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Technicians vs. DIYers: How well can you gauge tire pressure? (VIDEO)

Description After seating the bead on a new tire, the valve core needs to be installed and the tire inflated to the correct pressure. Some techs can air up a tire, install the core and land right on the target final pressure… but it’s not as easy as it looks. In this...

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So you want to restore a classic or build a kit car? Think twice.

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The TPMS tool that pays for itself

by | May 9, 2024

If you’re a regular Shop Press reader, you’ve met Chris before. (He’s hilariously identified some dash lights and also is better at identifying auto parts by feel than anyone else I know.) I’ve worked here for a while, but his tenure bests mine. The other day we were chatting and he introduced me to a Dorman tool that I didn’t even know we made. And I think it’s a home run for any shop that does an appreciable amount of tire work: a valve core driver, our 974-500.

I’m sure you’re unimpressed because every tire shop on the planet has a pile of valve core tools. However, the 974-500 has a neat party trick: it’s got a preset torque limiter built in. At 3.9 pounds, it clicks just like your torque wrench. I tested it. It’s right on the money.

Core tool on a tire

This is a no-brainer to me. Toss one or two on the tire machine. They only cost a few bucks each, and if you break one, buy another. If it saves literally just one TPMS valve stem from premature (read: shop-funded!) replacement, it paid for itself.

I also intend to kiss one of these with an endmill and see if I can’t make a nice low-torque flathead screwdriver for myself. In any event, it’s a helpful little tool and even though I have worked here for a few years, I didn’t know we offered it. My bet is that you didn’t either.

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