A torque wrench is an absolute must for every enthusiast’s tool box, even if all you’ll ever do is rotate tires. It’s function is to allow the operator to tighten a nut or bolt to an exact specification. Torque wrenches come in a wide variety of types and sizes, but it’s important to note that more expensive doesn’t necessarily make it better for your application. Going back to our example, if you’re just rotating tires, then a simple, old school beam torque wrench is sufficient, as long as its used properly. For someone with greater needs, split beam torque wrenches are extremely popular and can be purchased at a reasonable price.
The tire gauge on the end of the gas station air hose can be wildly inaccurate. The little pencil gauges tire dealers used to give away aren’t much better. If you really want to take the best care of your tires, you need an accurate gauge at home, because tire pressures need to be checked when the tires are cold. Look for the following items when shopping for a gauge: the factory recommended inflation pressure of your tires is around the middle of the range of the gauge, where it’s most accurate, that there’s a rubber boot around the gauge to protect it, there’s a bleed-off valve, in case you overinflate, and the hose is long and flexible enough even if the vale stem ends up in the 12 o’clock position.
If you’re going to be doing any electrical troubleshooting on your car, you’ll need a digital multimeter to measure voltage and current into to diagnose the source of the problem. While there are plenty of multimeters to choose from, most are geared toward use by electronics technician. As an automotive DIYer, the following are the functions you’re most likely to need: measuring Volts DC and AC, measuring resistance in OHMs, measuring Frequency Hertz (Hz). and a 10 megaohm (MΩ) impedance (to be able to diagnose sensitive automotive electronics).
A good idea any time you’re working around a car, and even better idea when you’re working under a car and rust or dirt can flake off and get in your eyes. And think of protective glasses not just as a safety item, but a productivity tool. Think of the time you’ll save if you’ve not in the bathroom trying to rinse a flake of rust out of your eye.
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