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Compression test tool recommendation

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

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98v70dad
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Compression test tool recommendation

Post by 98v70dad » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:00 am

I need to buy a compression test tool. I'd prefer something that I could walk in and buy tomorrow rather than having to order it and wait.

People here have mentioned the Harbor Freight kit for about $25. It gets some pretty awful reviews because apparently its pretty inaccurate. That's the problem with HF - some items work and they get a very good review and another of the same item works once or twice or doesn't work at all. I've had the same one use experience on several items from HF.

So, if anybody has some comments on the HF compression tester OR has a recommendation on something I can pick up at an auto parts store I'd like to know your thoughts. I've checked around and most of the parts stores around me don't lend compression testers and the ones that do all get bad review because the people who used them said they didn't work.

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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by erikv11 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:06 pm

I expect that the cheap compression testers are all about the same, maybe all from the same factory, etc.. That's what I have, made by Actron I think. It's a crap shoot unless you spend up a little; I might just make sure to get the fittings you need, for example if you want to use it on your truck some time as well, then hope you don't get a total lemon.

Minor inaccuracy is not a big deal (though can be frustrating), because you will always be comparing cylinder to cylinder.
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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by 98v70dad » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:58 pm

erikv11 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:06 pm
I expect that the cheap compression testers are all about the same, maybe all from the same factory, etc.. That's what I have, made by Actron I think. It's a crap shoot unless you spend up a little; I might just make sure to get the fittings you need, for example if you want to use it on your truck some time as well, then hope you don't get a total lemon.

Minor inaccuracy is not a big deal (though can be frustrating), because you will always be comparing cylinder to cylinder.
Thanks. I got the car up on jacks yesterday late in the afternoon and it seems to have just been leaking from the oil filter seal and only a little bit. As I thought the oil level was nearly full. I can always do a compression test later. Today I decided to do an oil change and see what happens. I plan to cut the shell off the oil filter and see what I find. It had pressure on one side and none or less than required on the other. Either the leak was big enough for a significant pressure drop or the filter was totally plugged. We'll see.

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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by abscate » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:01 pm

I just did an oil change and now have a leak from the oil filter seal (99 has housing cartridge type) Im pretty sure I cocked up the cartridge to cause this.
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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by FLXC90 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:08 pm

Don't buy one for a one-time use. Go borrow one at Autozone or O'Reilly's or whoever.
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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by RickHaleParker » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:27 pm

I need to buy a compression test tool. I'd prefer something that I could walk in and buy tomorrow rather than having to order it and wait.

Whatever kit you get, make sure it has a long all metal extender in it. Getting a rubber hose extender in and out of a spark plug well can be a PITA, especially when the end turns on the hose.

I got the Bosch - Pro Compression Tester from Oreilly, $44.99 in Kansas.

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https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/bosc ... 28/2578930
Last edited by RickHaleParker on Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
--------
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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by 98v70dad » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:49 pm

FLXC90 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:08 pm
Don't buy one for a one-time use. Go borrow one at Autozone or O'Reilly's or whoever.
I already checked this morning and none of those have one to lend near me.

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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by 98v70dad » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:50 pm

RickHaleParker wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:27 pm
I need to buy a compression test tool. I'd prefer something that I could walk in and buy tomorrow rather than having to order it and wait.

Whatever kit you get, make sure it has a all long metal extender in it. Getting a rubber hose extender in and out of a spark plug well can be a PITA, especially when the end turns on the hose.

I got the Bosch - Pro Compression Tester from Oreilly, $44.99 in Kansas.


Image

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/bosc ... 28/2578930
I'll check it out thanks.

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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by cn90 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:14 pm

I use INNOVA 3612 Compression Tester; about $23 on amazon etc. with good reviews.
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Re: Compression test tool recommendation

Post by abscate » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:53 am

We must have someone on MVS in the SE (Atlanta?) with a compression tester - come on people!!
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