Things to Remember When Using a Timing Light

Autos & TrucksRepairs

  • Author Victor Ragon
  • Published March 1, 2011
  • Word count 553

Looking to adjust your engine’s timing? Well, you could take your car into a mechanic, but who really wants to do that? All you need is a timing light and you can save money by doing it yourself. Sound intimidating? Don’t worry. The process is painless. Just remember to perform the following actions and you’ll be fine.

• Read the instruction manual—Too often people get a product, tear the box open, thrust the instructions aside and get started. Don’t do it. When you’re dealing with something as intricate and potentially dangerous as an automobile’s engine, you need to follow the instructions. So when you get your new timing light, make sure you read the instruction manual before you get near your car’s engine with it.

• Begin with the engine turned off—Don’t try to start up your engine and then connect your timing light. Since you’re going to have to find a few key interest points on your engine, as well as connect to the battery, you need to start with the engine turned off. Failing to do so could result in serious injury. And why risk an injury when it’s easily avoidable?

• Clean the battery terminals—Battery terminals tend to build up all sorts of gunk. This buildup can result in an inadequate connection when using your advance timing light. To avoid this issue, simply check your terminals before making a connection. If they’re filthy, give them a quick clean. Make sure you don’t touch it with your hands though. You don’t want to get acid on them.

• Make the correct connections—Your digital timing light won’t work if you don’t connect it right. So make sure you connect positive to positive and negative to negative. Just remember that red always means positive, and black always means negative. Also, connecting red last is a good habit to get into. Finally, you should have a third clip that you need to connect to your spark plug wire. Do this one last. It should be the largest clip available. Remember, your engine is still off at this point.

• Identify the correct mark—In order to use your timing light, you need to identify a key mark--the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley. If it’s not easily visible, mark it with chalk. If you’re not able to see it well, then you can’t properly use your timing light.

• Aim the timing light at the crankshaft pulley—Once you get your engine started and everything’s ready to go, make sure you aim the timing light down at the crankshaft pulley. As the digital timing light pulsates, it should reveal the timing mark that you highlighted with chalk. Basically, you’re syncing the mark with the beat of the light.

• Wash your hands when you’re finished—It’s always a good idea to wash your hands when you’re done messing with your engine. Especially if you had to clean your battery terminals. This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s something that’s easy to forget.

Using a timing light is a relatively simple process. If you want to give it a shot, you can find one at a good price from an online distributor.

Buy digital timing light and timing light online at Tradervar.Com.

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