Zap to it! This racing enthusiast’s spark plug tester is saving lives

- October 8, 2017 3 MIN READ

Anyone who works with electricity knows working with a live charge can be hazardous. Yet millions of everyday Aussies continue to put themselves at risk of being zapped by failing to recognise the dangers of handling something as simple as their vehicle’s spark plug.

John Leeson, a former racing enthusiast who built and raced sedans in the Bathurst 1000 during the late 80s is the man behind a recent safety innovation, the Spark Plug Testing Kit that is saving lives.

Whilst spark plug testers are nothing new, the majority have been far from accurate, unable to tell the difference between a weak spark and a strong one. Leeson’s new device takes the guesswork out of the equation and eliminates the need to expose the dangerous live spark.

Leeson tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) he came up with the idea for his Spark Plug Testing Kit whilst performing a repair on his garden equipment.

“I was in the process of repairing a small chainsaw engine that refused to start,” he tells KBB.

“I was using one of the many identical inline spark testers on the market to check the spark plug for spark. The one I was using uses a bulb which flashes to signal when there is spark which is supplied by a magneto and coil that is connected to the spark plug.”

[image] John racing at the Bathurst 1000 circa 1989.

Leeson says the test results showed a continuous flashing, indicating everything was OK with the spark plug – and yet, his chainsaw still refused to start.

Thinking he had a fuel blockage, Leeson cleared his fuel line and performed the test again with the same results. Again, his chainsaw refused to fire up. In desperation, Leeson decided to check the spark plug the “old fashioned way”. Electrical systems supply somewhere between 10,000 and 60,000 volts to the spark plugs to allow an engine to start, and Leeson admits he was playing with his safety.

“Frustrated I took out the spark plug and visibly checked it the old-fashioned way; that is, exposing the live spark, which is very dangerous and should never be done.

“The result was a faulty spark plug – it had a very weak spark not sufficient to start the engine. I changed the plug and the engine started immediately.”

The situation got Leeson pondering on how he could improve upon existing spark plug testers to eliminate the need to expose a live wire to get an accurate result.

[image] Leeson’s spark plug tester will save you from a nasty shock.

“I found out there was nothing on the market to accurately and safely diagnose why a small engine would not start. The current spark testers cannot tell the difference between a weak spark and a strong one and there lies the problem. You can spend hours looking for problems elsewhere that do not exist.

“I spent the next couple of months thinking about the problem and eventually did something about it, the result is the Spark Plug Testing Kit.”

Leeson describes it as an “essential diagnostic tool to safely and accurately determine why a petrol engine has starting issues”.

Leeson says the unique patented safety design allows the user to safely remove the spark plug from the engine to view actual spark plug fire in a safe environment. The Kit is made from high-grade and durable materials and unlike its competitors in the spark tester market, the Spark Plug Testing Kit has no bulbs, fuses, batteries or electronics to falter and give false readings, the company points out.

“It enables the user to view the strength of the actual spark on the spark plug in a safe environment.”

Leeson believes his invention will be a boon for every DIY user or trade professional.

“It saves a lot of time and money. It enables the user whether skilled or unskilled to safely and accurately diagnose in as little as two minutes where the fault lies.”

More importantly, it’s also saving lives.

Find out more about Leeson’s sparkplug testing kit at www.sparktester.net

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