What are the existing vehicle leak detection methods and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
Fluorescent Leak Detection
Employs an ultraviolet or UV/blue light inspection lamp and fluorescent dyes to find even the smallest leaks quickly and easily. It locates multiple leaks and those not found by any other method. Its lack of disadvantages explains why it is the most popular leak detection technique. In addition to diagnostics, it is the only preventive/programmed maintenance method that detects all refrigerant and fluid leaks.
This labor-intensive procedure is very time-consuming except for the largest, most obvious leaks. Some people lay newspaper down to try to locate the general area of the leak. They will check the color of the fluid to try to identify what system it is coming from, i.e., red for transmission fluid, green for coolant, etc. However, it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact source. Cannot be used for refrigerant leaks or for small leaks which evaporate right away. It’s difficult to detect clear liquids.
Soapy Water and Bubble Solutions
Although it’s inexpensive, this method has a number of serious drawbacks. In addition to being very time-consuming, it is not applicable to oil, hydraulics, transmissions and fuel. Only for refrigerant leaks.
Spraying foot powder on and around a suspect area may help you to find the leak if you’re lucky. But don’t run the engine, or you’ll make a real mess. This powder can also foul up carburetors. Only for oil leaks.
Ion Detector (“Sniffer”)
Detects only the general area of a refrigerant leak, not the exact location.This fragile device does not withstand hard use. In addition, it does not operate well in humid conditions. Only for refrigerant leaks.
Used in water-cooling systems, it can damage hoses, radiators, and other components. It can actually cause additional leaks and enlarge existing ones. Only for coolant leaks.
What method is the fastest, most accurate, safest and easiest to use?
What kind of leaks can fluorescent leak detection find?
How do I use UV Dye?
INSPECT the system with a Tracerline leak detection flashlight & all leaks will glow brightly!
CLEAN the repaired area with GLO-AWAY™ Plus dye cleaner
RUN the system
REINSPECT the area with the leak detection flashlight. No glow means you’ve repaired all the leaks
Are the dyes harmful to the system in any way?
Do I need to flush the system afterwards?
How do I get started in fluorescent leak detection?
Is this method safe for workers?
Does using this method void new car warranties?
Can leak detection increase my service orders and profits?
How long does it take for the Tracer Products leak detection kit to pay for itself?
How is Tracerline® leak detection superior to competitors’ products?
- Higher intensity Tracerline inspection lamps give you more power for your money, greater ease of use, and better value.
- Tracerline lamps are built tougher to withstand hard, round-the-clock use.
- Tracer Products manufactures and services their own products.
- Tracer Products has the widest selection of fluorescent dyes to find the broadest range of leaks.
- Tracer Products provides the best technical support.
- Fluoro-Lite dyes have been extensively tested and are used and approved by major vehicle manufacturers worldwide.
- Our fluorescent dyes are proven in over 275 million vehicles.