Tool Review: Redline Detection's Smoke Pro Tech-Mate Plus

Using its sensitive flow meter, Redline Detection's Smoke Pro Tech-Mate Plus can quantify leak size and verify flow through any system.

Tech-Mate Plus also gives technicians the ability to test using air only, and to control the flow of smoke to pinpoint leaks.

Machined from billet aluminum and stainless steel, Tech-Mate Plus operates at a fixed pressure of 12-14" of water column. This is the approved test pressure for EVAP testing, and is ideal for all automotive systems. A compact size, low cost of operation and Air-Safe design add to the tool's efficiency.

Technicians can hang the tool under a vehicle's hood to diagnose EVAP, vacuum and exhaust leak problems. Tech-Mate Plus comes with a complete accessory kit and an unconditional one-year warranty. Like all Smoke-Pros, the Tech-Mate Plus operates on USP mineral oil H1 (baby oil).

The review

For this month's review, we sent Redline Detection's Smoke Pro Tech-Mate Plus to PTEN tool review panelist Phil Cook, owner of Carolina Car Care in West End, N.C. After putting the Tech-Mate Plus to the test in his shop, Cook was impressed by the tool's abilities.

"In today's emission-conscious world, you have got to be able to quickly detect and repair leaks in the vacuum, exhaust and EVAP systems. In using the Smoke Pro Tech-Mate Plus, we found that the tool was extremely useful in detecting EVAP leaks in particular.

"In fact, we located two EVAP leaks this past week using it — one on a Lincoln at the purge valve on the canister, and one on a Volvo … which happened to be a gross leak due to a non-functioning flow valve. If we hadn't been using of the Smoke Pro Tech-Mate Plus, we would not have been able to identify these leaks.

"The tool is lightweight, compact and is easy to use once you familiarize yourself with it, and the automatic five-minute shutoff feature is great to have in the event that you get pulled off the job.

"Smoke Pro Tech-Mate Plus is a 'must have' tool in today's shop. It should easily pay for itself in a short period of time.

"I would highly recommend this tool as a time saver and money maker."