A paint pen may be a cost-effective addition to every workstation in your tire dealership or service shop. This little tool is more useful than many managers and technicians realize.
I recommend the paint pen or paint stick because it's been so helpful in such a wide variety of work situations.
What's more, there have been countless times when I could not find a paint pen when I needed it the most.
The paint sticks or pens I'm familiar with are the approximate shape and size of a larger, felt-tip marker, but instead of writing in some kind of ink, a paint pen uses a robust, oil-based paint.
I believe the most-popular brand is Sanford's Uni-Paint marker, which is sold in office supply outlets such as Staples.
Many of the folks reading this column have purchased pieces from an automotive salvage yard or another. Often, the yellow notations on those salvage parts were written with a paint stick.
Mind you, a popular permanent-ink marker may suffice for a technician's task, but paint pens are commonplace in salvage operations because they write brightly, clearly and durably on a wider range of materials and surfaces.
The same holds true in an automotive repair situation.
Here are just a few examples of places where technicians (myself included) have used paint pens to simplify their work.
First, some techs paint matching marks on a vacuum port/fitting and the hose that connects to it. That way, they reconnect the vacuum hoses to the correct ports during reassembly.
Sometimes a part attaches to the engine with several different-length bolts. Or it may have just one oddball-length bolt.