We find the best borescope inspection cameras to take a closer look at your car
With modern designers cramming ever more equipment into vehicles, it’s increasingly hard to even see problems, let alone fix them. This has seen a rise in the use of borescope inspection cameras to check out under the dash, in the engine bay, or even inside a motor or gearbox, plus a host of hard-to-get-to problems.
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If you are tempted to add one to your kit, we set three models to work checking out wiring under the dashboard and identifying an ECU in an engine bay. To test their underwater abilities, we also viewed a label in 20cm of water.
Sealey Camera Video Borescope VS8111
- Price: around £78
- Rating: 5 stars
- Camera diameter: 8mm
- Battery: 2.5Ah
- Contact: sealey.co.uk
This Sealey is lightweight and easy to handle thanks to rubber grips at either side. We like the option to take photos or videos and save onto a micro SD card, although one isn’t included. The rival Clarke’s screen resolution is okay, but this is much sharper, while the two-metre cable is fine for car work. A max working time of 10 hours is claimed for the 2.5Ah battery and having three accessories adds to its usefulness. Our main niggle is that there is no case or bag to protect it.
Buy now from CCW Tools
Clarke CIC2410 LCD Inspection Camera
- Price: around £80
- Rating: 4 stars
- Camera diameter: 9mm
- Battery: 4xAA
- Contact: machinemart.co.uk
We really like the design of the Clarke, which makes it easy to hold and use. Though shorter than the Sealey, the probe is long enough for most car jobs. A neat touch is that the screen can be flipped to allow for twisting and turning the probe.
It worked well in the water, is powered by four AA batteries (supplied), and comes with a cable to connect it to a separate screen, but has no on-board photo or video capabilities. Like most borescopes, it comes with useful add-ons: a mirror, magnetic pick- up and hook. It still performs well, but is starting to show its age.
Buy now from Machine Mart
Bosch Professional GIC 120 C Inspection Camera
- Price: Around £175
- Rating: 3.5
- Camera diameter: 8.5mm
- Battery: 10.8v li-ion
- Contact: boschtools.com
The overall feel of the Bosch was upmarket with sensibly laid-out controls that were logical to use. The flexi-probe was usefully rigid despite being the longest on test at 1.2 metres, and we liked its simple Quick Connector system.
Even better, the ‘Up is Up’ feature, which kept the image the right way round, was truly brilliant. As with the Sealey, the sockets were protected by a rubber cover. The screen showed everything clearly, but jpg resolution was the lowest here, as was the video, compounded when our test videos recorded at just 7.4fps.
Buy now from CPC
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