An image showing the PicoDiagnostics software icon

PicoDiagnostics - Cylinder balance test

What it does

The Cylinder balance test within our PicoDiagnostics software (bundled with PicoScope 7 Automotive) reveals misfires or uneven power contributions resulting from combustion anomalies within your engine’s cylinders.

[Note: The test does not support vehicles having engines with cylinder deactivation or low-compression engines with 8 or more cylinders.]

How it can help you

Power differences across cylinders, such as those arising from misfires, cause differing engine speeds across the cylinder combustion events. In these scenarios, the cylinders are described as unbalanced, hence the test name.

As the Cylinder balance test uses simple, non-invasive, connections, is easy to set up and quick to complete, it is a convenient way to assess the relative engine power delivered by your engine’s cylinders. As such, it saves you time so you can get on with diagnosing other faults and fixing vehicles.

Technicians cannot always diagnose engine misfires with a scan tool or without additional tooling and equipment. However, the Cylinder balance test comes for free when you buy a PicoScope Automotive oscilloscope so you get all the other benefits associated with our scopes, as well as a dedicated cylinder balance tester.

The Cylinder balance test supports almost all engine types so you can use it to test commercial, marine, agricultural and off-highway/heavy-duty engines, as well as those within cars aging from the classic era to the present day. In fact, the Cylinder balance test is compatible with almost any alternator equipped engine.

You can save, print and share all your Cylinder balance test results. The clear printout is designed to share clear, color-coded (red, amber, and green), diagnostic outcomes with your customers, which promotes trust in your customer relationships.

How to use it

Connect your PicoScope Automotive oscilloscope to the vehicle with a test lead connected to the battery terminals.

Open PicoDiagnostics, select Cylinder balance test, and press Start.

Once the initial set-up is complete - including starting the engine, an automatic test for a suitable battery voltage, entering the number of engine cylinders and an automatic signal compatibility check - the test will continuously display a bar graph showing the relative cylinder balances as a proportion of the peak detected on each cycle.

And that’s it.

From there, you are free to save, print, share and act on the results as you see fit.

An animation showing how to use the PicoDiagnostics Cylinder balance test