Enginesafe ems500 temperature/coolant gauge.

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 09:51
ThreadID: 103389 Views:2986 Replies:6 FollowUps:15
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I have read their blog about their product and it sounds OK, but all ads sound OK, don't they?

Has anyone used the ems500 and is their product any good?

I looked on the net and could not find any reviews. I also searched our site under Enginesafe and did not get a result.



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Reply By: garrycol - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:13

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:13
I have no experience with the EMS500 nut do have an Engine Saver TM2 Combo - it monitors coolant level in the cooling system (sounding an alarm if it gets a little low) and the engine block/head temperature (not coolant temp) with a display and alarm.

I would not get a system that had a coolant alarm as the temp gauge in the car will do that - what is more important is the temp of the actual engine rather than the coolant and the level of the coolant.

I think another system is the Watchdog system which is similar to what I have.

Whatever you get make sure as a minimum it has a coolant alarm and a engine block/head temperature alarm - some newer ones may also have water temp, oil temp and oil pressure alarms in addition to the basic two systems.

Garry
AnswerID: 515291

Reply By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:59

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:59
hi boo-boo
I have an engine watchdog and it is very responsive I have it mounted at the rear of the block away from the fan slip stream
the rear of the engine temp rises quicker than the front when something goes wrong because of it being away from the fan
mine has saved me twice
if i had been relying on the normal engine temp gauge to respond i would have cooked the motor as they don't respond until the motor is boiling its head off and is basicly an after event read out imho
I have found this to be the case with several instances over a long period of my farming and driving career--- cars /trucks /tractors etc

where as you can set the watchdog temp just above the normal temp range and as soon as that temp increases the watchdog alarm buzzer will go off

watchdog have 2 models I paid $150 for mine and it was well and truly a good investment
cheers
AnswerID: 515298

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:24

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:24
I know I am going to get into trouble but here goes anyway.

Sorry but I am not a fan of any sensor that bolts to the outside of any liquid cooled engine. This is usually the last area of an engine to feel the effects of an abnormal temperature rise as the source of the heat is obviously the internal combustion chamber.
The job of the coolant is to convey that heat to the radiator for dissipation. When the amount of heat being generated is greater than the amount the cooling system can handle the temperature starts to rise in the internals of the engine and in the coolant.
This temperature rise is monitored by the temperature gauge and often coupled with a warning light or audible alarm. Where this fails to warn is when there is a rapid loss of coolant such as a burst hose. This is where a coolant level sensor will give a warning immediately there is such a loss.

Cheers
Pop
AnswerID: 515303

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 13:24

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 13:24
hi pop
sorry pop if you haven't owned and used an engine watchdog then you are only guessing but are entitled to you opinion an engine watchdog system bolted to the rear of an engine block gives instanious response to temp rises and has proved its self to me to be far more sensitive at all times than a water temp gauge which are slow are a wet week in comparison cheers
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 13:34

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 13:34
its the heat in the engines metal parts that causes the water to get hot in the first place that's why its better to monitor the temp rising in the block
the water temp is secondary and last to feel the real heat
you can't boil a billy without a fire under it and the metal engine parts heating up is the so called fire where an engine is concerned
it has to get heat build up to boil the radiator water
cheers
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 16:17

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 16:17
No worries mate, if it works for you, go for it.

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 794532

Follow Up By: garrycol - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 16:24

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 16:24
I have to agree with mazcan - mine works for me - I have had my Engine saver temp rising and coolant temp is unchanged. Having had it for a few years I now tend to ignore the water temp and watch the engine saver temp. I have found it stays rock solid within a degree or two in all conditions except in traffic on hot days when stopped when the temp can rise about 5 degrees. This is where I have found blipping the throttle to increase water flow will bring block temp back down - but the water temp gauge remains unchanged.
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FollowupID: 794533

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 18:33

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 18:33
Aluminium has one of the fastest transfer rates of any material, we use the TM2 and they work a treat with very fast response times.

You can see when the fans come on and thermostat opens.

Worth it's weight in gold.
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FollowupID: 794546

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 20:08

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 20:08
Pop, what is of real concern is the temperature of the metal components of the engine. Measurement of coolant temperature is only an indication of the engine block and associated components and is what is known as an 'inferential measurement', that is, measuring one thing as an indication of something else. Inferential measurements can be more convenient but can be erroneous and less reliable.

The real concern is the temperature of the engine itself, the coolant is of less concern provided that it does not reach boiling point. Accordingly it is preferable, but not so convenient to the vehicle manufacturer, to measure the coolant temperature as an indication of the engine temperature. A well placed sensor on the engine metal will provide a more reliable indication of the engine health. On my vehicle I have retained the original sensor/gauge in the coolant as an indicator but put my trust in an after market alarm sensor mounted on the block.

I have experienced destruction of an engine brought about by sudden coolant loss where the dash gauge indicated a 'normal' reading whilst the engine was in fact in meltdown. With no coolant, the sensor was receiving radiant heat from the block which served to maintain the sensor at approximately the normal coolant temperature so the gauge read 'normal'. A salutary and expensive lesson for me!

Another point .......... Vehicles are rarely OEM fitted with audible temperature alarms. It is not practical to scan the dash for indication, either gauges or lights, frequently enough to detect a rapidly rising temperature before damage occurs. This is particularly so when driving on a rough and winding bush track. Furthermore, the low brilliance of dash alarm lights is inadequate to catch your attention when driving in the bright Australian sunlight. A good audible alarm is essential.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 20:53

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 20:53
Guys,
As I said previously if you are happy with the indication you get from whatever setup you have, fine, whatever spins your crank is more than ok with me.
I have repaired and installed diesel engines in applications ranging from 5 to 5000 HP, in trucks, boats, railway locomotives, generating sets, both stand by and base load, compressors, drill rigs and so forth. Setting up engine protection equipment that would shut down or just warn operators of malfunctions was part and parcel of this work.
Allan, what you say about sudden coolant loss I believe I mentioned and why a sensor to give an immediate indication or initiate a shutdown if applicable is important because no gauge either bolted to the outside or immersed in the coolant will react soon enough to prevent serious engine damage. Also I mentioned the advisability of audible as well as visual warning. Both my coolant loss and over temperature sensors give both warnings.
Having said all that I reiterate, if what you have works for you, I am not going to argue the point about it.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 21:53

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 21:53
And Pop, I would agree with you that in the event of rapid coolant loss, the engine bore temperature could rise very rapidly to a damage level before externally-mounted block or head temperature monitors could react.
That is why my Troopy is also fitted with a coolant liquid level audible alarm.
I am also concerned that in the quite possible event of a fan/water pump belt failure, the coolant within the engine and surrounding the OEM temperature sensor bulb will vapourise rapidly and accordingly, the dash indicator and/or alarm will fail to alert. This will probably quickly result in loss of coolant in the radiator head tank with a resulting low-level alarm, But that may not be quick enough to save the engine. I have yet to think this scenario through fully. Have you considered it?
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 18:38

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 18:38
Just had a look at their manual, the only thing I would be concerned about is if the thermostat become stuck or water pump died or you throw a belt or it slipping the temp reading would not alter for a very very long time.

With the Engine Watchdog TM2 it relies on surface temp of the engine, not the coolant.

TM2 for me.
AnswerID: 515331

Reply By: EngineSafe - Ultimate Vehicle Protection - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 22:50

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 22:50
Hi Folks,

This is a very interesting debate!

So let me say right off the bat, I am from EngineSafe. Hopefully I can clear up a few misconceptions here and I am more than happy to help out with any questions asked, so please fire away.

There has been a lot of information posted here to wade though, some is completely spot on, but only under certain circumstances. Take those circumstances away and all reasoning fails.

So firstly hopefully everyone here understands that the dashboard temperature gauges are a guide at best of the actual running temperature. In many cases head damage occurs before the light will even come on, and hopefully it wasn’t on too long before you noticed it either! This is why after market companies produce monitors.

When our own Prado engine suffered from minor heat stress we tried other brand engine monitors (including the ones mentioned here) and at the time all had their own down falls.

We spent 2 years in development and testing of our product and we have a wealth of collected data from a 4.2TD 100 Series Land Cruiser. It has clocked up more than 70k+ kms with both types of sensors installed.

All engine overheating problems you can think of fall into just two groups (we are only talking about liquid cooled engines here).

(1) Low Coolant Related.
(2) Overheating Coolant System.

They are both very effective at destroying engines if run undetected.

Any effective engine temperature monitoring system MUST be able to monitor both these parameters simultaneously. Low Coolant should be picked up before engine starting, whilst Overheating is detected when driving. For effective monitoring you must be able to monitor Low Coolant or most importantly a No Coolant situation before startup. With No Coolant the temperatures in the head and especially around the combustion chambers will spike much higher and faster than any externally (Bolt On) or internally mounted temperature sensor will show.

Personally there is no way I would be starting an expensive diesel or petrol engine without any coolant and waiting for an external Bolt On sensor mounted on my block to go off to let me know it has hit say 100 degC for overheating. The internal temperatures in the center of the engine around the combustion chambers would be well beyond 100 degC point.

Today’s vehicles are not like the past when everything was engineered to last and could be machined or repaired. Materials cost money and every bit manufacturers can remove they do, to cut weight and reduce production costs.

The BOLT ON (block) sensors Vs IN LINE (coolant) sensor is the big debate here. Reading though the posts it appears to come down to personal preference and peoples experiences. Here are our findings, from many hours of testing and comparisons so you can make your own informative choices.

Mounting Locations:
Bolt On Sensor - rear block
In Line Coolant Sensor – top radiator hose

Pros
In Line coolant sensors give a far superior temperature reading at operating temperatures and are much more responsive than Bolt On block sensors. Giving almost instant indications of the change in engine running temperatures opposed to the lags of a Bolt On sensor.
In Line sensors reached their set Alarm values much quicker than Bolt On.
Coolant Loss whilst running was picked up much quicker and more accurate with the In Line Senor.
Our In Line Sensors have the very important Low Coolant Detector incorporated within the design.

Cons
Bolt On sensors are effected much more by radiant heat. This is especially evident on warm days (28+ DegC) when a driven vehicle has been parked. The temperature readings climb faster and higher than the actual internal engine temp and take much longer to drop when the engine is restarted. Wind from cooling fans, etc does affect Bolt On sensors, and we needed to put a cover over the sensor to get better results.
Bolt On sensor temperature readings lagged behind in every test we did, i.e. hill climbs, and engine load testing. They also lagged behind when the engine temperatures dropped back.

All tests showed both sensors took less than 30 seconds for temperature increases to be noted after engine starting.

Well I hope this was helpful to everyone, I have no doubt it will prompt more questions and further debate.

Cheers
AnswerID: 515352

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 23:04

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013 at 23:04
Sorry you have lost me....

QUOTE"Cons
Bolt On sensors are effected much more by radiant heat. This is especially evident on warm days (28+ DegC) when a driven vehicle has been parked. The temperature readings climb faster and higher than the actual internal engine temp and take much longer to drop when the engine is restarted. Wind from cooling fans, etc does affect Bolt On sensors, and we needed to put a cover over the sensor to get better results. Bolt On sensor temperature readings lagged behind in every test we did, i.e. hill climbs, and engine load testing. They also lagged behind when the engine temperatures dropped back."

Hot is attracted to cold so really it should be the other way around, the higher temp should be dissipated giving a lower reading at the sensor.

The only way a sensor could increase in temp in that situation is if the ambient temp was greater than the temp you were sensing.

And this will get to a point of equalisation whereby the surface temp and ambient temp will become equal.

This is the standard principal of heat transfer.
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FollowupID: 794590

Follow Up By: EngineSafe - Ultimate Vehicle Protection - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 08:43

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 08:43
Hi olcoolone,

Sorry I confused you.

Your understanding of heat transfer is 100% correct, no argument here from me.

This is exactly why external Bolt On sensors are not as accurate and do not respond as fast to changes in the engines “real” internal temperature.

Our testing proved exactly what you stated ”The only way a sensor could increase in temp in that situation is if the ambient temp was greater than the temp you were sensing. And this will get to a point of equalisation whereby the surface temp and ambient temp will become equal.”

Myself and folks here and in other forums have also stated where you “must” mount the sensor to obtain best results. That is at the rear of the engine, why because the readings are greatly affected by the cooling fans as there are measuring “both” surface temperature and ambient temperature at the same time. Once again our testing proved this to be true.

This is why the external Bolt On sensor gives higher readings when the engine is stopped after a decent run on a warm day. It has been mounted at the rear of the engine bay, surrounded by a hot turbo (260 plus DegC), an exhaust manifold (350 plus DegC) and the exhaust pipe plus all the other parts that are now “releasing” their heat to return a point of equilibrium. All this is mounted under a bonnet (assuming no air scoop mounted) which does not allow the trapped heat to escape quickly. Hence on still, no wind days the temperatures read higher for longer than on days with a breeze as this helps to circulate and remove the trapped hot air and accelerates the process of reaching an equilibrium.

Our testing showed conclusively that the fastest and most responsive engine temperature sensors mounted on a liquid cooled engine are as follows, from fastest to slowest.

1 EGT (Pyro)

2 Oil Temperature Sensor

3 In Line Coolant Sensor

4 Bolt On Sensor

Cheers
1
FollowupID: 794596

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 09:39

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 09:39
Thanks for your reply, I think both types of sensors are fine for the application, the amount of delay in sensing will have little impact on the overall outcome....... like most things there are pros and cons.

But saying that, liquid has the best transfer properties over anything else.

The important thing is to have some sort of sensor that alarms you when things start getting critical.

It's hard for me to comment on your product, the only thing I am negative about (and it's not directed at your product) is the way the "BASIC" probe is inserted into the coolant, over 30 years in the automotive service industry in light and heavy vehicle including earthmoving I have found this method of how the sensor is installed can lead to coolant leaking....... in most cases it's the person installing the probe and in some cases bad design in the probe and sealing setup.

Any where you have to seal something adds another potential point of leakage.

The other thing is with plastic radiator outlets placing a probe in between the hose and neck can cause a high pressure point causing cracking as the clamping pressure is directed more onto one spot, this is a big issue in older plastic tanks whereby the plastic becomes brittle.

I like the idea of your "RADIATOR ADAPTOR MOUNT"" as it removes the risk I mentioned above.

One thing I would like to see is to do with your battery monitoring, you only have an alarm function if the battery falls below a preset value.....it would be nice to see it able to alarm on a low voltage and a high voltage..... say 12v and 15v ( this is an example only).

Reason for high voltage is if a vehicle's charging system go haywire there is always a chance it dish out too many volts destroying a battery.

Great product and every one should have one.

On a final note, how does the probe detect sudden coolant loose.

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FollowupID: 794600

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 11:05

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 11:05
Firstly I would like to thank the gent (or lady) from Enginesafe for the comprehensive explanation regarding the development and operating principles of their product. Sounds like it performs both low coolant and high temp functions in one neat package.
The system I have fitted requires 2 separate sensors (3 if you include audible temp warning). The low coolant alarm I have is installed it the top tank of the radiator. It is a brass tank, not plastic however that is just a different mounting method. Mine does use DC current and I have heard that electrolysis can occur but so far I haven't had any dramas and it has been in there for some years. My high temp alarm is screwed into the top coolant outlet adaptor to pick up the hottest point of the coolant flow.
Works for me.

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 794601

Follow Up By: EngineSafe - Ultimate Vehicle Protection - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 11:58

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 11:58
Hi olcoolone,

Not a problem….more than happy to answer your questions.

We totally agree that “Any where you have to seal something adds another potential point of leakage”.

This is especially true of other products that place a probe under the radiator hose and purely rely on a sealant compound such as sealastic to provide a sealing joint.

That is why the special Mounting Rubber Guide was designed as this stops this from occurring. Six months ago on a trip we found ourselves in a situation where we had to remove our bigger radiator hose clamp to help a mate out as his was leaking and the clamp he had was damaged and wouldn’t retighten properly. We had been driving for some time so we waited for things to cool a little then removed the clamp and of course coolant squirted out from the seal which was still under some pressure(I don’t recommend doing this of course either!!). We fixed his hose then put a new clamp back on our hose and re-tightened, our joint has never leaked or caused any issues since. In saying this, I would recommend that if the hose is to be removed then a new rubber guide should be installed as they have been designed to be a specific hardness to allow the guide to “shape/mould” to the parts under compression to provide a leak free joint.

Additionally we have a Radiator Hose Adaptor Mount Kit, which involves removing a small 17mm section of hose to place the sensor in. These have been around for a great number of years and we find the choice people make is split 50/50 between the two systems.

The chance of leakage on both systems is very small indeed, and at the end of the day you now have an extremely accurate engine temperature gauge with alarm installed that you didn’t have previously…..:)

Yes our units are dual battery monitoring capable as well. Although you have the Alarm function the wrong way around. It is Over Voltage Alarmed. i.e. if voltage exceeds 15.0v (a user programmable level) then alarm is activated. As you stated any voltages above 15.0v is not good for the vehicle electrics. We don’t have an alarm feature for under voltage, but it is something that could be programmed into the units if this is something folks require? Admittedly this was while night driving so it was easy seen but we had the units backlight turn off on a trip. Our units are connected 24/7 and the display goes into sleep mode after the battery (or lack of a charging voltage is detected) fails below a user programmable threshold. Simply if the voltage drops below 13.2v the display goes into sleep mode and switches off. So this alerted us immediately to a charging issue and took only a matter of a minute to determine that the alternator was dying. We never noticed the small voltage drop on the dash board meter until we knew there was an issue.

“On a final note, how does the probe detect sudden coolant loose.” I am not sure if you are referring to the electronic detection method used or not, so my answer may be a little long, sorry.

The loss of coolant is detected by a two methods, and this depends on the way it is lost. With a vehicle which is running a coolant leak is “generally” detected first by the progressive increase in engine running temperatures, the rate of increase is proportional to the rate of volume of coolant lost. slow leak = slow rise, fast leak = fast rise. With a sudden loss of coolant whilst driving it will depend on where the coolant is lost from to which sensor picks up the abnormality first, the important thing is it will get picked up and quickly. The Low Coolant sensors primary function is to alert when there is a loss of coolant and the engine is not running, but it will also alert whilst running.

Our Low Coolant Detector circuit passes an AC signal through the coolant, using the vehicle earth (negative) as part of the circuit. Using DC signals can cause plating (electrolysis) this is why we use and AC signal. As the coolant (and most liquids) is conductive this completes the circuit, if the coolant is lost then the circuit is broken and the circuitry can detect this break in continuity.

Cheers

P.S. Pop just saw your last post. Not a problem, we are all here to learn and express our views and experiences. If any of this saves just one person from having to fork out big $$ for a new engine then that is fantastic.

If anybody is at the 4x4 show in Melbourne next month drop by at our stand A131 and we are more than happy to give you a product demo and answer any questions.
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FollowupID: 794603

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 17:44

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 17:44
Well, I leave the computer for a day and look what you lot get up. LOL

Actually, I'm impressed with the replies.

I will now read them again and try and sort out what's what and do a bit more research.

Basically we are all after the same thing, protecting our expensive investment, but the way to do it varies a bit.

The ems looks good, but the TM2 seems to have a strong following.

Thanks fellas for your help.

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FollowupID: 794610

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 19:52

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 19:52
Hi Boo boo,
I am waiting on delivery of one of these – it’s the EMS 500 fitted with the EMS 400 bolt on temperature sensor. This means the unit will have both the coolant temperature and the external block temperature on alarms plus a low coolant alarm. It cost me $375 ($355 for EMS 500 plus $20 for the bolt on sensor)
I agree with Pop2jocem that measuring the coolant is the quickest way of sensing the change in the engine’s temperature – if it was the other way around vehicle manufacturers would be using bolt on sensors.
I will measure both block and coolant temperatures – best of both worlds
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FollowupID: 794619

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:22

Thursday, Jul 25, 2013 at 21:22
I haven't actually got around to fit a engine block temperature set up yet but I have a home grown low coolant level sensor. It works great with a test button that I check the system with regularly. Even without a block temp sensor, if the water escapes, even a 100 ml, my alarm sounds and most over temperature engine damage would happen if the engine was drained of water. Yes a block temperature is the best protection in my opinion. Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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