Best Timing Light Reviews 2020

Are you having trouble with the timing of your ignition? You can now easily determine the problem in the engine’s spark and correct its timing by using timing light.

Basically, timing light is a device that assists in making small adjustments once the spark on the spark plug begins, thus igniting your automobile’s fuel. Fine tuning your car helps in ensuring that your car’s engine functions with maximum power and efficacy.

This equipment is essential especially for automobile owners who are in constant check of their vehicle’s performance. Provided in this article are timing light reviews that will discuss five brands of timing lights and the various features that they have in store. Additionally, steps on how to use timing light will also be included.

Best Timing Light Reviews

ESI 130 Self-Powered Timing Light

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One of the highest rated timing lights is the ESI 130 Self-Powered Timing Light. Gaining an average rating of 4.6 stars by customer reviews, this product is recommended by its users because it is very simple to use. Other than that, customers love the self-powered feature of this tool. Reviews also claim that they like the brightness of the light that this device emits since it is still visible even in broad daylight.

This timing light works for two or four cycle engines. It can also work for the entirety of ignition systems and has an accuracy rate of at least 14,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).

In addition, this product is equipped with a protective cover that can withstand extremely high temperatures, reaching up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The average lead length of this device is 4 feet. Also, it emits a bright flash that is available at all speeds. Batteries are included upon purchasing this time light. Unlike other timing lights, the ESI 130 is not required to connect to a 12 volt battery. It functions with two D cell flashlight batteries.

According to its manufacturers, this timing light is the original timing light that is powered by batteries. Also, they claim that this device is a great instrument for timing small engines such as marine engines, snowmobile engines, industrial engines, and racing engines.

The ESI 130 is a portable and reliable timing light. Its compatibility with different voltages and self-powering system enables you to easily tune your car. Read our detailed ESI 130 Timing Light review.

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Performance Tool W80578 Self-Powered Timing Light


The Performance Tool W80578 Self-Powered Timing Light is another notable timing light in this review. With a 4.6 star rating from satisfied users, this timing light works well in taking precise readings and is easy to use. According to customer reviews, readings from this good timing light are accurately taken and the correct codes are displayed. It is a handy tool that does the job in diagnosing any ignition problems that your car may encounter.

It has a removable inductive pickup that can effortlessly be fastened on the coil of your ignition system as you test it. This timing light is self powered and has an indicator light that shows when it is ready to use. The Wilmar W80578 runs with a pair of rechargeable batteries or standard D cell batteries. However, you need to purchase the batteries separately.

Moreover, the W80578 is also compatible with magnetos. A magneto is a little electric generator that contains a permanent magnet. It is used to give pulses with high voltages for the ignition systems of engines with internal combustion.

Essentially, this battery powered timing light claims to be ideal to use for fine tuning race cars, power boats, and street rods. Also, it is designed for all gas engines, for example, vehicles (motorcycles, snow mobiles, and mowers) and outdoor power equipment.

So if you are looking for a great starter tool for ignition testing that can be bought at an affordable price, the Performance Tool W80578 Self-Powered Timing Light is your best bet. Read our detailed review of the W80578.

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INNOVA 5568 Pro-Timing Light with Tool Case


The INNOVA 5568 Pro-Timing Light with Tool Case is another quality brand of timing lights. Customers give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Reviews reveal that its multiple readout function as dwell, tach, advance, and voltage timing is a great feature since it is an all in one device.

This digital advance timing light unit has a housing developed with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which is a heavy-duty, lightweight plastic that is shock proof. Also, it has a ready-made boot that serves as an additional protective measure against the fan blades of the engine. A backlit screen is also present allowing you to view the timing light in places that are hard to see.

It has a slender, spinning barrel that assists for better aiming. The 5568 has a digital readout with four functions. It serves as a tachometer that scans from 249 to 9,990 RPM. Also, it can be used to read advanced degrees ranging from 0 to 90 degrees. It can be utilized to take measurements for a dwell that ranges from 0 to 180 degrees. Lastly, it can read voltages that start from 10 up to 16 volts of direct current (DC).

Furthermore, the 5568 features an original skip circuitry test that reaches until 9,990 RPM. More importantly, this unit is compatible with the majority of ignition systems, which include Distributorless Ignition Systems (DIS), conventional, electronic, and computer regulated systems. This product is equipped with 6-foot removable leads with an inductive pickup and has a molded plastic case that serves as its storage. Read our INNOVA 5568 Review here!

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INNOVA 3551 Inductive Timing Light


Another Innova timing light that is reviewed in this list is the INNOVA 3551 Inductive Timing Light. It has garnered an average score of 4.4 stars by users. Most of the reviewers comment that this timing light is a must-have for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects since it is a basic timing light that is of good quality and is easy to operate. Another feature loved by its users is the induction clip that is made of metal, which is convenient to use because it will not melt due to the engine’s heat.

The 3551 assists in getting the appropriate ignition timing in order to achieve your engine’s top performance and to guarantee maximum fuel savings. Essentially, this timing light offers an effective means of checking timing, diagnosing whether your engine is having an issue with the spark, and others.

Similar to the Innova 5568, this product is also compatible with most of the ignition systems present such as conventional, DIS, electronic, and computer systems. It also has an original skip circuitry test that reaches up to 9,990 RPM.

It is a lightweight device that operates with a slender barrel that rotates. This particular function aids in having a more accurate aim towards the timing mark. The 3551 has removable cords together with a metal inductive pickup. Moreover, this timing light is equipped with a hand guard that is useful for one-hand operations. All in all, the INNOVA 3551 Inductive Timing Light is a timing light that has a sturdy construction, is simple to operate, and is available at a reasonable price. Read our INNOVA 3551 Review!

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Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light


The final review is for the Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Light. Scoring 4.3 out of 5 stars; this timing light is recommended by its users because of several features. First is its sturdy plastic construction, which gives a durable feel. Another quality is its bright strobe light that can be seen even in broad daylight and its metal inductive clamp. Moreover, the CP7527 is simple to operate, thus making the job easier to accomplish.

This model is a strobe timing light that is used to for ignition timing inspection and gets triggered every time the spark plug is fired up in order to take full advantage of the engine’s efficiency.

It has a one touch on and off switch. The CP7527 is equipped with inductive pickups that are made of metal. In addition, this unit is heat resistant. Its housing is plated with ABS, thus making it durable. Also, this device has a xenon flash that is very bright. The strobe light allows you to work even if you are under direct sunlight. A 1 year warranty is provided when you purchase this timing light.

Most of the user reviews state that this timing light is handy but mostly for occasional use only. Also, customers claim that this unit is best for older car versions.

Actron CP7527 Inductive Timing Lightis the best timing light to buy if you are in need of a basic point and shoot timing light gun that can get the job done and can be bought for a cost-effective price. Read our Actron CP7527 Review here.

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Steps in Using a Timing Light

The term ‘timing’ talks about the vehicle’s ignition and how the spark plugs are fired up, which generates a spark for the combustion chamber. The timing should be set at the appropriate setting so that your auto performs at an optimal rate, which affects the engine’s speediness and effectiveness when fired.

Timing lights are devices used to monitor the precise setup for your car’s ignition. Together with several tools such as wrenches, you can fine tune your vehicle’s engine with ease. Here are a few steps on how to use a timing light to check the timing of your ignition.

1) Fasten your timing light on the terminals of the car battery and hook up the timing gun sensor on the first cylinder’s spark plug wire. Check your manual for the instructions on how to attach your timing light to the car.

The strobe light illuminates the timing marks while rotating, which allows you to view the area where the spark plug is firing on the timing guide. The sensor transmits a signal headed towards the light when the spark plug is fired up. This makes the light move in strobes, thus lighting up the numbers at the right moment.

2) Call someone to assist you in revving up the engine. Make sure that your vehicle is just parked when conducting this step. While revving up the engine, light on the timing numbers in order to perceive its firing rate. Remember to distance your hands in a safer position while checking the timing number.

3) Illuminate the harmonic balancer directly and locate the number. Although the wheel is moving, the light from the timing gun appears to be fixed at a specific number, which is actually the timing number. Take note of the degrees from the left or right of zero.

The firing rate of the spark plug should somewhat increase corresponding to the increase of revolutions per minute. In checking the total timing, it is required to rev the engine up to at least 3500 RPMS, which allows you to ensure that the ignition timing’s curve is set together with the initial timing.

4) Take vacuum timing into consideration, especially if your automobile has this feature as well as mechanical timing. Before starting up the engine, first, you must loosen the bolt for distributor adjustment. Afterward, check the carburetor and detach the vacuum hose. Then, plug it using a rag in order to check the timing.

5) After checking, determine whether you need to adjust the timing. Different car models have their corresponding timing number. Look for your vehicle’s optimal timing number and see whether fine tuning is needed or not. If you are not aware of your auto’s timing number, seek assistance from licensed mechanics or visit a local auto store to find the correct numbers.


An automotive timing light is an essential tool for vehicle owners because this device assists in the check and balance of the engine’s ignition system.

There are many brands of timing lights that over a wide variety of specifications and special features, but all of these work for one major purpose. This is to ensure that your ignition’s timing has the correct adjustments and that your engine works at top performance. Plus, it guarantees that your fuel consumption is economical.

Purchasing a good timing light is a sure way of ensuring that your vehicle is always at top shape and can work well with speed and efficacy.

Last update on 2021-09-24 at 06:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. More info.