Portable infrared thermometers like the three new MiniTemp models from Raytek are useful for troubleshooting and diagnostics. Quick non-contact temperature
measurements make it easy for technicians to spot cooling system faults, for example. Better yet, drivers can use a MiniTemp to check tire and brake temperatures just by pointing the thermometer at the component in question. All tires running the same pressure on a set of axles should be about the same
temperature, for instance. If one (or more) differs by 20 degrees or more, it could
be running low, in which case a tire-pressure gauge should be used for a closer look.

One quick shot at a brake drum will reveal a brake that’s running hotter or cooler than the others, which should be examined more closely by a mechanic. Similarly with wheel hubs. They’re warm under normal conditions, but when one or more hubs runs hotter than the others, it could be a sign of lubricant starvation or some other (impending) failure that needs to be checked.

The new MiniTemp MT6 features a single-dot laser sighting system and the large
temperature display provides current and maximum readings together while scanning, in a handheld tool with a protective boot for added durability. MiniTemp
MT2 and MT4 models have narrower temperature ranges but do the same job and are small enough to fit in a pocket. The MT4 also includes single dot laser sighting to assist with aiming. Just point the laser dot at the surface of the item you’re checking, and the LCD readout shows the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Prices range from US$79 to US$99.

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