Q:

How do you use a torque wrench to tighten a bolt to specifications?

A:

Quick Answer

Check for the appropriate amount of torque and turn the torque wrench in a clockwise motion against the bolt until the indicator or the gauge shows the desired ft-lbs. When tightening bolts on a car wheel, the recommended amount of torque is usually listed in the car owner's manual.

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Full Answer

A torque wrench is a hand tool that is essential for tightening nuts and bolts to a recommended load point. It is very popular for use in auto maintenance as many car components require bolts set to a certain amount of torque to keep them from coming off or accidentally compressing and damaging the component.

  1. Look up the torque
  2. Before using the torque wrench to put on a bolt, owners need to know the necessary load point. If the bolt is for a car component, check the owner's manual to see if it lists the correct torque.

  3. Place the torque wrench
  4. Hand turn the bolt a few times to get it properly set in the hole. Place the open side of the socket against the top of the bolt. Hold the torque wrench only by the end of the handle. Make sure the torque gauge or meter is visible.

  5. Tighten the bolt
  6. Turn the wrench clockwise, pulling back on the wrench as needed to re-position the arm. Most torque wrenches only tighten in one direction. As the bolt stops moving, keep tightening it by applying pressure until the gauge needle or digital readout indicates the desired amount of ft-lbs. Stop turning the wrench and move onto another bolt.

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