Smoke Generator to find Vacuum Leaks


I bought a smoke generator on ebay last year. Finally tried it last night. Worked pretty darn well. Only thing you have to work at a bit is to seal the air hose well at the rubber elbow.

Why. A smoke generator is the best way to find vac leaks in the intake tract.


  • Buy the smoke generator below or something similar.
  • Pour the smoke fluid into the can. Be sure some gets on the wicked heater element.
  • Connect your air compressor.
  • Pull off your air box.
  • Ball up a couple rags around the smoke gen hose and jam it in your rubber elbow. Seal it as best you can so smoke will have a hard time coming out at the smoke insertion point.
  • Connect the smoke gen to 12V. Get it at the power point on the firewall or the alternator.
  • Turn on air compressor.

EVAP Smoke Machine Diagnostic Emissions Vacuum Leak Detection Tester NEW 605620262748 | eBay?

I see a number of these on ebay. They all look pretty similar. Some don’t seem to come with the smoke fluid tho.


I found my vacuum leak. I’d never have figured it out w/o the smoke generator. It was the throttle body. The pivot shaft that goes into the throttle body was leaking smoke at the top of the tbody.


I found leaks in the same location on the throttle body using smoke. Did you fix them? There is a YouTube video where a guy replaces the bearings and fixes the problem. I have not tried the repair yet but the bearings are available. According to the video, INA bearing number HK08122RS is the fix.


I fixed the problem by swapping in a spare throttle body. Years ago I dismantled a number of E30s for parts so I have a pretty good supply of spare parts up in our attic. Swapping tbody’s was much easier then trying to pull the tbody apart.


good for exhaust leaks too