While there are all different kinds of automotive technician jobs throughout the industry, every mechanic needs a handful of power tools to do their job. Although using automotive power tools is definitely important, so is knowing how to keep them working properly. The following will help you maintain common automotive power tools so you don’t need to spend a fortune on replacing them year after year.
Make sure you apply a drop or two of oil to your power drills every few months, depending on how often you use them. This will keep the moving parts working smoothly. Be careful not to apply too much, though, as that will make it difficult to use. You also don’t want the oil getting inside of the mechanism as that could end up forcing the gears to slip.
Also, clean the drill off. It’s unlikely yours will collect dust because of all the use it’s getting. Instead, check for debris that might make the moving parts struggle to function. When you consider their function, this form of power drill maintenance is extremely important.
Sometimes, a power drill isn’t going to be enough. Working on cars means there are all kinds of challenges that even this trusty power tool isn’t going to be able to overcome. That’s why so many dealerships and auto body repair shops have a pneumatic tool on hand too. By harnessing the power of compressed air, you can use wrenches, drills, sanders and much more. You can even use the compressed air to simply clean up your work area or certain parts of the vehicle.
Whatever the case, all this power is going to go to waste if you don’t work to maintain your pneumatic tool. First, simply make sure the tools you’re using the air for are all in good condition. The air provides torque to make these tools operational. Anytime you have torque, you have the possibility for friction which won’t end well, so check for dirt, debris or anything else that may get stuck between the pneumatic tool and your add-on.
Check the compressor regularly as well. As these machines depend on oil to work properly, you’ll also want to make sure there is enough of it and also that you’re changing it regularly as necessary. The air filter also needs to be changed out from time to time.
If you work in a garage that handles auto body repair work, then you’re definitely familiar with using a sander. They’re perfect for buffing out minor scratches or putting the finishing touches on custom jobs.
On the other hand, if you don’t maintain yours, they can become a very efficient way to scratch your customer’s automobile in under a second. These sanders are so powerful that you simply can’t risk having them not function correctly.
All you need to do is make sure that all the various components are clean. Also, never use a sander unless you know it’s the correct grade for the material you’ll be applying it to. This will go a long way toward keeping it around for years.
Another common tool for those who repair damage to a vehicle is a polisher. Like a sander, though, these tools can quickly cause noticeable harm if you’re not careful. To keep this from happening, the actual polishing element should be kept clean and checked regularly to make sure this is the case.
It’s also important that the speed controls are in working condition. Otherwise, you won’t be able to manage the tool once it’s on. Part of that is the locking mechanism’s job which is why it’s equally important you check on that regularly too.
Rotary and oscillating tools
These are great tools for a wide range of applications. Like many of the others we’ve covered here, though, small pieces of debris can be enough to cause permanent damage or even make these tools dangerous. Whenever you add or remove bits, make sure you take a moment to inspect the tool for any of these potential problems.
Provide training when necessary
Don’t take for granted that everyone at your dealership or body shop went to a quality auto mechanic school. They may not know how all of your power tools work. Even if they do, it’s still worth going over what your expectations are for their ongoing maintenance. Make all of this clear and you’ll have far fewer problems with any of these tools.
Now that you have a better idea of how to maintain the power tools your career depends on, make this a priority amongst you and your staff. When you consider how much it costs to replace these tools, doing so is a real no-brainer.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Maintain Automotive Power Tools and was authored by Valerie Johnston.