Outfitting each general-repair bay with a pedal control tool will boost the overall efficiency of your service department.
Here's what you need to know about this useful but frequently forgotten tool.
This device, which is usually called a throttle-holding tool, enables technicians to operate a gas pedal or brake pedal whenever necessary. This allows a tech to perform basic tasks such as increasing engine speed and/or applying the brakes easily, safely and reliably.
After I began using this type of tool in the late 1980s, I found it to be indispensable. But eventually I also discovered that relatively few technicians had one handy when I visited a tire dealership or service shop.
What is more, techs often asked me to donate my personal throttle tool — shown in the accompanying photo — to their service department.
One advantage of this affordable device is that it saves time by turning a two-person job into a one-person job. By using a proper throttle tool, a tech does not need to collar a co-worker to operate a gas pedal or brake pedal during certain tasks.
Of course, one-person procedures are welcome news for everyone — owners, managers and technicians alike.
To me, evolving technology has increased the need for a device as simple as a throttle tool. On an older vehicle, a tech could raise engine speed by manually operating the mechanical throttle linkage under the hood.
But the electronically controlled throttle design, which has been commonplace for years, completely eliminated the traditional underhood throttle linkage.
Experience has shown that equipping each bay with a throttle tool saves time for another reason: Techs do not have to search for an alternative device of some kind.
Plus, an alternative may cause unexpected trouble. For instance, I have seen techs use lengths of old two-by-fours they found back in the shop's scrap pile.
In this approach, a tech simply jams a length of wood between the pedal and the forward edge of the driver's seat.
Mind you, a worker may get away with this substitution, but the method may stain, mar or tear the upholstery on the front of the driver's seat.