ATC Blog

What Does an Engine Dynamometer Do?

Marine and automotive technicians are constantly required to fine-tune engines to ensure that they deliver optimal performance. Engines are crucial to the propulsion of any vehicle or marine vessel, and any issues will leave drivers frustrated and looking for a solution from an experienced technician. One of the many ways that these technicians tune engines and keep a high level of performance is through tests on an engine dynamometer.

As ATC students continue their automotive and marine technician career training, they’ll be exposed to various elements of the industry they’re interested in, including the facilities and equipment used every day. One piece of equipment that our students learn how to operate efficiently is an engine dynamometer, so when graduates enter the workforce, they’re proficient in engine optimization and tuning.

But what is an engine dynamometer? Read on to learn more.

What Does an Engine Dynamometer Test?

The purpose of an engine dynamometer is to measure engine output to make sure that the configuration is delivering the force that it’s supposed to. To give technicians a sense of how optimal the engine they’re testing is running, they hook up the dynamometer to the engine and let it run. The engine dynamometer will test the horsepower, rotations per minute (RPMs), force, and torque levels to get a sense of the engine’s power.

What Can Technicians Gain from This Test?Auto Technicial Training

When technicians read the results of an engine dynamometer test, they can draw multiple conclusions. For example, engine power can be determined by measuring torque simultaneously with RPMs. Engines usually have a set amount of power that they can produce, so if the engine dynamometer shows that the engine isn’t creating enough power, it will bring up a red flag. The same goes for a horsepower test on an engine dynamometer.

Technicians also look out for various inconsistencies when running the engine through the dynamometer, such as sputtering throttle movements and changes in the engine speed.

What Do Technicians Do with This Information?

While technicians can use an engine dynamometer to test for the loss of engine power, engine dynamometers are also used to see the results of engine modifications and tweaks. Technicians who are asked to boost engine horsepower or torque need to be sure that their efforts show results, so they use the engine dynamometer to test output and see if more modifications are needed.

Exposure to the inner workings of an engine dynamometer through an automotive training school gives ATC students the career training they need to be considered quality technicians ready to enter the job force. Thanks to our curriculum that’s based on the growing automotive and marine industries, an engine dynamometer isn’t the only piece of equipment that ATC students will learn how to operate.

To learn more about careers in the automotive industry, you can download ATC’s free eBook Rev Up Your Career: Why Now Is the Time to Consider a Career in the Auto Industry.

Rev Up Your Career

For program disclosure information, please go to www.autotraining.edu/consumer-information.

3 thoughts on “What Does an Engine Dynamometer Do?

  1. Dee Francis

    Thanks for explaining what an engine dynamometer test is for. I can see why measuring my engine output would be important for my car. It seems like having engine output that’s either too strong or too weak would be problematic for my car. It’s good to know that technicians can use information from engine dynamometer tests to make any necessary modifications to make it run with more horsepower. That could be useful for my car to help it run with more horsepower.

  2. April Cook

    I’ve been trying to figure out what a dynamometer is, so thank you for this explanation! How long does it take to run one of these tests? My brother is a mechanic, so I’ll have to ask him if he has used one of these. Are they common to have in shops? Thanks again for the information!

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