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2007 Mag Blue Elise
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Discussion Starter #1
Had a PPI done in July and one of my cylinders showed low compression. A possible suggestion was a bad sparkplug so I replaced all 4 with some NGK Iridiums. (the sparkplug in the low cylinder was covered in soot on the bolt end, looked like there was blowby through the plug seal) Anyways I've pulled the plugs to check them out and they all look clean and consistent now which makes me think it was indeed the sparkplug. But I want to do a follow up compression test to confirm the engine health and that has proven difficult to find. Independent shops seem scared to touch it being a lotus and Galpin Lotus quoted me $587 DOLLARS! FOR A COMPRESSION TEST!

I've had horrible experiences with Galpin Lotus.

But anyways, does anyone have any suggestions for LA? Should I just buy a gauge at autozone and try my hand at it myself? Theres threads that explain the process I'm just not super mechanically inclined.
 

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In our area you can borrow a tester from any of the national chain auto parts stores. Warm up your engine but not hot, pull your plugs, pull r7 fuse, block the throttle open and crank and record each. If low a shot of oil should raise it if it's the rings.
 
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or take it to A1 Smog...
 

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since one needs to pull each plug to test for that specific cylinder 's compression level a "bad/loose plug" is not relevant
 

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If you go the DIY route, please take this advise. It will save you so much aggervation.

Those test kits you get at Autozone, O'reillys, AdvancedAuto, etc.. are just fine. However, they are not well suited for a 2zz with the deep recessed spark plugs we have. You need to get an compression tester deep well extension.

The problem with the kits most these chains give you is they are cheap. It's a rubber hose crimped to a swivel connector with threads. The problem I ran into is you can thread it into the spark plug hole just fine (takes a little finesse) but getting it back out is the issue. If that join starts to spin, which it will you can't unthread the adapter. I had to use two very long flathead screwdrivers down that shaft to turn the adapter out of the spark plug hole. Took 2 hours. $30 for the extension and I fly through a compression test now.
 
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I used this to do mine and it worked great. I am an amatuer to say the least and recall using the rubber hoses. I see the point on the solid extension which this kit has. Next time, I'll use that.

Be sure to warm up the engine first or the readings won't be good. The rings need to warm up and expand a bit to seal.

found it on "sale" here: OTC Tools & Equipment OTC5605 Deluxe Compression Tester Kit

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2007 Mag Blue Elise
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I bought a kit and ran the test and everything checked out clean. The Cylinder that tested low at Galpin hit 220 this time around and was right in the range with the others. It was super easy. Nobody should pay anyone more than $100 to do this for them. Much less $587! It took half an hour.
 

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Excellent job. Now that you have done it yourself you can probably see that the original claim of low compression being attributed to a loose spark plug was bunk. There ain't no spark plug to be loose when the compression test is done.
 

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I'd stay away from rental tools from chain auto stores... ive seen compression testers with chewed up threads ect. Much safer to get a kit on amazon and keep it in the garage.
 
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