ROADWAY, THE EASY WAY

 

Cars are great, right?  Combined with the power of smartphones and satellite navigation, it’s easy to feel like you are only a few taps away from the world.  Unfortunately, ‘IRL’ has its’ own way of doing things.  It definitely pays to have a back-up plan.  That, and a bit of know-how can help you get to your destination.

A roadside emergency kit can be a pain in the neck to lug around until you need it. While you can buy one pre-packaged, creating it yourself can be more rewarding, whether it’s for an extended road trip or your daily drive.

The contents can be divided into three basic categories: Food, Clothing and Tools.

Tools to consider include jumper cables or, better yet, a jumper pack. A small set of hand tools or multi-tool is always a good idea along with a first aid kit.  A headlamp or flashlight are invaluable.  Don’t forget a working jack and spare tire.

Food should consist of calorie-dense, snacks with a long shelf life, in case you get stuck.  Bottled water is a must.  And remember any special needs of your fellow travelers when ‘planning the menu’

Pack clothing such as rain gear, a warm blanket, hats and gloves can really be helpful in a bind.

The challenge is to balance the items you’ll most likely need and the available space, while considering your distance traveled and the reliability of your car.

Safe Travels!

 

 

Find Automotive AC Leaks Faster

The last thing you need is to spend too much time finding a leak.  Let Robinair help!

According to Robinair, “Eliminate countless hours searching for hard-to-find leaks with the Robinair 22791 Infrared Refrigerant Leak Detector. This tool uses infrared optics to create a leak detector that combines sensitivity, speed, battery life, portability, and ease of use.”

Ready to find out more?

Here’s the scoop on the Robinair 22791:

• Advanced infrared sensor designed to last a minimum of 10 years
• Three sensitivity levels down to 0.15 oz./year
• Automatically recalibrates in highly contaminated areas to help pinpoint the exact location of the leak
• Won’t trigger on oil or moisture
• Senses CFC, HFC and HCFC blend refrigerants
• 8-hour lithium Ion battery lasts all day long and beyond
• Visual alert and peak button make it easy to find leaks in noisy environments
• Audible alert with mute button
• Magnetic hanger to easily hang the unit during leak repair
• Durable carrying case lets you easily store leak detector and accessories
• Meets NEW SAE J2791 leak detection standard
• Certified to comply with the new SAE industry standard for use with R1234YF refrigerant

This leak detector is priced right and is currently available.

Want to review this product?  Send us an email with your testimony and it could be featured here and on our Facebook page!

The 3 Essential Power Tools to Flawlessly Paint Your Car

By: Paul Kearney

To be completely honest, even the hardest working do-it-yourself-er cannot do a perfect paint job. But don’t feel bad about it, because there are even some specialty workshops that cannot do that. The great thing though, if you would see it, is that you do not have to get a paint job as perfect as the one a factory or one of those car shows on TV would. Just a few gallons of paint, and a lot of hard work, can get a car so close to perfection that no one would be able to tell the difference if you were cruising by. In fact, you can get it so close that even on close scrutiny, as long as the lighting conditions were not perfect, say on a cloudy day or late in the afternoon, most people could not tell the difference.

The secret of an excellent homemade paint job is in the quality and time you take to get the car and the painting environment ready. For one, you will need a shed or a garage of some sort that you can empty out completely and get it so clean that you could have an operation in there and not worry about infection. Next you need to get the car ready and here are the tools you will need to do that.

pic1

A Drill or a Rotary Tool

There is just one thing that ruins an existing paint job to the point where you will need to repaint the car, and that is rust. If your car is completely rust free and the paint is just faded you may want to consider simply giving the car a good polish. However, if you are dealing with rust you need to make sure that you can get rid of it all before moving on to a paint job or else you will see that rust coming back in less than 6 months; and that is if you are lucky. So you will need to use a rotary tool or a drill equipped with a wire brush and just clean up as much of the rust as you can. After that you will need to use some chemical cocktail that you can get at your local paint store, to eradicate that rust. Next you will want to use some filler to smooth out the rusted area, and then you will need to move on to the next tool.

pic2

An Oscillating Tool or an Orbital Sander

If you want to get a near perfect paint job, you will end up spending so much time with an oscillating tool in your hand that you will grow to feel naked without one. First, you will need to use the oscillating tool or the orbital sander to clean away the excess filler that you have used on the previous stage. Next you will need to use it to give the entire car a good key and you can do that by using 800 grit wet and dry sand paper. After that you will want to paint some sort of primer on the entire car, and give that a good once over with your sander tool of choice. And then, depending on how good you want to get your car to look, you will cover the car with anywhere between 2 and 5 coats of paint. After each layer, you will want to let it dry, sand it down, and add the next layer, and then sand it down, a new layer of paint, sander, and so on. Eventually, you may even want to put on a layer of clear coat, but, if you have done your job right with all that sanding, and seeing how clear coat has its own extra challenges, you may want to skip over that. And that leads us to the other important tool you have been using so far.

pic3

An Air Compressor and a Paint Gun

If you are to have any chance of actually coming close to a flawless paint job, you will need a good quality paint gun, and, since those only work with air compressors, you will need to get one of those too. You cannot really count on one of those electric spray guns because they do not have the ability to spray a thin enough layer of paint – perhaps this is where we should tell you that the paint needs to come out more like a mist than an actual layer of paint. Also, if you are planning to use paint from a spray can, you might as well just forget about every other step in the preparation process and just go for it because the end result will only be good enough for the scrap yard.

 

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

By: Cheri Shue

So, it’s time to buy yourself (or your spouse) a new car, but are you choosing the right time to buy that new car?  Here are some tricks/tips that will help you decide when to take the plunge and buy that car!

The Best time of Year?
Best Time of Year

  • Spring/Summer – Demand goes down on SUV’s and all-wheel drive vehicles during the summer because people aren’t purchasing them for extreme weather conditions and gas prices have typically increased.
  • Winter – Prices will be much cheaper for convertibles and sports cars during the winter months, especially on used vehicles.
  • Autumn- During the months of September and October dealers want to get rid of their prior year models to make room for the new ones. September and October is generally when you will see the “End of Model Year” Sales Events for many different dealers.

Happy Holidays

During the holidays dealerships are empty and budgets are tight. Dealers are eager to get rid of the prior year’s inventory and are trying to get sales to earn their year-end bonuses. Christmas and New Years are good days to find some awesome discounts!

Best time of Month?
Best Time of Month?

Since most people believe it is smart to go to the dealerships at the end of the month, salesmen are swamped with buyers. If you go the first couple days of the month the dealerships are dead and salesmen are waiting around for sales and willing to make a deal.

With that said, the last couple days of the month can also be good days to go. Salesman are trying to reach their targets for the month to get bonuses.  Just remember that there are a ton of other people who think like you so you may have to wait to find a salesman free.

Hot Tip: The last week of December is the best time to go. People are low on funds, busy with holidays, it’s the end of the month, AND the end of the year!

Best Time of Week and Day?
Best Time of Week & Day

The beginning of the week is the best time to go to dealerships because salesmen are flooded with customers on the weekends. The best time to go is early in the morning; you will have a fresh start with your salesman and most people are at work leaving you with undivided attention.

Information provided by findthebestcarprice.com

Don’t Forget!  To receive our weekly National Tool Warehouse updates and specials…click below to sign up!
email signup

 

 

Why Distracted Driving is Dangerous

By: Cheri Shue

Distracted driving is anything that may take your attention away from the road. Eating, drinking, talking to a passenger, texting, changing the radio station or using a navigation system are just a few examples.

signs


 

justthefacts

  • In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involv­ing distracted drivers. This represents a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of fatalities recorded in 2012. Unfortunately, approximately 424,000 people were injured, which is an increase from the 421,000 people who were injured in 2012.
  • As of December 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month.
  • 10% of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
  • Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
  • A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

remember

handsonwheel

Keep your hands on the wheel…

eyesonroad

Your eyes on the road…

And focus on driving!

And focus on driving!

 

Stay Safe!

 

Facts from http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html

The Deluxe Aluminum Kit

Part 3 of the “Pre-Packed Kits” Series!
By: Cheri Shue

Take your shop to the next level with this deluxe aluminum kit. If your shop plans on doing aluminum repair on all vehicle makes and models then this is the kit for you! Every tool you are sure to use on aluminum intense vehicles is sure to be in this kit. Unlike the other two kits, this one is an expansion of the already Ford Approved Dent-Fix Aluspot Repair Station. You will get a total of 22 hand tools and the station, which has a 3rd row drawer for storage. Shops considering an Aluspot or equivalent work station can save a step in preparation by getting this!

PPK-AL-KIT-3

The deluxe aluminum kit includes:

DTF-DF-900DX – Aluspot Aluminum Repair Station(1)
• DTF-DF-LP21 – 3Pc Anchor Bite Locking Pliers(2)
• AHN-63916 – 1/4” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63920 – 5/16” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63924 – 3/8” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• ANG-GR11205BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 5”(2)
• ANG-GR11210BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 10”(2)
• DYN-21039 – 6” 3/16” Orbit Vacuum Da(1)
DYN-18100P – 3/4” File Belt Sander W/30 Belts(1)
• FOW-72-483-003 – Deburring Tool(1)
• MAR-39058 – 3/32-1/4” Blind Rivet Gun(1)
• NOR-98023 – 80 Grit 3/4” Blaze File Belt(50)
• STK-20015 – Straight Hand Seam Splitter(1)
STK-21892 – Aluminum Skin Zipper(1)
• STK-21896 – Aluminum Skin Zipper 2(1)

That wraps up the series on the pre-packed aluminum kits we have to offer. Buying the kit that works best for your shop can save you time and money. So, check em’ out!

The OEM Aluminum Kit

Part 2 of the “Pre-Packed Kits” Series!
By: Cheri Shue

The OEM aluminum kit is highly recommended for shops that mainly handle ford vehicles.

PPK-AL-KIT-2

This kit is identical to the one Ford requires for aluminum certification. Although it is currently only required by Ford, this kit could bring any shop closer to their aluminum certification in other OEM programs. This kit has a wide range of hand and powers tool all packed in their own tool cart to avoid cross contamination.

Remember, last week we brought you the Basic Aluminum Kit. Be sure to check it out and see which kit works best for you!

The parts included in the OEM Aluminum Kit are:

SUU-8057 – 6 Drawer Tool Cart(1)
• ACL-14495 – Solid Rivet Kit: Air Rivet Gun, Bucking Bar, Flush Set, Cleco Set & Pliers(1)
• AHN-63916 – 1/4” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63920 – 5/16” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63924 – 3/8” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• ANG-GR92207BK – J-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR91507BK – LI-type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR92507BK – LI-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR91207BK – L-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR92807BK – W-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR14512BK – Aluminum Jaw Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR22406BK – C Clamp Short(2)
• ANG-GR13420BK – C Clamp Long(2)
• ANG-GR14412BK – C Clamp Aluminum(2)
• ANG-GR11205BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 5”(2)
• ANG-GR11210BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 10”(2)
DTF-DF-AH714 – 3Pc Aluminum Hammer Set(1)
• DTF-DF-AB711 – 7Pc Rubberized Dolly Set(1)
• DYN-18100P – 3/4” File Belt Sander W/30 Belts(1)
• GEN-21 – Metal Thickness Gauge(1)
FOW-72-483-003 – Deburring Tool(1)
• KEY-77348 – Body File Holder(1)
• KEY-77347 – Round Body File(1)
• KEY-77472 – Flat Body File(1)
• MAR-39058 – 3/32-1/4” Blind Rivet Gun(1)
MSC-52224A – Infrared Temp Gun(1)
• MTA-PH1400 – Heat Gun (425*)(1)
• NOR-98023 – 80 Grit 3/4” Blaze File Belt(50)
• STK-20015 – Hand Seam Splitter(1)
STK-21892 – Aluminum Skin Zipper(1)
• STK-21896 – Aluminum Skin Zipper2(1)
• VSG-2073111 – Tin Snips Lh(1)
VSG-2073112 – Tin Snips Rh(1)

We will finish up next week with the Deluxe Aluminum Kit. So stay tuned!

Introducing Pre-Packed Kits

Taking the guesswork out of buying tools!
By: Cheri Shue

Search no longer! National Tool Warehouse is now offering pre-packed aluminum kits that have most everything you will need to properly repair aluminum intense vehicles. There are 3 kits currently available; starting off with the basic kit and going up to the deluxe kit for the pros. In my next few blogs I will be highlighting each kit with more details. Stay tuned and see which one best fits your needs!

PPK-AL-KIT-1

The Basic Aluminum Kit

PPK-AL-KIT-2

The OEM Aluminum Kit

 

The Deluxe Aluminum Kit

The Deluxe Aluminum Kit

Coming up Next: The details on the Basic Aluminum Kit PPKAL-KIT-1!

Windshield Wipers – Did You Know?

Changing Your Windshield Wipers
By: J. Dillinger

Windshield wipers don’t last forever, but they are a necessary safety feature on any car. How can you tell if you need new wipers? Here are some signs:

–          Streaking water
–          Squeaky
–          Leave a milky film

You can try wiping the dirt and hard rubber off with a wet rag, which can lengthen the life of blades before buying new ones.

How often you change your blades depends on the conditions of where you live, here is some general information about when to change your blades.

Do you live in a Sunny, Hot Climate?

–          Check your blades every 6 months and replace at least once a year.

(Did you know that even if you’re not using them that the sun can damage the rubber on the blades?)

Do you live in a Cold Climate?

–          Check your blades every 6 months and replace at least once a year.

(The salt and grit that is used in cold climates will wear out your blades faster.)

Is it Dusty or Sandy in your area?

–          Check your blades every couple of months and replace every 6 months.

(The sand and grit can accumulate around your wiper blades and make them wear faster.)

To Change Your Blades

First, make sure that you know the exact model of your vehicle (ex. Year, Make, Model). Don’t just buy the cheapest or the most expensive. It’s a good idea to replace both at the same time, if one has went bad it won’t be long before the other one goes as well.

Pull the Entire wiper assembly up.
1

Turn the blade so that the hinge is visible.2

Pull the tab out (You’ll hear a snap).3

Pull the blade down towards the vehicle, that will separate the blade and arm.4

Take the new wiper and insert the arm though the appropriate hole.5

Line the hook over the hinge and push them together, you’ll hear a click when it is snapped in.6

 

Once you have finished this step lower it back down to the windshield and repeat on the next one.

Remember, windshield wipers are a necessary evil and you don’t want to get caught in a rain storm with sub-par wipers. The easiest way to remember when to check your wipers is to set an alarm on your phone or mark the next wiper-check date on your calendar at home/work.

 

Sources: www.wikihow.com, www.instructables.com and www.allstate.com

 

What is a Feeler Gauge?

What is a Feeler Gauge?
By: J. Dillinger

I have seen a few of these around but never knew the purpose of them. Let’s break down what a feeler gauge is.

Feeler gauges are used to measure the gaps in widths between 2 objects. Feeler gauges are made of different thicknesses and lengths. There are two types of units that the feeler gauge uses to measure, the imperial (thousandths of an inch) and metric (millimeter). Feeler gauges are made out of either blades or wire. The wire feeler gauges are used to measure spark plugs.

The most common Feeler gauges are made from high-quality carbon steel and have a very smooth finish. Blade Feeler gauges can also come in an assortment of stainless steel, brass and plastic. However, metal feeler gauges are easier to maintain and have a better wear resistance.

To use a feeler gauge make sure you examine them before each use. Do this by spreading them out making sure they rust-free, but slightly oiled for easy movement. Select one of the smaller blades or wires and try inserting it into the space. If it slips out easy choose the next side up. When both sides of the gauge touch the gap and it moves with gentle pressure, then you’ve found the correct feeler gauge for that gap.

Blade Feeler Gauge

A blade feeler gauge can also be called a flat feeler gauge. A set generally comes in a holder and contains a series of blades with different thicknesses that are stamped for easy identification. A blade feeler gauge is generally flexible and can be used to reach hard places.

Blade Feeler Gauge Example (KDT161)

Blade Feeler Gauge Example (KDT161)

Wire Feeler Gauge

The wire feeler gauge is a series of round wires with different thicknesses in a holder usually bent into a U shape and are less flexible than the Blade Feeler Gauge. These wire feeler gauges are more frequently used in the automotive industry.

Wire Feeler Gauge Example (KDT2327)

Wire Feeler Gauge Example (KDT2327)

In case you need a combo unit, there are a few manufacturers that make blade/wire feeler gauge sets. Sometimes having one tool is better than having to keep track of two!

Combo Feeler Gauge Example (KDT164)

Combo Feeler Gauge Example (KDT164)

To see the entire feeler gauge category, click HERE!

Don’t forget…sign up for our email blasts and be the first to get coupons and specials, right to your inbox!
email signup

Sources: Wikipedia, Cdxtextbook.com, Wisegeek.com