Induction heating is a loosening technique that preserves costly electrical terminals and fasteners during teardown operations.
Stubborn fasteners are an unpleasant fact of automotive life. But mishandling frozen fastener removal could do more than damage nuts, bolts and threads.
It also could harm vital electrical terminals and wiring. Let’s recap induction heating’s features.
I first discussed this method in my Jan. 21 column early this year. Induction Innovations makes the Mini-Ductor, the most-popular tool of this kind for auto repair work.
This compact, electrically powered tool has a replaceable heating element called a work coil. The company offers various work coils to suit a broad range of fasteners.
When you place a work coil on a nut or bolt, it heats that fastener quickly but safely. The heat frees the fastener by breaking the corrosive bond that’s binding it up.
A Mini-Ductor saves time and money by eliminating two risks posed by a traditional cutting torch.
First, induction heating doesn’t harm hardware or its threads so techs can reuse existing nuts and bolts.
Second, the method doesn’t cause “collateral damage” because it doesn’t heat non-metallic materials near the frozen fastener.
Shane Myron is a technician at Richard’s Garage in Akron, Ohio. Recently, he cited the usefulness of induction heating when removing the transaxle from a 2010 GMC Terrain. A bolt with a threaded stud on the end of it posed a problem.
Traditional bolts usually hold a transaxle onto the engine. But, Mr. Myron explained, a threaded stud protruded from one of these transaxle bolts.
The electrical system’s main ground cable, fitted with a large eyelet terminal, connected to this stud.