Borescopes have come a long way since the days of the glass tube with a camera attached to it. Digital borescopes have become necessary to navigate the maze that is the modern automotive vehicle. It seems that engine bays have become smaller and engines have more components being attached to them.
These days digital borescopes are used for far more than just checking engine bores. With the tangle of coolant pipes, oil lines not to mention wiring etc. locating a fluid leak, or even a sensor, at times can involve the removal of numerous covers and components as part of the diagnostic process. This takes time and can lead to unnecessary repairs and in any workshop time is money. So it has become necessary to be able to see beyond what the humble work light can show us.
I have tried a few digital borescopes and finding a quality product can be hard to do. Here at the Northern Sydney Institute we tool tested the F505S Borescope from Autoequip Australia.
At first glance the case and plastic handle feel very entry level, although I’m glad it got better from there. The real quality is in the 3.5”colour monitor and the waterproof flexible HD probe. Once assembled we went searching around some engine bays and surprisingly the picture was crystal clear and the brightness adjustment worked well.
The HD probe is easy to manipulate and includes an in built temperature probe. The unit also has 4x Variable digital zoom which makes identifying faults much easier.
The monitor requires a USB port to charge the built in Li-ion Battery and the unit stores data on a removable SD card. Just note that the card is installed upside down. The F505S can take still pictures or videos and we found transferring files was very easy to do.
In the workshop you can download the files to your workshop computer or to inform customers of your diagnosis.
I’ve used borescopes quite often when searching for faults under dashboards or even when checking for heater core leaks. This can help to find those challenging faults and also justify those costly repairs.
Next time you are searching around an engine for an oil or coolant leak that doesn’t want to be found, perhaps the F505S borescope might be able to shine some light on the problem.