does make it a bit of a pain when it’s time to add more oil.

It simply gets in the way when you’re taking the lid off, and because you can’t remove the cord there’s no way to move it out of the way! Still, it’s a small complaint, and it doesn’t do anything to push it out of the top spot on our list.

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Pros

  • A great mix of price and quality
  • Easy to use and extremely durable
  • It comes with plenty of accessories
  • Made in the USA
  • Produces a ton of smoke

Cons

  • The power cord is not detachable
  • You need a separate air compressor

2. AutoLine Pro Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Detector – Budget Alternative

Autoline Pro Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Detector
  • Power Source: 12 Volts
  • Weight: 4.62 pounds

Another phenomenal EVAP smoke machine you should check out if you’re looking to save a little money is the AutoLine Pro Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Detector. It’s an extremely compact unit, and although it’s a little more expensive than our top pick, it comes with a little more too.

For starters, it comes with a smoke fluid, which is one less thing you need to purchase to get started. Second, it comes with a comprehensive 1-year warranty that covers every component. Moreover, the ceramic smoke coil has a lifetime warranty, and that means the chances of you needing to replace the entire unit is slim to none.

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Despite the comprehensive warranties and the included smoke fluid it’s still available for an outstanding price, but you will need a separate air compressor to use it. But once again, when you look at the price of the unit, you’re still getting a great deal – especially if you already have an air compressor.

It’s a very lightweight and compact unit making it easy to use, and it comes with a few necessary accessories. In fact, if you already have an air compressor, this unit comes with everything you need to get started!

However, as a budget option, it’s still not as durable as the pricier options out there. It’s fine for home use, but if you’re running an automotive shop, you likely want to invest in a more expensive unit that can handle more usage.

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Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • It comes with the smoke fluid
  • Full 1-year warranty
  • The ceramic smoke coil has a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not as durable as the more expensive options
  • You need a separate air compressor

3. Mr. Cartoon T130 – Premium Choice

Mr. Cartoon T130
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds

If you’re looking for a unit that can do it all and you’re not worried about spending a little more, then the Mr. Cartool T130 is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Sure, it’s a little more expensive, but it comes with a comprehensive two-year warranty and comes with tons of caps and other accessories that you’ll need to complete any job. It’s not just one of the best EVAP smoke machines out there, but it’s one of the best automotive smoke machines!

The entire design is extremely durable and if you care for it correctly, there’s no reason it can’t last far longer than the two-year warranty protects. You can adjust both the smoke and air output levels, and what’s even better is that it comes with a built-in compressor.

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Once you have the smoke oil this compressor is extremely easy to use and is perfect for automotive shops. It also has overheat protection, so if the machine exceeds a safe temperature, it will automatically shut off and save the machine from breaking.

Finally, not only does this EVAP smoke machine have an adjustable flow meter for both air and smoke, but it also has a built-in pressure gauge to help with your troubleshooting. It comes with everything you need to test fuel tanks, EVAP systems, exhaust systems, turbo leaks, and more!

While our top two choices are perfect for home garages, if you’re looking for the best product for an automotive shop, this is probably it. While it is a little larger, it’s still not huge. And if your mechanic can’t navigate this 8.5-pound unit into place there’s plenty of other jobs they can’t complete.

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Pros

  • Includes caps and other accessories
  • 24-month warranty
  • Very durable design
  • Adjustable output levels
  • You don’t need a compressor

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Larger size

4. Vacuum Car Smoke Machine Leak Detector

Vacuum Car Smoke Machine Leak Detector
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: 2.92 pounds

While the Vacuum Car Smoke Machine Leak Detector might not look like much, it does everything you need in an EVAP smoke machine. It’s insanely light at under three pounds, and you still don’t need a compressor to use it!

It’s insanely easy to use, and it comes in a super-durable casing. Even better for you, it creates thick walls of smoke to make troubleshooting easy. However, you can’t control the overall smoke output. There’s on and off, and that’s about it.

That’s not a huge deal, but if you’re looking for a machine you can fine-tune a bit for different troubleshooting areas, this isn’t it.

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But when you look at the price that’s alright. It’s an extremely affordable smoke machine that gets the job done – without the need for you to go out and purchase an air compressor. Not only that but since it’s a durable product you’re not only saving money now but down the road too.

So, while this might not be the perfect EVAP smoke machine, if you simply need something to help you troubleshoot your vehicle at home, this is an outstanding choice. But if you own a repair shop and need an EVAP smoke machine, then the lack of options this one gives you can be problematic.

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Pros

  • Very light
  • You don’t need a compressor
  • Affordably priced
  • Easy to use
  • Very effective and durable design

Cons

  • It does not come with smoke oil
  • You cannot control output flow

5. RhinoTuning Automotive Smoke Tester Leak Detector

Rhinotuning Automotive Smoke Tester Leak Detector
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: 3.27 pounds

The RhinoTuning Automotive Smoke Tester Leak Detector is extremely similar to the Vacuum Car Smoke Machine Leak Detector, but it’s not identical. The main difference is the accessories that the RhinoTuning Automotive Smoke Tester Leak Detector comes with.

It has three different nozzles to help you hook it up and depending on your vehicle that can be the difference on whether you can use this tester or if you need to order different adapters.

You don’t need a compressor to use this EVAP smoke machine as it comes with one built-in it. It’s extremely effective, very durable, and super light – all of which make it easy to use.

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However, it does not come with any smoke oil, and you still can’t control the output flow. That’s not a huge deal if you’re using it in a home garage, if you’re in a professional automotive shop it can slow down different troubleshooting procedures.

But the reason the RhinoTuning Automotive Smoke Tester Leak Detector falls one spot below the Vacuum Car Smoke Machine Leak Detector has nothing to do with performance. Instead, it has everything to do with price.

This option is a tad bit more expensive, and with everything else being just about equal that’s the deciding factor. Of course, prices can change, so feel free to pull both products up and go with the more affordable option!

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Pros

  • Very light
  • You don’t need a compressor
  • Easy to use
  • Very effective and durable design

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • It does not come with smoke oil
  • You cannot control output flow

6. QPKing Automotive Smoke Leak Detector

Qpking Automotive Smoke Leak Detector
  • Power Source: 12 volts 
  • Weight: 7.55 pounds

If you’re looking for a super-durable EVAP smoke machine, then the OPKING Automotive Smoke Leak Detector is an outstanding choice. It has a built-in compressor, it comes with tons of accessories, and it’s extremely easy to use.

Even better for you is the fact that it comes with a 3-year warranty and has both overheat and anti-frost protection. So, while this EVAP smoke machine might cost a little more compared to many of the options on our list, if you plan on using it a lot and need it to last, this might be the better choice.

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It’s another EVAP smoke machine that makes a great addition to a professional automotive shop, but it might be a little overkill if you’re just looking for a diagnostic tool to add to your home garage.

Keep in mind that while this EVAP smoke machine is a little more expensive and comes with lots of features, it’s also a little on the heavier side. At a little over 7.5 pounds, it’s not exactly heavy, but it is more than twice the weight of the lightest options on our list.

It’s not a huge deal for mechanics that replace heavy parts all day, but if you’re looking for something a little more lightweight to lug around, this isn’t it.

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Pros

  • It comes with a 3-year warranty
  • You don’t need a compressor
  • It comes with tons of accessories
  • Easy to use
  • It has overheat and anti-frost protection

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Heavier option

7. Autool EVAP Vacuum Automotive Smoke Machine

Autool Evap Vacuum Automotive Smoke Machine
  • Power Source: 12 volts 
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds

The Autoool EVAP Vacuum Automotive Smoke Machine is another professional-quality EVAP smoke machine you can purchase. It’s extremely durable and long-lasting, and to prove it, Autool covers it with a 3-year warranty. But even then, it’s so durable you’re unlikely to need it in the first place, and it’s likely to last far longer.

The entire machine is extremely easy to use, and it comes with both overheat and anti-frost protection. So, unless you’re intentionally trying to damage it, there’s nothing that should cause this tool to break down on you.

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It has a built-in compressor, but it weighs two to three pounds lighter than most machines that have these options. You can also change the overall smoke output, but you can’t change the airflow. That’s not a huge deal for most jobs, but it can become a problem every once in a while.

But for everything that this EVAP smoke machine does well, it’s the price that sent it down the list a bit. For the price of this EVAP smoke machine, you can buy two of our top choice, which is a little hard to justify.

It’ll certainly get the job done, and you won’t have any complaints, but you can get the same results farther up the list while spending less money.

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Pros

  • It has a 36-month warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Durable and long-lasting design
  • Overheat and anti-frost protection
  • It has a built-in air compressor

Cons

  • More expensive option

8. Powerbuilt Automotive EVAP Leak Detector Smoke Machine

Powerbuilt Automotive Evap Leak Detector...
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: 12.32 pounds

The Powerbuilt Automotive EVAP Leak Detector Smoke Machine is an extremely comprehensive smoke machine, and it might just be the best performing option on our list. However, despite that fact it fell down our list for a few reasons.

First, at over 12-pounds it’s a little heavy. Second, you can’t tweak the air or smoke output. But the main reason is the price. It’s the most expensive EVAP smoke machine on our list, and it’s not even close.

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So, it doesn’t matter that it’s extremely durable and comes with tons of accessories, it’s simply too expensive for what you’re getting. Now it does come with an attached storage case, it does have its own compressor, and there’s not a machine out there that’s easier to use.

But considering you can purchase four of our top pick for the price of this one, it’s hard to justify spending that much more for a machine that still won’t let your control output settings.

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Pros

  • It has its own compressor
  • Easy to use
  • It has tons of accessories
  • Very durable design
  • Storage case keeps everything organized

Cons

  • Very expensive option
  • Heavier option

9. Vac-Leak Hunter Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Diagnostic Detector

Vac-Leak Hunter Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Diagnostic Detector
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: 2.94 pounds

When you’re looking at EVAP smoke machines, the Vac-Leak Hunter Automotive Smoke Machine Leak Diagnostic Tester is almost identical to the Vacuum Car Smoke Machine Leak Detector that’s farther up our list.

Both are extremely light smoke machines that are easy to use, and both are extremely durable. Not only that, but they both come with an internal air compressor and are available for affordable prices.

And while they both share the same perks, they also have the same drawbacks. They both don’t come with any smoke or oil, and you can’t control the smoke or air output on either smoke machine.

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But if they’re both so identical, why is this one so much farther down the list? The truth is that it all comes down to the price. While they’re from different brands, they’re almost identical in every way, but this one is more expensive!

That doesn’t mean it’s not a good choice, but why not get the one that’s available for a great price? Of course, prices are always changing, so feel free to check out both options and get whichever one is more affordably priced right now.

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Pros

  • Very light option
  • Extremely durable design
  • You don’t need an air compressor
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • You can’t control smoke output
  • It does not come with any smoke test oil

10. Autoand EVAP Smoke Machine Leak Detector

Autoand Evap Smoke Machine Leak Detector, 2...
  • Power Source: 12 volts
  • Weight: Unknown

Rounding out our list is the Autoand EVAP Smoke Machine Leak Detector. But let’s get one thing straight, just because it’s at the bottom of our list doesn’t mean it’s a poor choice. It’s an extremely effective EVAP smoke machine, it’s just that it’s an extremely expensive option.

This is especially true once you consider that it doesn’t come with any accessories. Once you order this EVAP smoke machine, you’ll still need to order the hoses, the oil, and the attachment tools.

Still, if you’re not worried about the extra money or you already have everything else you need, there’s no denying that this is a solid unit. It comes with a 2-year warranty, and it’s extremely durable. Autoand put the compressor right in the smoke machine, and you can adjust both the airflow and the smoke output.

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This gives maximum customization for easy troubleshooting of complex problems. It’s an outstanding choice for automotive repair shops – as long as you invest in the attachment pieces too. However, it’s a little overkill for most at-home applications.

Between that and the price, it’s not hard to see how it fell to the bottom of our list despite its obvious perks.

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Pros

  • It comes with a two-year warranty
  • Easy to use
  • You can regulate the smoke output
  • You can adjust airflow

Cons

  • Very expensive option
  • It doesn’t come with any accessories

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re still a little confused about which product is the best EVAP smoke machine for you, you’re not alone. That’s why we came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything you need to know to get the right product the first time.

When Do You Need an EVAP Smoke Machine?

EVAP Smoke machines aren’t a necessity when troubleshooting, but they are a significant time-saver. Most EVAP systems work off a vacuum system, and if there are any holes or leaks, they won’t work properly.

While you can sometimes find large leaks by following the sound or simply spotting the tear, with smaller leaks, it’s not always that easy. That’s where an EVAP smoke machine comes into play.

It allows you to pump visible smoke into your EVAP system. All you need to do from there is inspect the lines and look for the smoke! Once you see where the smoke is escaping you’ve found your leak, and you now know what you need to repair or replace.

Not only can you use EVAP smoke machines to troubleshoot vacuum leaks, but you can also use them for troubleshooting various other systems in your vehicle. This includes leaks in your fuel tank, exhaust system, and intake system.

It works the same way; you just need different adapters to hook up the machine. If you notice smoke coming out somewhere it shouldn’t, you’ve found the leak!

The great thing about these smokes is that they’re completely harmless to your vehicle. This makes them an outstanding troubleshooting tool. They provide a quick and accurate diagnosis without any real drawbacks.

Check the Compressor

When you’re shopping for the best automotive smoke machine, one of the first things you want to look at is the compressor. The smoke machine is only as good as the compressor, which pushes the air through the system.

Without enough airflow, the smoke will sit in the same spot, and you won’t be able to troubleshoot the entire system. Of course, if you have too much airflow, it will push the smoke straight out the leak before it becomes visible.

This is a big reason why having the ability to regulate the airflow from the compressor is a huge perk. With a separate compressor that you hook up to a machine, this is almost always an option, but for EVAP smoke machines that come with built-in compressors, it’s not always an option.

Regulating Smoke Output – Why It Matters

One of the most common questions with EVAP smoke machines is why you don’t always want as much smoke as possible. The truth is that more smoke isn’t always better. To understand why let’s take a look at this scenario.

You hook up an EVAP smoke machine and pump as much smoke out as possible. You see that the smoke is coming from a small compartment, but when you look at it, you can’t see anything. All you see when you look in is a compartment completely filled with smoke.

Since you can’t turn down the smoke output you can’t regulate it to a useful level. Sure, you know the leak is somewhere in that compartment, but pinpointing it to the exact cause is next to impossible.

Having the ability to turn down the smoke output lets you pinpoint the diagnosis without the need to check each and every component in there.

And on the other side of things, if your smoke machine doesn’t produce enough smoke, you might not be able to see it escaping through the leak. There’s a fine line you need to find with many leaks and having a machine that lets you regulate the overall smoke output lets you walk that line.

What Accessories Do You Need?

This is a tricky question to answer because the accessories you need comes down to the type of vehicle you have. It’s why you should take a look at your system before ordering an EVAP smoke machine.

And it’s why an automotive shop should spend a little more to get a comprehensive kit that covers just about any vehicle out there. The good news is that once you know what you need there are plenty of adapters out there to help you out.

Also, if you’re looking to use your smoke machine on more than just a vacuum system then plugs are likely a good investment. These plugs keep the smoke from escaping from acceptable exit ports, which lets you troubleshoot various systems.

Finally, if you’re only looking to troubleshoot an EVAP system, keep in mind that the hose you’re connecting to is probably on the smaller side. You don’t want a massive adapter as this won’t let you get the smoke where it needs to go.

While you can technically go too small, the chances of this being a problem you can’t work around are much smaller.

Overheating and Anti-Frost Protection

When you’re looking at commercial grade EVAP smoke machines one feature you almost always see is overheating and anti-frost protection. But when you look at personal level smoke machines it’s not usually included.

So, what gives? Is it really a feature you need, and if so, why doesn’t the personal level machines typically have them?

The truth is that while they’re valuable features, they’re not something you’ll likely need if you’re only using them on your own vehicles. The reason for this is twofold. First, when it comes to overheating, you’re simply not using them as much as a professional mechanic.

At a shop it’s not uncommon for a machine to jump from person to person, and all this use leads to them heating up. And when you add in the fact that sometimes they’re working in hotter conditions, it doesn’t take long for them to overheat.

When you’re working at home you usually hook it up, find the leak, and it stays off for the rest of the day. Since you’re not using them as much, they’re less likely to overheat.

When it comes to frost protection, it’s a little more nuanced. Sure, you might need it, but you’re far less likely to work on your vehicle when it’s freezing outside. Professional mechanics usually don’t have that option.

Even during inclement weather, they need to fix vehicles, and having tools that can handle extreme temperatures is a big deal.

Of course, if you are working on your vehicle in the extreme cold, keep in mind that if it’s below freezing, you need to be extremely careful with an EVAP smoke machine. You don’t want to break your machine, even if it isn’t as expensive as the commercial level products!

A Note on Warranties

Warranties are nice because they give you the peace of mind that you don’t need to worry about your machine breaking. Of course, it’s better not to need to use the warranty in the first place, but it’s critical to keep in mind that a warranty is only as good as the company backing it.

Luckily for you, all the products on our list with a warranty come from reputable companies. That means in the unlikely event that you do need to use the warranty, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll take care of you.

However, this doesn’t mean they’ll always send out a brand-new product. For instance, they might just send you the parts you need to fix the EVAP smoke machine. This might seem like a hassle, but it saves you from having to ship the machine back to them and gets you a fixed machine sooner!

Of course, this means you need to do the troubleshooting yourself, and when the part comes in you need to complete the repairs yourself too. It’s not a huge deal if you know what you’re doing, but it is an added headache.If you have any questions about the warranties, check the fine print on the warranty for the product before you make a purchase.