How to Use a Torque Wrench

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To use a torque wrench, set the weight appropriately and only use it to screw things on, listening for the click when the appropriate amount of torque is reached. Avoid damaging a torque wrench by trying to unscrew things or using adapters with the wrench. Learn more about torque wrenches with information from a certified mechanic in this free video on tools.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon, my name's Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic from Reading Pennsylvania, and today I'm going to show you how to use a torque wrench. Now one thing to remember is, torque wrenches are, the majority of them are designed to only use in one direction, and that's on. Most of the ones designed out there, if you use them to take a bolt off, you will damage them. And for that purpose alone, I removed the switch here that takes them forward, or on and off, and I have it in the on position only so that it can't be damaged. The first thing you want to do is to find out what your setting is, if you're doing aluminum wheels like this, it should be set at about 90 pounds. The easiest thing to do, is unlock your back here, then turn this until you get your setting. Every torque wrench is a little different, but a general idea of this torque wrench, you can find just about anywhere out there. They're about 80 to 90 dollars. You can get some cheap, at some cheap part stores for 20 to 30 dollars. But you set your range here to your 85 foot pounds, or 90 foot pounds, whatever it's supposed to be set at. You put it on your socket, your nut, and what you want to do is you want to turn this, you'll feel it click, you'll hear it click, and that's what's telling you it's torqued where it needs to be. And like I said, do not take this, don't use it to take something off, you will damage it. But I'll go over it one more time, you just stick it on there, you have it set correctly to where you need it to be, and you just pull it. You'll hear it click, and the other thing you want to keep in mind, is don't use adapters, extensions, and try to keep your hand away from the head. I've seen a lot of guys do this, they'll put their hand here to balance it, and they push on it, and they pull at the same time, although the torque wrench will work, you won't get the correct torque range on this, if you're fighting against it by holding it. Both hands on the bottom of the handle, and just pull lightly until it clicks, and that's all there is to it to using a torque wrench.

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