An automotive torque wrench is one of the most important tools any mechanic can have in their garage. Whether they’re a part-time hobbyist or a full-time certified mechanic, an automotive torque wrench is simply a must-have tool. Almost every fastener in a car has a torque specification assigned to it by the manufacturer. Adhering to these specifications can make the difference between a successful assembly and a faulty one.
The Right Range
Too much torque can lead to stripped fasteners and broken parts. Too little torque can lead to loose fasteners, rattling, and mechanical failures. Either way, the assembly won’t go smoothly. All vehicles have a huge amount of bolts and screws used in assembly, with a wide range of torque requirements. Some are very critical like engine bolts, seat belt or seat bolts and certainly wheel fasteners (lug nuts). Others fastenings may not be critical, but will still become a nuisance when they come undone – like dash, instrument or trim fasteners. There is no one-size-fits-all torque wrench for every fastener on a vehicle.
Torque wrenches have an operating range, with minimum and maximum values. Frequent use at the extremes of the torque range can affect the calibration, making the tool less accurate. Trying to use a single torque wrench to cover every possible fastener is bad for the assembly, bad for the tool, and bad for the mechanic.
A Tool for Every Job
To avoid these problems, it’s a good idea to have more than one automotive torque wrench on hand. Being able to correctly tighten the widest variety of fasteners ensures that the mechanic will never have to “guesstimate” the torque, or push a wrench beyond its limits. Assemblies and repairs will go smoother, there will be fewer failures, and the mechanic will work more efficiently. Fortunately, Mountzpro has a selection of torque wrenches to cover torque ratings on all major vehicles.
The Low Range
For light duty work, a 15-75 foot-pound range is sufficient. This range will typically cover spark plugs, oil drain plugs, valve cover bolts, and similar fasteners. This is a good all-around automotive torque wrench range for basic, day-to-day maintenance needs and can work on motorcycles as well.
For slightly heavier work, a 30 to 150 foot-pound range is necessary. This is the most popular torque range. An automotive torque wrench in this range can be used to tighten lug nuts, caliper bolts, and head bolts. This wrench allows the mechanic to move from basic maintenance into serious repairs and upgrades. Every serious mechanic must have a wrench in this range.
The Mid Range
The 50-250 foot-pound range gets into even more critical assemblies. This can be used for tightening bolts on an installed trailer hitch, axle bolts, and hubs. When working on critical assemblies like steering and suspension, this range will come up pretty often. Perfect for light trucks and trailers.
The Upper Range
Getting into the higher range, the 120 to 600 foot-pound automotive torque wrench can be used to tighten bearings and driveline components. For the mechanic working on transfer casings and differentials, this is a must-have torque range. Ideal for truck mechanics.
At the top of the range, the 200-1,000 foot-pound automotive torque wrench is for serious tightening. Whether it’s a harmonic balancers or camshaft sprockets, this wrench comes in handy. For performance racing or off-road vehicles, this is a wrench that will often be required.
The Right Tightness
Proper torque is a matter of safety and convenience. Improper tightening creates the aggravation of broken parts and creates the very real risk of mechanical failure and in many cases accidents. The only way to be sure of proper torque is by using the proper automotive torque wrench. Cheater bars, impact wrenches, and other methods don’t give the same level of certainty as a properly calibrated torque wrench in the correct range.
For most mechanics, whether they’re hobbyists, enthusiasts, or professionals, a single torque wrench won’t be enough. From basic maintenance to advanced customizations, there’s a huge range of possible torque values. Having the right tool, at the right time, can be the difference between success and failure.
Take a look at the different range torque wrenches MountzPro has to offer and feel free to contact us if you need help finding the right tool for your applications. Each wrench comes fully calibrated with a certificate of calibration traceable to our National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Also check out our Mountz Pro dragster and driver Chris White. Chris uses MountzPro items on his hotrod and so do many of his friends.
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