I'm getting ready to retire soon and the tool guy just showed me another tool that he says I need: a valve core torque tool. I read that the TPMS Schrader valves are required to have a specific torque. I've been doing this for decades and I think that I can figure out if it's tight or not. Like I said, I don't want to buy another tool and I feel that sometimes the tool guys push tools that are not a necessity.
"Let's look at the cause-effect of this decision. What's one of the most important items on today's vehicles? Some say it's the brakes; others will tell you it's the tires. Well, that $20 valve core torque tool (that's what I paid for mine) plays a big roll in your customer's safety. I've been doing this for decades and for me to guess at 4-inch-pounds, well, it's a guess. And, why would you guess at someone's safety? Under-torqued: air escapes the tire casing via the valve. Over-torqued: Schrader valve can fail. Don't be a cheapskate. Buy the $20 tool! Your customer's safety and your reputation as an automotive professional are on the line every time corners are cut."
I left a tool under the hood of a customer's car. I placed it up by the wiper blade park and just forgot about it. I know that it didn't go anywhere when the car was driven. But, I called the customer to ask for the tool back and they said that there were no tools under the hood. I don't think that he's telling me the truth. What should I do?
"Lesson learned: keep tools in one spot, preferably on a magnetic tray. Too big for the tray? Put them in a designated spot on your cart. Tools are very expensive when purchased, even more so if you have to buy them twice. As for your customer: that's a lost cause. Mark it up to class passed in the school of hard-knocks."
Have an automotive service-related question for Pam Oakes? Email it to Tire Business reporter William Schertz at [email protected]
ASE-certified technician Pam Oakes is the owner of Pam's Motor City Auto & Tire Center, an award-winning automotive service business in Fort Myers, Fla. She also is the author of the book series Car Care for the Clueless and hosts a weekly radio talk show by the same name on CBS Radio's The Sky and CoachMeRadio. And yes, she still "turns wrenches.