When your power steering business is built around electronic power steering, it's going to look and run a lot differently than a traditional hydraulic shop. One of the biggest changes you'll need to make during the transition process is making sure you have all the right tools and equipment on hand to ensure you can handle modern EPS service. In addition to investing in a diagnostic scan tool and the high quality rebuild parts you need to do a successful EPS repair, you may also run into situations where you need a more specialized or even custom tool to get the job done.
Because EPS equipment and tools are sometimes limited and difficult to track down in the aftermarket, you might need some help figuring out where to find tooling solutions that can help you tackle EPS repairs and rebuilds. In this post, we'll explain some of your best options for sourcing specialized EPS tools to make your job easier as well as discuss what types of EPS shops will need to consider these unique tooling options.
Best Sources for Finding EPS Tools
- Manufacture in-house: Perhaps your most direct option for sourcing specialized EPS tools is to actually make and manufacture a custom tool in-house. Because one of the main reasons you'd need a specialized tool is due to a unique, sometimes even one-off rebuilding challenge with a particular steering unit/application, creating your own tooling solution may be the quickest and most cost-effective ways to solve the problem, if you have the right resources and knowledge in-shop. For example, your techs might find it simple to lathe and machine a custom spanner nut tool to get your EPS service back on tack quickly.
- Fabrication shop: On the other hand, if you don't have the capabilities in-house to machine your own specialty repair or installation tools, or you run into a tooling issue that you cannot solve on your own, you have the option to reach out to a fabrication shop to have a custom tool machined for you. A fab shop would likely be able to help you design something like a torque sensor remover. This may be an especially fitting option if you're working on a more common steering system because you're more likely to get more value out of a tool you'll use multiple times and for multiple different repairs.
It's important to note that it is extremely unlikely that the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the EPS system will offer any special tools you may need to rebuild their units. Specifically, the OEMs want the consumer to replace a faulty EPS system rather than service EPS or steering in general. Therefore, without the tooling support from the manufacturer of the unit, your shop will either be required to design your own tools or turn to aftermarket providers for tooling and equipment solutions.
Knowing What EPS Tools You'll Need
While you have a few options available to you for any EPS tooling issues that you might run into, the type of equipment you need will ultimately depend on the type of EPS service you provide. While each shop is different and will serve different needs, the level of your service should be taken into consideration. If you're simply focused on EPS installation, it's unlikely that you'll come across much need for specialized tools. However, if your shop is planning to go farther with EPS and get into repair and rebuilding, that's when these tool solutions will come into play. In that case, it'll be up to you and your technicians to weigh your tooling options and choose which solution will work best for your business.