These items are an attempt to determine, in the most efficient order, checks that must be made in order to insure a successful installation of an AquaTune System.
1. Baseline the mileage. If the customer can do this prior to installation, all the better. In any event, it is well to test drive the vehicle with the customer present. This will help determine the state of tune of the engine and show up any driveability problems. Driveability problems need to be fixed first. An AquaTune System will not work a miracle on a sick engine or one badly needing a tune-up. Check the usual things like: Cap and Rotor and Ignition Wires.
2. Do a compression check and compare to specs on any engine that is more than 3 years old, has more than 60K miles on it, or is otherwise suspect for burned valves. Look carefully at the plugs, they can show a lot about the condition of the engine in general. If there is much carbon present, this can make valves stick. The AquaTune System will purge carbon from the combustion chamber after 800 to 1,000 miles, keeping it clean, so low compression after that indicates a deeper problem. DO NOT use platinum plugs. Use cheaper plugs with a high heat range. Also, remember that premium fuel will not be needed with an AquaTune system in place.
3. Thermostat should be the hottest rating possible for the engine. Check specifications for each engine or otherwise use highest temp thermostat available. 195 degrees is optimal. Be sure that cooling system hoses and general cooling system condition, including antifreeze, both Summer and Winter, is up to the task. In general an engine that runs warmer is more efficient. This is even more the case with an AquaTune System.
4. Important! One of the most overlooked items of computer controlled vehicles, is the Coolant Temp Sensor for the computer, because this gives the proper temperature reading to the computer. Some of the indications of failure are: a long, prolonged, crank- time of the engine before it starts, this can be a cold or hot start; black soot build-up in the tailpipe; a higher than average exhaust odors. Along with the O2 sensor, these are the two most important items to check along with the thermostat.
5. Check Air Filter and Fuel Filter.
6. Check Oxygen Sensor (should usually be replaced every 60K ) and determine if it is working to specs.
7. Check Charcoal Canister/ Fuel Vapor Recovery System, and EGR System to insure it is not throwing off O2 sensor, or vacuum leaking. Also, check PCV valve, any other vacuum hoses, and any exhaust leak, especially upstream of O2 sensor.
8. On Fuel Injected engines, check fuel regulator for internal leaks and weakness. Give some thought to the condition of the fuel injectors. Cleaning or replacing if needed can mean extra economy and a better result.
9. Location within the engine compartment is very important. The most important things to remember are:
a) Keep unit, water tank, and hoses away from hot exhaust manifold and pipes.
b) Make sure that the water tank is lower than the main unit to prevent siphoning of water into engine.
c) The optimum length of tubing coming from unit output to intake manifold is 1 foot or less.
d) Choose an input to manifold vacuum point that will optimize distribution of water charge throughout the manifold to all the cylinders. PCV input is a good bet on carbureted engines, near throttle body on injection. One might consider having to do some machine work to place an input fitting optimally.
10. Ignition timing is crucial to getting optimal performance. Timing is suggested to be advanced by 7 degrees or so, from factory specifications, or "road timed" to find the optimum before pinging. Try getting as much as possible advance. Computer controlled ignitions will often not have a way to manually set advance and will advance according to computer control.
11. Check tire pressure, as much as 3mpg may be lost there. Also be aware that A/C operation will affect milage.
12. The three main benefits of an Aquatune System are: better milage, more power, and a cleaner burning engine, which means a longer lasting engine, with fewer emissions. If emissions are a big DEQ issue, be sure to go with the owner to do the tests before and after an installation or do it for them so that you may get the DEQ printouts. They are exellent diagnostic guides and crucial documentation. Be sure to stress the importance of using ONLY distilled water in the system, and of using a 70% isopropyl 50/50 mix where there is a chance of freezing.
13. NOTE: DO NOT go through the Power Assist Vacuum Source feeding to the Brake Power Booster due to the possibility of icing up of the line. This holds true for most vehicles