The vehicle’s engine can cause trouble at any time, and not all car owners always keep gauges with them.
In this case, learning how to check engine compression without a gauge can be a lifesaver. In fact, you can apply a compression tester to check engine compression.
And following the guide, we will teach you how to check engine compression with these handy tools and share a procedure to fix the low engine compression issue, though it should be done by a professional mechanic.
How To Check Engine Compression Without A Gauge?
Diagnosing low engine compression is the best way to figure out the main source of the issue. Following the method will help you do so without using any gauge:
Check the timing belt
After noticing the symptoms of low compression, the first thing to do is inspect the timing belt. In many cases, the timing belt causes low engine compression.
Pour oil into the cylinders
If you notice the timing belt isn’t damaged or worn out, move to the engine cylinder. Pour some oil on it and look for any changes.
If you observe the compression has to hone up, the piston ring might be stuck in a position. Applying oil helps move them, so the compression is increasing.
Remove oil cap
Keeping the engine running, take the oil cap out to inspect the pressure. If you find overpressure, then the most potential reason is that the compression has leaked.
If so, you must repair the leakage or change the piston and its ring to fix the issue. The amount of the damage will decide whether you repair or change the piston.
Conversely, under pressure means everything is working properly, and keeping the engine idle is causing the problem.
Apply a leak-down-test
You will need a leak-down-tester to find out whether or not the compression is leaking. Keeping the camshaft at the valve shut point; apply some force to the cylinder.
Then try to listen eagerly for any compression leaking. Leakage can occur in the intake, crankcase, or exhaust. Hearing any leaks means your engine is causing the low compression in its cylinder.
Why Check The Engine Compression?
A vehicle that is equipped with combustion engines gets power from the energy received from the combustion in the engine cylinders. A combination of air and fuel is compressed precisely and then ignites.
After that, the combustion process proves to interfere and deliver the energy required to drive a vehicle.
But in some cases, a few issues affect this combustion cycle. It’s called low engine compression, which causes engine misfire and lowers fuel mileage.
These problems in a vehicle can occur for other reasons as well. So it’s worth checking whether low engine compression is mainly reliable or not.
Hence, you need to check the engine compression so you can solve the difficulty right away.
Is it possible to solve low engine compression?
Luckily, low engine compression isn’t an extremely daunting problem to solve. However, you must determine the sources of low engine compression.
One effective way to fix it is by restoring engine compression in all cylinders, but it will be a time-consuming and tedious task.
Even if you find all cylinders have low compression, it’s difficult to fix at home. In this situation, you can hire a professional mechanic. But if a single-cylinder causes the problem, it’s easy to fix at home.
How to solve low engine compression
Make sure the vehicle has low compression
Before tinkering with any of the engine parts, make sure your vehicle has low engine compression for sure.
Otherwise, it could be a total waste of time and can end up damaging the engine’s parts. Once again, check it with a compression tester and be sure before checking for its cause.
Find the cause
Check the elements involved in compression and physically inspect the whole elements from the cylinder to the camshaft.
Repair or replace the faulty part
After checking, if you find any problematic parts, repair or change them. If you have easy access to the damaged part, repair it; otherwise, a replacement will be a better decision.
However, you should replace any parts that need a professional. The reason is that most of the replacements related to engines are quite daunting and require taking out the whole engine.
Test drive the vehicle
After completing the repair, let’s go out for a test drive. It’s essential to make sure the low compression problem has been solved.
During driving, evaluate the vehicle’s performance to check for any signs of low engine compression. If you don’t find any problems, repeat the compression test for confirmation.
Conversely, if any sign still persists, it means your engine is causing other problems. Take the car to the repair shop to fix all the problems.
How Much Does It Charge To Solve Low Engine Compression?
To fix Fixing low engine compression issues means your vehicle may need repair or replacement parts.
If you want to fix the problem with a professional mechanic, it will cost between $100 and $200. You have to add the repair and replacement cost to this charge too.
Though it won’t be expensive, if the piston rings are causing the problem, it will cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,500.
Conversely, head gasket repair charges are $1,000 to $2,000 while replacing a cylinder will cost up to $8,000.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Compression?
Some common low engine compression signs are:
The Check Engine Light comes on
Vehicles misfire and run rough
The engine turns over very fast but doesn’t run.
Pistons, piston rings, and cylinder walls get damaged or worn out
Valve Train cause problem
Damaged Head Gasket
What Will Occur If The Engine Loses Compression?
Lose of compression can damage the engine gear and cause poor vehicle acceleration. The output can be reduced slowly as the parts wear out. The engine also misfires if there is compression loss.
Learning how to check engine compression without a gauge is something like an emergency rescue.
Low engine compression can cause anything and vehicle owner don’t take gauge always with them.
Learning this skill can prevent causing serious damage to the car and the driver that could happen continue driving a faulty car.
Despite checking engine compression is just confirmation that your vehicle requires professional service.
Repairing or changing engine parts is challenging, and you should leave it to professionals, even if it costs a few bucks.