Basic tools for lube technician

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    Mario RodriguezMario Rodriguez

      Hey Eric, huge fan of your videos. I’m starting a new job as a lube technician in the next couple of weeks. I’m looking for an help and advice anyone can help me with in what are those basic tools one needs for the job. Thanks in advance guys!

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      William HartfordWilliam Hartford

        I recommend you go to Sears. They have mechanics tool sets of various sizes. You want one that comes with quarter inch, 3/8 in, and half inch, as well as wrenches, torx, Allen, screwdrivers, pliers, and extensions. It’ll come in its own little tool box, and it’s a very good place to start.

        I also recommend a pair of push pin pliers. You’ll thank me for that. Lol
        Once you have those basic tools, start working the job. And if you find yourself thinking “if I had X tool, that would have been way easier” write it down, and buy it. Make lists.

        You don’t need to buy crazy expensive tools right away. I’ve been a Lube Tech for two years, and Craftsman tools have served me very well. They come with a lifetime full warranty. And if you break a tool, you walk into the store with it, and you walk out with a new one.

        Be wary of Harbor Freight. But if that’s all you can afford, Harbor Freight is better than nothing.

        I hope this helps, and good luck with the new job!

        Mario RodriguezMario Rodriguez

          Thanks a lot willzum1! I appreciate that. I too was thinking of getting a craftsman’s mechanics tool set to start off with. I also found an Ingersoll Rand 1/2 impact gun on amazon for a good price. Thanks again!

          William HartfordWilliam Hartford

            Also on amazon:
            TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Metric, Cr-V, 6-Point, 10 mm – 24 mm, 15-Sockets | 4883

            It probably goes without saying, but always use impact sockets with an impact wrench. And this set is a good, complete half inch set for pretty cheap.

            And torque sticks as well for running lug nuts on. And you’ll want a good half inch torque wrench. Torquing lug nuts properly is extremely important so you don’t damage hubs, rotors, and wheels. And also so wheels don’t fall off.

            I don’t know what your budget is, but the torque sticks are important if you plan to use an impact to install lug nuts. They’re pricey, but worth every penny. I work on a variety of makes, so I got this set, as it covers a huge range of torque specs for lug nuts. I’ll give the link, but if it’s out of your price range, shop around and pick a set that will better suit your needs.

            Astro 78810 10-Piece Torque Limiting Extension Set

            If you have any questions, or want some advice, I’m watching this thread, so feel free to ask.

            Mario RodriguezMario Rodriguez

              I had that exact set of tekton 1/2 inch impact sockets in my amazon shopping cart. Along with an impact gun and a set of craftsman tools. I was wondering how do the extension set work? I do plan on buying a torque wrench. I found a budget friendly one in the TEKTON 15010 3/8-inch Drive by 18-inch Extra Long Ratchet With 72-tooth Oval. I was just wondering how the extension set you recommended would work?

              Mario RodriguezMario Rodriguez

                Ok I understand now how the torque sticks work. That was just my first time actually coming across torque sticks.

                William HartfordWilliam Hartford

                  The torque limiting extensions work by limiting the amount of torque the impact will put on a lug nut. The extension goes on like any other extension.

                  Let’s say, for example, that you’re rotating tires on a vehicle and the specs say that the lug nuts should be tightened down to 100 ft/lbs. If your impact has 300 ft/lbs of torque output when tightening, and you use it as is to tighten a lug nut, chances are you will over tighten the lug nut, which could damage the lug nut or possibly snap the stud. But if you use the 100 ft/lb extension with the impact, you could hammer away at that lug nut all day and it’ll never tighten past 100 ft/lbs.

                  So they effectively eliminate the possibility of over-tightening lug nuts.

                  I like this torque wrench for lug nuts
                  TEKTON 24340 1/2-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (25-250 ft.-lb./33.9-338.9 Nm)

                  And this one for torquing drain plugs to spec.

                  TEKTON 24330 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-80 ft.-lb./13.6-108.5 Nm)

                  Though some of the seasoned veterans of the trade might argue a necessity of torquing drain plugs to spec, I believe it’s an excellent way to cover your behind. It helps eliminate the possibility of stripping and oil pan because you over tightened the plug. Especially if you are new to the trade. I’ve been at this a couple years now, and I still use my torque wrench on drain plugs each and every time.

                  Always glad to help!

                  Mario RodriguezMario Rodriguez

                    Yeah imma have to get that set of torque limiting extensions. I appreciate all the advice it’s really been helpful. I’m getting a sense now if what tools I’ll be needing most. I appreciate it.


                      -Box to keep all your stuff in. Starting out, a little 5 or 6-drawer service cart like this works great-

                      Even a lot of experienced techs will have a little cart like this that they keep the tools they use the most in and a bigger box where they keep the tools they use less in. The inside of the lid makes a great place to tape a wheel lug nut torque chart (just make sure it’s laminated.) I’ve also doodled the rotation patterns for both FWD and RWD/4×4 cars on mine with a paint marker because I can never f***ing remember the patterns and you just look like a lazy a** at work if you have to look it up on your phone.

                      -“Thin wall” sockets. These are like regular impact sockets, but the outside has a plastic liner that doesn’t scratch wheels. They can be bought as a set with the most common lug nut sizes. Despite their name, they’re rated for rattle gun use.

                      -Oil filter wrenches/pliers/whatever. I like to use flex-head, band type oil filter wrenches, with a pair of good-sized Channelocks when those don’t work lol. REMEMBER, oil filter wrenches/pliers/whatever are for taking filters off, NOT PUTTING THEM ON. Whoever has to work on the car next, whether that be another lube tech or a service tech, will thank you.

                      -Oil filter housing socket set. Basically a set of sockets for removing the “caps” on newer cartridge-type oil filter housings.

                      -Inspection light. Wally World sells a pretty nice one made by Coast that runs on AAA batteries for a whole whopping $10.

                      -Small prybar. About 12 to 18 inches should work. This is useful for removing hub caps.

                      -Brake pad inspection gauge. Used for measuring the thickness of the linings on brake pads. You can buy these individually however, if you plan on making the automotive field your career, I would recommend buying a brake service kit. These kits usually include these gauges, plus other tools for servicing brakes.

                      -Tire tread depth gauge. Can be purchased at most parts stores for a couple of bucks.

                      -Tire pressure gauge. Don’t cheap out on this. I’d recommend finding an all-metal “pencil” model with a tab on the back of the head for removing air if necessary. A good one like this shouldn’t cost you more than $5 though.

                      -Tire chuck. For inflating tires. Most guys I know like the models with a digital pressure read-out.

                      -Rubber mallet/dead-blow hammer. Sometimes because of galvanic corrosion (corrosion between dis-similar metals) alloy wheels can get stuck to brake drums and rotors. When this happens, a good whack on the inside edge of the wheel/tire is usually all it takes to remove it. A soft-faced (rubber or plastic) hammer prevents damage to the wheel.

                      -Valve stem core removal tool. For quickly deflating tires. Usually available at parts stores for a couple bucks.

                      -Coolant tester. Looks like a turkey baster, but with either some balls or a pointer inside of it. If your employer requires you to check the vehicle’s coolant as part of your service, these can help you see the color of the coolant as well as tell you the freezing/boiling temperature of it.

                      -1/2″ breaker bar with a 1/2″ to 3/8″ adapter. Works great for cracking stubborn 3/8″ drive drain plugs on axles and such.

                      -Clear or white zip ties. The longer the better. If you’re required to check the color and condition of brake fluid, power steering fluid, gear oil, etc. as part of your service, you can stick the tip of one of these into a drain plug opening or a reservoir, get a little bit of fluid on the end of it, and get a better idea of the color and condition of the fluid.

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