Automotive Tools Information and Advice

A great resource on automotive tools and auto repair questions. Information on auto a/c service and repair and general maintenance questions.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cordless Grease Gun

A cordless grease gun is more than just the latest gadget for your auto shop. Cordless technology has taken the tool world by storm and now grease guns have benefited from it. I would recommend using a cordless grease gun if you are in a large auto shop or maintain a large fleet of equipment. For example, a mechanic working for a large construction company is constantly having to grease and lube large pieces of equipment. With a cordless grease gun and extra batteries this job can be completed faster and better than by just using an old hand pump type. Everyone knows regularly greased equipment last longer and performs better.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Swamp Cooler and my auto shop

I work as a mechanic in an automotive service shop in a very hot climate. Our service bays are not air conditioned and are rather large. We leave the bay doors open in the summer and have some very large fans to keep air circulating. It just doesn't seem to be enough, especially in August. I have seen people using a swamp cooler on outside patios and I was wondering if that would work for me?

Yes. A swamp cooler is the way to go in your situation. You can get a swamp cooler with a very larger fan and large surface area for cooling. In your situation, the swamp cooler is not going to be able to cool down the whole shop. But if you aim the air flow right towards you, the air will be much cooler than just a plain old fan. All you will need to hook it up is an ac socket and a garden hose. Swamp coolers work by filtering water down an evaporative pad and blowing air through the pad. The evaporation process makes the air much cooler. The garden hose makes sure the unit doesn't run out of water and keeps cooling.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Air Hose Reels

Air hose reel is a great investment in productivity and safety in the auto shop. In a busy auto shop with several mechanics, air hoses just laying around can quickly become a tripping hazard to both your workers and customers in the shop area. Your mechanics are not likely to spend the extra time to coil up a long air hose and stow it away after every use. However , a self reeling air hose reel properly installed will automatically reel the unused air hose back up and out of the way. Air hose reels also add to productivity by making it easier to find and hook up air hoses. Lets face it, most of the tools you use on a daily basis connect to an air hose and being able to quickly find and reconnect the air hose to tools does nothing but help productivity. Air hose reels come in varying sizes and lengths. You can purchase a 1/2" air hose or a 3/8" air hose in 25', 50' and 100' lengths. Even a small garage shop would benefit from 25' air hose reel and a quick connector. Most air hose reels can be bolted up on a wall away from the floor and work area. This keeps them from getting banged up and away from the dirt.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chilton Manuals and Repair Advice

I am always working on my car or friend' cars and I need a good reference guide to have around to answer basic questions about the car I am working on. Is there a reference book available that is specific to the year and make of certain cars?

Yes, there is. Chilton manuals have been around for years and are a great resource for the car enthusiast and the garage mechanic. They are really great for novice mechanics because they have good illustrations and simple step by step instructions. I have found that they have both the very simple and more complicated instructions for more the ambitious mechanic. You should purchase a Chilton manual for each car your are working on and stay away from the more general repair manuals out on the market. Chilton repair manuals will show the specifics steps and parts you will need for both foreign and domestic automobiles.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Refrigerant Leak Detectors and leaky air conditinoners

As summer approaches, it is time to start making sure your car's air conditioner is working properly. Before the temperature gets too hot, go out and crank up your car's air conditioner and see if it is cooling properly. If the air is not blowing cold and everything else seems ok, you may have a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system. Lots of times it will be a small leak that is difficult to detect and find. In the old days you could "top" off your refrigerant and just fill it up every few weeks with a can of R12 from the local autoparts store. Today, the EPA requirements are much more stringent. Your best option is to find and repair the source of the leaking refrigerant. I would recommend using a refrigerant leak detector. This handy little device sniffs out the leaking freon and alerts you with an alarm as you get closer to the source. Refrigerant leak detectors also have a sensitivity setting that allows you to turn up the sensitivity when you find the general area of the refrigerant leak. Now you can effectively correct the problem and have your A/C blowing cold in no time!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Can my jump starter power other stuff too?

I carry a jump starter in my car and I was wondering if you can use it to power other stuff besides just jumping your dead car battery?

Thats a great question. Your jump starter can power any accessory up to 12 amps. A microwave might be a little much. A jump starter is usually comes with an auto reset breaker if the current being pulled exceeds 12 amps. So you can power just about any 12 volt electrical device off of your jump starter. Some examples are a cell phone, radio, fan, small refrigerator, GPS device, lights and just about anything your imagination dreams up. This makes the jump starter an ideal emergency power source. Because if your car battery dies on you and the jump starter can't revive your car because the problem is say a bad alternator. The jump starter can be used to power your cell phone to call for help.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Delay on Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

I am a relatively new to welding and I am concerned about the delay in an auto darkening welding helmet. I know this is a total rookie question, but overtime will my eyes be damaged by the split second delay or am I worrying for nothing?

No your eyes will be fine. Those types of welding helmets have to meet strict safety requirements. Ultraviolet light is the danger, so make sure any welding helmet you purchase has ultraviolet filtering in place. The ultraviolet filtering is in place at all times, whether the welding helmet lens is dark or not. So fear not. Having said that don't buy a cheap one. In welding, safety equipment is very important and your eyes are worth spending the money. Most welders never go back after making the move an auto darkening helmet and they are really great for rookies as well. Even if the battery goes out, they still offer eye protection. There are several really good manufacturers out there. Look at Miller, Firepower, Jackson Safety and others.