How to Use a Torque Wrench

One of the most important tools for the home auto mechanic is a torque wrench. If you want to know how to use a torque wrench, this paper is for your help. You should tighten the bolts in a right way for the car to move fine. You should follow all the manufacturer’s recommendations for repairs and routine service. The torque makes sure that you do not overtighten the bolts or nuts.

Price of torque wrench:

The prices of torque wrench can vary depending on their size and quality. When you require accuracy in torque, you should not compromise with the quality. Beam torque is not a good option if you are looking for accuracy. You can purchase a beam torque wrench at around 20 US Dollars (USD). A made click torque wrench is costlier than beam torque. Its price range falls in the range of 70-300 USD, or higher depending upon the size of the wrench required.
Why Use a Torque Wrench?

A bolt in your workbench is always in a static position, no matter whether it is made of rubber or metal. When you start to tighten the bolt in an application, you are applying pressure across its length.  Whether it’s a rubber bolt or a metal bolt, you cannot tighten the bolt too much. If you do so, the bolt will crack due to the excessive pressure. You cannot even let the bolt loose in a workbench, as it can diminish the performance of the application. During the manufacture of an application, its specification states how much a bolt can handle. The whole idea of attaining the proper amount of preload is to use a torque wrench in a proper way. When the bolt is tightened perfectly, the efficiency of application is very high.

Basics of a Torque Wrench:

You can find a wide range of torque wrench. The most useful torque wrench for the home mechanic is a clicker wrench. They are similar to the ratchet wrench. The ratchet wrench has a head that carries a switch for setting clockwise or counter-clockwise operation. There is also a handle for leverage. A torque wrench generally has a pivot point just below the head. When you reach an appropriate breaking force, the pivot gives an audible sound of “click” which indicates that the proper torque has been achieved.

How to use a torque wrench:

When you take a close look at the torque wrench, you will find that the torque wrench looks just like a standard socket wrench. However, there is an exception. The bottom part of the handle carries a dial that you can turn to set the degree of force you want to apply on a bolt or a nut as you tighten it. You can change the force limit for the wrench by just rotating the dial.

Before you try to tighten the bolt, you should first read the manufacturer’s guide. This guide contains all the rules and regulations. It contains the list of torques that can be applied to each kind of the bolt.

Now when you know the degree of torque from the manual, you can change the setting of the wrench accordingly. There is a dial at the end of the wrench. Change the setting of the dial by rotating it back or forward to reach the setting stated in the manual. You also need to check the units of the wrench and that in the manual. Both have to be same. Two measurement systems are generally used in the US. First is the metric system and the second is the U.S. Imperial system.

You should find the right socket that can tighten the nut or bolt. Socket is then attached to the wrench and then you can fit it the bolt or nut. You can then tighten the bolt or nut with the wrench.

You should not exert extra force on the nut or bolt. Extra pressure can break the bolt. When you reach the recommended setting, you need to stop rotating more.

Using a Torque Wrench

When you want to use your torque wrench correctly, it involves three primary concerns.

  1. You need to apply a smooth pull to the stopping point. When you jerk, it can cause the pivot point to break early. Over torque can result from you not stopping when the wrench “clicks”.
  2. There can be a situation in which more than one bolt holds the surface. These bolts form a sequence that is required to bring the surfaces together in an even manner. Sometimes, it is a “criss-cross” and sometimes the maintenance manual has a numbering scheme. If there is a numbering scheme, you should follow it. The chances are that the application can crack when you just start from one side and go in a circle.

Threads have to be lubricated before you try to tighten the bolt. When a lubricant is used, it has a considerable impact on how much torque is required. You should always use lubricant whenever it is specified.

Caring for Your Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a precision instrument and so it needs extra care for proper measurements. When you feel that the bolt is not getting tight enough by your torque wrench, you should get the wrench tested at a calibration shop. If you have to remove a bolt, you can use a different tool in place of a torque wrench. The clockwise/counterclockwise switch is used for clockwise or counterclockwise threaded bolts and not for removing a bolt or loosening it. You should not turn past the “click”. Always keep the wrench where it won’t be bumped around.

A torque wrench is a very useful tool when you are going on a long term vacation in a car. You might need it anytime. So it is advised to always carry a torque wrench with you. You should go through this paper if want to know how to use a torque wrench.


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