Automotive Air Ratchets
Air ratchets can save you time and energy when you have to repair or do maintenance on your automobile. Compressed air replaces your muscle strength, and they can make tasks involving low to medium torque a breeze. Automotive air ratchets are an important tool in any auto shop and are equally valuable for the at-home car repair hobbyist.What is an air ratchet used for?
They are used in auto maintenance to drive nuts and bolts. This is useful for tasks such as rotating tires, engine maintenance, and replacing car parts. They are more often called air socket wrenches, and they fall into the broader category of power socket wrenches. This category is divided into two types, and each is specialized for different tasks.
- Impact socket wrench: These are particularly useful for high-torque tasks and parts that are not likely to split under the greater amount of force that they put out.
- Air socket wrench: These are used for tasks that require more speed and less force. They operate by making many small, lower-torque drives around the nut or bolt.
These tools work the same way as a regular socket wrench does, with the exception that these tools are powered by air. Instead of using energy from your arm to spin their gear box, they use compressed air to turn the socket drive. This saves you valuable time and effort when working on low- to medium-torque nuts and bolts.How many sizes of ratchet are there?
There are as many sizes of air ratchet as there are sizes of nuts and bolts. For the less common sizes, adapters are used to convert the size of the socket wrench. They also come in a variety of head shapes, including a slim head, a flex head, and a go-through head. These different heads are meant to allow you to use the wrench in all of the oddly shaped or extremely tight spaces you find in a vehicles engine compartment and elsewhere.
The most common sizes of air ratchets youll want to have in your shop, include 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch.How do you maintain an air socket wrench?
Maintaining your investment is as simple as following a few guidelines.
- Do not over-torque your wrench, as this can cause the gears and teeth to strip.
- Take care not to drop the wrench. Shock can dislodge the mechanism.
- Perform maintenance a minimum of once a year.
- As soon as you hear an issue with the ratchet or feel something may be wrong, stop using it and identify and repair the problem.