Best Timing Lights Reviews and Buying Guide

If you have any experience working on cars, you are already aware that the spark plugs’ function is to ignite the fuel/air mixture inside the combustion chambers. The spark must occur, but it must also occur at the proper time for the engine to function at its best. Additionally, due to the tremendous advancement of technology in recent years, variable valve timing systems are now standard in all automobiles. In an effort to produce maximum power and maximize fuel efficiency, engines now frequently have variable spark timing.

Your automobile or truck’s engine will operate at its highest frequency and produce all of its power if the timing is done correctly. If not, the engine will be extremely omniscient. The performance, fuel efficiency, and engine life are all improved by a timing light. By altering the firing time, it does that. The optimal timing light selection will increase your engine’s miles per gallon of gasoline consumed.

Well, if you’re shopping for repair equipment like a timing light, you probably enjoy spending time in your garage. We are aware of the value of such a gadget when it comes to maintaining ancient motorbike or automobile engines, as well as lawnmowers.

Therefore, if you value maintaining the functionality of your machinery, you must always have a timing light on hand in your garage. We have found some of the best timing light bargains you should look into and get as soon as possible. However, there are a few crucial aspects you should always look at before investing in such a tool:

Engine Compatibility:

It would help if you verified that the timing light is compatible with the engine before purchasing it, whether for a personal or business car. While some superior timing lights also function with 4-stroke engines, some only function with 2-stroke engines.

Lead Length:

Since timing lights are powered by the vehicle’s battery, lead length becomes a crucial consideration. A timing light with a longer lead will be considerably more useful for you if you work with vehicles of various lengths, such as cars and trucks.

Accuracy:

The timing light should always display precise data because it adjusts the ignition timing while the engines operate at high RPMs. Having said that, be sure to verify at what RPMs the timing light will remain accurate. Up to 10,000 RPMs, most timing lights are often precise, though you may discover one or two even more exact options.

We have a tonne of excellent options available for you to consider, and we will also be going through each one in detail for you. You may also take a short glance at the comprehensive “Buying Guide” we will also be including in this article if you feel like you need more assistance. In the interim, let’s examine the top timing lights.

Best Timing Lights of 2022

INNOVA 5568 Pro Digital Timing Light
  • 6-feet long detachable lead
  • Heavy-duty shock-proof housing
  • Digital backlit LCD panel
  • Accurately RPM up to 9,990
Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light
  • Works with 2-stroke engines
  • Heat Resistant Battery Clips
  • 6 Feet lead
Performance Tool W80578 Timing Light
  • Self-powered
  • Runs of 2 D-batteries
  • Works with all engines
ESI 130 Self–Powered Timing Light
  • Accurate up to 14,000 RPM
  • Ideal for 2 or 4 Cycle engines
  • 4 Feet lead length
OBDMONSTER Automotive Timing Light 
  • 4-feet long lead
  • 12V ignition systems supported
  • Ergonomic Design
  • High RPMs

INNOVA 5568 Pro Digital Timing Light

You may already be aware of Innova’s repute as a brand if you continue looking for items similar to these.

As for the 5568 Pro Digital Timing Light from Innova, we gave it the top spot because it was the item with the most features that we found. Let’s start by discussing the tool’s construction. The tool’s exterior shell is composed of heavy-duty shock-proof ABS, making it durable enough to withstand any kind of severe use. It also comes with a plastic storage container to keep it secure while not in use. Its lead, as I mentioned earlier, is over 6 feet long and also removable.

Do you wish to know its features? The fact that it supports both traditional electronic systems and computer-controlled systems is unexpected. Additionally, regardless of whether you are working on a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine, it will function flawlessly and precisely up to 9,990 RPM. The backlit LCD screen of this timing light clearly displays all the relevant data, such as voltage, dwell angle, etc., making it incredibly simple to operate.

Specifications
COMPATIBLE ENGINES2 or 4-Stroke
LEAD LENGTH6 Feet

Pros

  • Comes with a strong storage case
  • Adjustable Barrel
  • Works with most Ignition Systems

Cons

  • Cost is very high

Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light

The brand Actron is well-known for producing a wide range of goods, including Scan Tools, Electrical Testing Equipment, Mechanical Testers, and many others. Consequently, purchasing a Timing light from such a company won’t be a mistake at all.

When it comes to using and adjusting the starting timing on any 2-stroke engine, the Actron CP7527 inductive timing light is incredibly straightforward. It will be helpful if you need assistance calculating the centrifugal advance or vacuum advance. What’s best? This timing light is hassle-free with traditional, electrical, DIS, 2-cycle, or computer-controlled systems.

It has a superior quality xenon light instead of a standard flashlight, which makes it simpler to view the lines on the flywheel. In terms of construction quality, the pick-ups are fully constructed of metal, and the timing light has a robust, protective ABS shell. The light has a one-year warranty and is compatible with both 6V and 12V automobiles.

Specifications
COMPATIBLE ENGINES2-Stroke
LEAD LENGTH6 Feet

Pros

  • Build quality is good
  • Long lead length
  • Works on both 6V and 12V vehicles

Cons

  • A little too big in size

Performance Tool W80578 Timing Light

This self-powered timing light from Performance Tool will make you grin if you think that utilizing a timing light requires a lot of time to connect the power clips.

We’ve ranked this timed light third because it provides a decent value for your money and is self-powered, so using it won’t put too much strain on you. The entire design of this timing light is fairly well-built and does not feel cheap at all, despite the fact that it is a reasonably priced item.

It’s even simpler for you because it’s a self-powered timing light and you don’t need to connect anything to the car’s battery. However, since they are not provided in the package, you will still need to install 2 D-batteries on your own. The best aspect is that it performs admirably with all gasoline engines, power tools, motorbikes, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, and even tractors.

Specifications
COMPATIBLE ENGINESAll Engines
LEAD LENGTH6 Feet

Pros

  • Value for Money
  • Highly portable
  • Impressive build quality

Cons

  • No Storage Case

ESI 130 Self–Powered Timing Light

If you’re searching for a product with great value for the money you’re willing to spend, ESI should be your brand of choice.

Given that it can display the fire and timing scale even at 14,000 RPMs, it is one of the most professional timing lamps currently on the market. Aside from that, it is among the top choices for commercial use due to its compatibility with both 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. In terms of construction quality, the sliding clamp wire has a heat-resistant sleeve that enables it to tolerate temperatures of up to 1200F. Despite having a fairly normal length of 4 Feet, the cable’s quality is unaffected.

The ESI 130 Self is a very useful instrument to have in your garage, especially if you routinely check the timing of your car. This is due to the self-powered nature of the timing light, which eliminates the requirement for a direct battery connection. Instead, all you need to do is insert two D-batteries into the light, and you’re ready to go.

Specifications
COMPATIBLE ENGINES2 or 4-Stroke
LEAD LENGTH4 Feet

Pros

  • Works with all kinds of ignition systems
  • Only uses 2 D cell batteries
  • Very handy product

Cons

  • Slightly Expensive

OBDMONSTER Automotive Timing Light 

There are a lot of folks who are essentially looking for a brand that is affordable. If that describes you, you might want to try this timing light from OBDMONSTER.

We’ve decided to include this item in our list because it is very affordable and simple to use. No matter if your car has a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine, this tool is ideal for adjusting and resetting the ignition timing. It also works with any gasoline engines that use a 12-volt ignition. Speaking of its construction quality, the customers can feel confident using it because all the cables and clips are made with excellent craftsmanship.

You can tune it properly in both idle and open-throttle situations since it precisely displays the fire and timing scales on the flywheel even at high RPMs. As this timing light efficiently detects the vacuum advance angle control system and the automotive knock suppression control system, you will also be able to adjust the advance angle with speed change.

Specifications
COMPATIBLE ENGINES2 or 4-Stroke
LEAD LENGTH4.2 Feet

Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • The wiring is of good quality
  • Ideal for 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines

Cons

  • No carry case is included in the package

What is a timing light?

The timing of a two- or four-cycle engine is checked with a timing light, also referred to as an inductive timing light. The timing mark on the engine’s flywheel, which is typically at the top-dead-center (TDC) point, is illuminated exactly as the first spark plug ignites in order to accomplish this. This prevents knocking, pinging, and even engine damage brought on by spark plugs that ignite too soon (“advanced”) or too late (“retarded”), respectively, in the combustion chamber.

These tools can integrate additional capabilities like OBD readers, voltmeters, and tachometers to create a tool that can be used for a variety of automotive tasks.

Why do you need a timing light?

To adjust your car’s timing correctly, you’ll need a timing light. We’ve already covered how to establish or check static timing in an emergency, but for optimum performance, dependability, and safety, you should make sure the advancer is operating as it should be by checking the vehicle’s whole timing range.

A warning: Setting or monitoring timing isn’t really necessary if your car was manufactured within the last 20 years or so since a computer will take care of everything for you. In such a situation, an OBD scan tool would generally be a wiser investment, though you might still require one if you’re changing an engine for racing or other competitive purposes.

Timing light types

Every engine tuner needs a timing light, which is an essential piece of equipment. However, the variety of products on the market might be very perplexing. Knowing your engine’s characteristics can help you choose the ideal product while taking into account factors like brightness, precision, durability, and dependability. The most common timing light varieties available now are as follows:

Inductive timing light

The Xenon light on the inductive timing light is fixed. The engine of two-cycle and four-cycle motors can be tuned using this kind of timing light. The button or knob used to change the light’s indication of various RPMs is another element that we can mention. Some timing lights in this group additionally include an integrated tachometer to track RPMs and a dwell meter to accurately track the time needed to charge the coil.

Adjustable/advanced timing light

A microprocessor is used by an adjustable or advanced timing light to delay a strobe at a chosen level. This realigns the front cover marks and the Top Dead Center (TDC) mark on the balancer. When the engine speed rises and the distributor keeps shifting positions, a standard inductive timing light is unable to perform that function.

Some adjustable timing lights on the market have varying degrees of accuracy depending on the brand. As a result, you must inspect every good before purchasing. When looking for information about accuracy, customer reviews can be useful.

Digital timing light

Microprocessor-controlled circuitry and an LED or LCD display are features of digital timing lights that make it simple to read RPMs and choose a degree. The majority of digital timing lights can display RPMs up to 9,999 and the current cycle selection between 2 and 4. Toggle buttons are typically present for that purpose.

MSD timing light

One kind of timing light called an MSD is intended to assist with engine tuning in vehicles with various spark distribution systems. Standard inductive lights are unable to provide an exact timing because they choose any spark at random from among the many that are created. If your car falls within this category, you require an MSD timing light. You won’t be able to properly change how your engine fires if you don’t.

Buying Guide for the Best Timing Light

You may already be more familiar with a timing light’s applications than we are, but even experts find it difficult to choose the best one from the market.

Therefore, to make things simpler, we have created this buying guide that will assist you in finding the proper features in timing light and selecting the appropriate one based on your needs. You merely need to keep certain fundamental considerations in mind while purchasing a timing light, such as the following:

Compatibility

Therefore, it differs if you are purchasing one for personal or business use. If it is for personal use, you may already be aware of your vehicle’s specifications, such as its ignition system, battery size, 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine, etc. Therefore, it’s ideal for you if you select a timing light that works with the design of your car.

On the other hand, if you’re purchasing one for professional use—for example, if you own the best auto repair business in your neighborhood—you must keep the best gear on hand. In that scenario, it would be wise for you to choose a timing light that is compatible with all ignition systems, engine types, etc.

Accuracy

To change the fire and timing scale while using a timing light, you typically do it on idle RPMs, which can be addressed with any straightforward timing light. However, sometimes a vehicle’s problems start to show themselves at high RPMs. Therefore, the timing light must be able to operate precisely at high RPMs as well in order to correct such irregularities.

Most of the timing lights that are currently on the market function well up to 10,000 RPM. If you work with superbikes frequently, you should acquire a superior alternative that is even more accurate, such as up to 14,000 RPM, for example.

Lead Length

Pay attention to the wires in addition to the features of the timing light. Although most vehicles may use the conventional 4 feet wire length. It’s never a bad feature to have a few additional feet of cord length. A longer cable will be more beneficial for you if you train on various types of vehicles, such as trucks and cars.

Build Quality

Last but not least, one of the most crucial steps in the process is examining the build quality. You must first be certain about the quality of the cords because using a timed light necessitates numerous electrical connections. After that, you can evaluate the timing light’s overall construction. To easily endure shocks and falls from heights, the timing light’s exterior casing should be constructed of high-quality ABS.

Technical features of a timing light

In addition to these elements, there are several technical qualities you should watch out for when choosing the best timing light for your requirements. These consist of:

Power source

While some timing lights are powered by batteries, others require an outside power source to function. The best timing light varieties, however, have more than one power source or energy source. You will have more flexibility using the light as a result. Consider what you require before choosing the appropriate power source.

Engine type

Additionally, you ought to learn more about the timing light’s engine kind. Knowing this will assist you in selecting the product that is best for you. Remember that all products fluctuate and that their variations may be caused by how their engines were built. Additionally, the type of engine would affect the light’s required functioning level. Some even work for several engine types.

The Verdict

Timing lights are essential tools for mechanics, professionals, and do-it-yourselfers alike. It guarantees safety at any job location, including your auto garage. Make sure your engine is operating at its highest level of efficiency if you want it to last for a long time and increase fuel efficiency. The most effective timing lights beam here.

You must be able to view all of an engine’s intricate intricacies in order to adjust it. As a result, a timing light would be necessary to simplify the operation. We’ve reviewed some of the top items currently on the market in this post. In order to assist you in making a decision, we have also included a buying guide chock full of useful information. With all this knowledge, it might be simpler for you to choose the best timing light for your requirements.

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