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How to Fix a Torque Wrench?

How to Fix a Torque Wrench?

A torque wrench is one of the most important tools in any DIY mechanic’s arsenal. It measures how tight you are applying a nut, bolt, or screw to ensure proper assembly and disassembly of parts without damaging them by over-torquing. A damaged torque wrench can be difficult to fix so here’s the guide on fixing yours!

Torque wrench experts will walk you through some common issues that may arise when using your tool as well as what steps should be taken before attempting repairs yourself – if at all possible please contact an authorized service center first.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be back to using your torque wrench in no time!

Is It Time to Replace Your Torque Wrench or Can It Be Repaired?

Torque wrenches are essential tools in a variety of industries, and workers rely on their wrenches to assure both safety and quality. Maintaining your wrench is important, as is maintaining calibration on a regular basis. Accidents can still happen even with good maintenance. Tools will deteriorate over time and may need repair [1].

Occasionally, the damage is so extensive that a repair is no longer an option. If the price of repair is greater than half the cost of replacement, it’s usually preferable to replace the equipment. The idea behind this thinking is that aging equipment has a higher chance of needing future repairs. If that’s true, repairing it would end up costing more than replacing it.

Is It Time to Replace Your Torque Wrench or Can It Be Repaired?

There are a few things to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to replace your torque wrench: how much the repair will cost, how often the wrench is used, and its age. If it’s an older tool that isn’t used as frequently, replacement may be more costly in the long run. However, if it’s a newer tool that’s seeing frequent use, it might be better to just bite the bullet and replace it altogether.

Common Issues with Torque Wrenches and Solutions:

1) Broken Drive Head

This is the most common issue with torque wrenches. The drive head is the part that attaches to the tool and drives or loosens the fastener. When this piece breaks, it can be difficult or impossible to fix your wrench. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare drive head, you can replace it yourself fairly easily. If not, you’ll need to take your wrench to an authorized service center for repair.

Solution: Have a spare drive head on hand in case of breakage. If you don’t have a spare drive head, take your torque wrench to an authorized service center for repair as soon as possible.

2) Torque Reading Issues

If your torque wrench is not reading correctly when you’re applying torque, it’s very important to stop using the tool and take it in for a calibration check. If you continue using the wrench without properly calibrating it first, you risk damaging parts or even causing injury due to over-tightening fasteners.

Solution: Stop using your tool immediately and contact an authorized service center for repair as soon as possible.

Torque Reading Issues

3) Water Problems

Because torque wrenches aren’t waterproof and there are many parts within that might break down if they come into touch with water, it’s critical to store torque wrenches dry.

However, sometimes things go wrong and if your torque wrench has been dropped in water or has come into touch in any way, there is a fast technique to get it back to normal.

The primary issue that happens as the water enters a torque wrench and comes into contact with the calibrator and ratcheting components is that these parts lose some degree of friction and undergo some changes in torque spring stability.

Solution: You may wipe the water out of the wrench using a clean, dry towel. You don’t have to open it; instead, you can use an air blower or a needle-shaped tool to wrap the cloth and clean the wrench’s insides.

4) Click Missing

If your torque wrench isn’t clicking when you’ve reached the desired torque, it’s time for a calibration check. Without this audible signal, you can’t be sure that you’re applying the correct amount of torque.

Solution: Contact an authorized service center for repair as soon as possible.

5) Wrong Application

If you’re using your torque wrench for a job it wasn’t designed for, you run the risk of damaging the tool. For example, trying to use a torque wrench to turn a bolt that’s too big can strip the threads or damage the drive head.

Solution: Only use your torque wrench for jobs it was meant to do. If you’re not sure if a job is within its capabilities, contact an authorized service center for more information.

6) Damage to Threads

If you’re not careful, the torque wrench can damage the threads on a bolt. This is particularly true if you’re using the tool to loosen a bolt that’s already been tightened down.

Damage to Threads

Solution: Be careful not to apply too much torque, particularly when loosening bolts.

7) Improper Handling

Another concern raised about the damaged torque wrench is mishandling. The typical issue triggered by misuse of the torque wrench tool is that it isn’t cleaned after usage. After use, it is necessary to clean the torque wrench tool regularly because dirt from the previous use may also wear off the device. Technicians frequently pull on the hose while operating to adjust or lift the tool. This can harm rotating column seals [2].

Solution: Because of safety concerns, it is suggested that the handle be utilized for convenience and to prevent the operator’s fingers from the reaction points. It’s critical to keep track of which tool belongs to whom and where it should be stored or retrieved.

8) Wrong Size of Torque Wrench

The torque wrench size is essential to achieve the correct amount of torque in a placement. A wrong-sized wrench can result in improper use and damage to fasteners, while also damaging or even breaking the tool.

Solution: It is important that you understand what type of work you are doing and how much force it will take before buying a torque wrench, as this helps determine which one is ideal for your needs.

9) Incorrect Positioning of Reaction Arm

A reaction arm that self-locks at adjacent points is required in order to apply torque with a torque wrench or ratchet wrench utilizing Newton’s 3rd Law. As a result, a regular torque wrench aligns itself with achieving parallel placement of the reaction axis and the action axis on the same surface when employing this method.

Solution: The torque wrench should be put on a flat and horizontal surface with the reaction arm perpendicular to the object. If there are no other items that can be used, it is recommended that you use a box or some thick paperboard as a block.

Incorrect Positioning of Reaction Arm

10) Directional Switch is Broken

If your torque wrench is equipped with a directional switch, and it isn’t working properly, you won’t be able to tighten or loosen bolts in the correct direction.

Solution: Take your torque wrench to an authorized service center for repair as soon as possible.

11) Not Enough Force

Even if you’re using the right size of a torque wrench for the job, you may not be applying enough force to get the job done correctly. This can lead to damage to both the tool and the bolt is tightened down.

Solution: Make sure you’re putting your full weight into turning the wrench when tightening bolts. You may also need to use a cheater bar—a piece of metal pipe that helps give you more leverage.

12) Free Spinning

If you’re using a click-type torque wrench, the drive head shouldn’t spin freely. If it does, there’s likely an issue with the mechanism that needs to be repaired or replaced. When a torque wrench’s bottom handle is spinning freely, experts are sometimes able to repair it by replacing the ball bearings. In other situations, when the trench at the barrel’s base has been damaged, the wrench is not repairable.

The bottom handle may spin freely for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent reason for this problem is that the wrench has been subjected to an impact.

For example, after a torque wrench has been dropped or used as a hammer, the handle might start to spin freely [3].

Solution: In order to evaluate the condition of your torque wrench, send it to a qualified repair center.

13) Not Accurate Enough

Your torque wrench may be working properly but may not be accurate enough for the job you’re doing. The more uses a tool has, the less effective and accurate it will become over time, so always check its accuracy before using it on something important like an engine bolt or another part that can’t be removed without damaging what’s around it.

Solution: If your torque wrench is out of calibration by just a little bit—say within 20 percent—you can make small adjustments based on how much you think is wrong with each use until you get them dialed incorrectly again. However, if your readings are more than 20 percent off, it’s time to have your wrench recalibrated.

14) Bent Barrel

A torque wrench can become damaged from excessive use over time, causing the barrel to bend. The amount of force it takes for a bent barrel is different than what you want when tightening or loosening bolts with your tool, so it’s important to know if this has happened before using on any important project that requires an exact amount of torque.

Solution: If your torque wrench’s barrel is bent or cracked, you’ll need a new one.

Bent Barrel

15) Rust

If your torque wrench is not properly cared for, it can develop rust. This can cause the piston to stick in place or other problems that prevent you from using your tool as intended.

Solution: Take all parts of your torque wrench apart and clean with a wire brush, then lubricate all moving parts and reassemble the unit before storing it in an area where moisture cannot get into any crevice or joint on the device itself.

16) Sticky Mechanism

The mechanism could be sticky if you don’t use WD-40 or another aerosol lubricant to spray down moving parts on occasion, especially after being exposed to dirt/debris when working outdoors during rainstorms, etc. If left unchecked, a sticky mechanism can cause the wrench to slip and not give you an accurate reading.

Solution: Wipe down all parts of your torque wrench with WD-40 or another aerosol lubricant every so often (monthly is ideal) in order to keep it free from debris and working properly.

How to Calibrate a Torque Wrench?

The popular calibration method, called the free-spin method, only requires that you have access to another torque wrench of the same size or smaller.

This is the most common way to calibrate a torque wrench and can be done in three easy steps:

  • Set both wrenches on a flat surface such as a table;
  • Unscrew the grip (or handle) on the damaged wrench until it’s completely free of the ratchet mechanism;
  • Screw the grip back onto the ratchet mechanism of the other wrench using your hand only—do not use any tools! Once it’s tight, loosen it again by hand and then reattach it to the damaged torque wrench using both hands;

After calibrating your torque wrench with either one of these methods you’ll have accurate readings again!


1. How do you dismantle a torque wrench?

You will need to remove the handle (or grip) from your torque wrench in order to dismantle it.

Do this by unscrewing clockwise until all parts of your tool come apart easily, then set them aside for cleaning and reassembly later on after inspecting each piece individually for defects or wear/tear that may require repair work before use again.

Then carefully disassemble other small components like springs and pins which hold everything together inside so they can be cleaned separately as well before being put back into place using tweezers or needle-nose pliers if necessary. Make sure not to lose any parts when doing this step!

2. Can a torque wrench be damaged?

Yes, torque wrenches can be damaged by overuse and poor maintenance. If you don’t properly maintain your tool then it won’t work to its full potential when needed most – in an emergency situation where every second counts [4]!

If using a torque wrench for heavy-duty jobs like tightening lug nuts on cars or trucks with large tires might cause damage if they are not calibrated correctly before each use. This means that even though they may seem fine at first glance there could still be problems lurking beneath the surface which could lead to disaster down the road.

So always check your tools regularly so nothing goes wrong during those high-stress times of life.

3. How do you lubricate a torque wrench?

Lubricate your torque wrench by applying lubricant to any moving parts that may meet one another during use. This will help prevent rust and corrosion over time which can cause problems down the road if left unchecked.

It’s also a good idea for maintaining accuracy so you don’t have any issues when tightening nuts or bolts in the future.

4. Do torque wrenches wear out?

Yes, torque wrenches can wear out over time if they’re not properly taken care of. This is why it’s important to lubricate your wrench regularly and also inspect it for any damage that may have occurred during use. If something doesn’t look right then take the time to dismantle your tool and fix the issue before using it again – this could save you from a lot of headaches down the road!

5. Can you over-tighten with a torque wrench?

Over-tightening is prevented, but not eliminated, by a torque wrench! When the required torque has been reached, the wrench’s torque control system will be switched on, and the operator will hear a clear click sound [5].

6. How often should a torque wrench be calibrated?

In a nutshell, it’s customary to calibrate your torque wrench at 5,000 cycles or 12 months whichever comes first [6].

Useful Video: Fix Your Torque Wrench For Under $2


  1. https://www.michelli.com/torque_wrench_repair_vs-_replacement
  2. https://carlawn.com/fix-a-torque-wrench/
  3. https://www.michelli.com/torque_wrench_repair_vs-_replacement/
  4. https://blog.mountztorque.com/torque-wrench/my-torque-wrench-is-broken-what-do-i-do
  5. https://www.cp.com/en/tools/expert-corner/blog/7-things-you-should-know-about-torque-wrenches
  6. https://calibrationselect.co.uk/torque/how-often-calibrate-torque-wrench