five gas analyzer is a device that detects and analyzes five separate
components of an automotive exhaust: carbon monoxide (CO), carbon
dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2), hydrocarbons (CH compounds), and oxides
of nitrogen (including NO and NO2). Three of these - carbon monoxide,
hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides are pollutants. Although the other
two gases - carbon dioxide and oxygen - are non-regulated, their
measurement can provide a mechanic with additional information for
diagnosis of engine problems.
5 gas analyzers are valuable tools following engine repairs and
tune-ups. They are also useful in detecting and tracking down fuel,
exhaust, emission control, and engine service problems.
High or low readings of any of the five gas components can point to a
variety faults in the vehicle. For example, if the analyzer detects higher
than normal hydrocarbon concentrations in the exhaust mix points to an
excessive amount of unburned fuel due to incomplete combustion or a lack
of ignition. The root causes of the problem could include dirty spark
plugs, damaged ignition wires, and a vacuum leak, among others. Elevated
nitrogen oxide levels might point, for example, to a faulty catalytic
converter or a stuck thermostatic air heater. By looking at the clues
offered by measurements on the different gas components, it is usually
possible to isolate the problem to a small number of possibilities, which
can then be individually checked.