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Of all the automotive hand tools, torque wrenches require the most care and attention to maintain their precise capabilities. Because they are precision instruments, they need regular fine-tuning.
First, know how to properly use torque wrenches. Use a smooth, even pull rather than jerking the wrench, which can cause it to over-torque. Only use the clockwise/counterclockwise switch on torque wrenches for clockwise or counterclockwise threaded bolts rather than for removing a bolt or loosening one so you can re-torque. Don't turn past the "click” as this will damage the wrench. Be sure to keep torque wrenches in a place where other tools will not be tossed on top of it.
Second, maintain your torque wrench. Consult the maintenance manual to learn how to lubricate the threads prior to each bolt that you tighten. There may be times that, even though you have taken good care of the torque wrench, it does not seem to be doing its job properly. This is when you need to seek the help of a calibration professional who can recalibrate the wrench to do its job properly. Give these automotive tools the special care they deserve and they will last a long time.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|