Q: I am just starting out and have different types of tools by different manufacturers in my box. Is there any one manufacturer that is better than the rest?
A: The best tools in your box come with a “lifetime” warranty that is easily executed. Let's face it. You will break tools in this trade and it's not fun to purchase an item twice. Secondly, purchase the tools you need, not because the item is on sale. Be a savvy shopper and learn what is out there that will make your life easier — not because someone told you that the tool is a limited offer.
Also, take advantage of the shop's senior tech tool knowledge. Ask their opinion before signing on the dotted line. Speaking about that: If you apply for credit on a tool truck, make sure that you understand the terms and interest rate before making the purchase.
Q: Once in a while, I break a socket or wrench. My old tool guy would give me a replacement off his truck. The new tool guy makes me wait a week or two. Is this normal?
A: It might depend upon the company you are dealing with. Some replace tools immediately, while others make you wait. It just may be the new rep's position on warranties. If he doesn't keep a sizable stock of tools, he may not want to leave himself short for a future sale. I know of one tool company — that I frequent — takes the replacement tool right off the shelf, like your old rep. Then, I hear from other techs that they wait—sometimes weeks — for a replacement. If you think that you're getting the shaft from the new tool rep, contact the corporate office and have them explain their company's position for tool replacements.
Have an automotive service-related question for Pam Oakes? Email it to Tire Business reporter William Schertz at [email protected].
Pam Oakes is a retired, 20-year owner of nationally awarded automotive shop Pam's Motor City Automotive and Tires, an ASE-certified technician, automotive author, automotive speaker, automotive patent holder and host of "Car Care for the Clueless” Daily Edition, a syndicated radio talk show airing on dozens of stations coast-to-coast. And, yes, she still "turns wrenches" — but just for fun, nowadays.