More Must Have Tools
by Pat Goss
There are lots of things under the hood of an automobile these days that require heat to be worked on properly, but looking under the hood of a car, is there any place that you would feel safe in applying an open flame? Ah, I don’t think so! Well that’s been the only option a technician has had over the years, but now from OTC Tools comes a professional unit that you might want to look for when you select a shop.
This is an induction heater, and in a unit such as we see here, you simply turn on and hold down on the foot pedal, and you hold the unit next to whatever it is that you want to heat. The induction portion of it heats that metal piece very quickly, very safely, and there’s no open flame. There are different adaptors and different induction pieces that can be used for heating things like exhaust manifolds, studs, or for bending tubing or straightening sheet metal. There are a whole bunch of different things you can do with the unit - a good piece of equipment to have in a repair shop.
Another thing: we’re always looking for ways to find the source of problems, like noises on a car or leaks. We’ve shown you units before where you take a transmitter such as we have here and you put the transmitter inside the car. Then you use a receiver to go around the outside of the car, and the transmitter emits a radio signal. The receiver picks it up where it comes out through the area of the leak and you can zero right in on it. This is the same thing, except this is more popularly priced and it gives you the advantage of listening to other things. The air pick-up tube will pick-up noise out of the air. You listen to it on the headset, or if you want to listen directly to something that is metal say an alternator bearing or a water pump, you simply change the tube and put the metal rod on it and touch it against the part. Now you can listen with this same unit. It’s great for checking all of the things that are belt-driven under the hood for bearings in the suspension for differentials, all kinds of things, and as I said it is popularly priced. Comes from Tracerline. Handy tool even for the do-it-yourselfer.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.