Q: How often should I check my battery powered impact gun? I just happened to double check the torque on some lug nuts with my torque wrench and found out that the impact gun wasn't doing the job.
A: First thing: battery-powered or air-powered, you should always test lug torque with a calibrated torque wrench. Period. There is no substitute for this safety check. Secondly, check with the manufacturer to see how often you need to have the gun calibrated. Some of the less expensive guns will have no calibration and are consider a “throw-away” when they are ineffective. But, the sole burden lies upon the user — you — when it comes to doing the job right, the first time. And, that includes knowing your tools and their capacities.
Q: I need another box to secure my extra tools. I've been keeping them in my cart, but sometimes a socket or wrench comes up missing. I've talked to the tool truck rep and he showed me new and used boxes. Someone said that the new box would have a higher trade in when I was ready to get another box. Is this the way to go?
A: A box doesn't make you money. Your tools make you money. So, why would you be buying a box, now — new or used — and already planning to put out hard-earned monies for another, bigger box in the future? Work smarter not harder with the right tool, not a storage box. When I had my shop, and I hired help with mismatching tool boxes, I knew they were a smart tech. I knew that the professional understood that his paycheck relied upon his tools, not a pretty box.
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.