Which welding equipment is suitable for car repairs?
You are one of those hobby craftsmen who are not afraid to repair their car by themselves to a certain extent? Congratulations, your workshop or garage is certainly well equipped with tools. But one thing you might still be missing – a welding machine for repairing your car!
But which welding method is the right one for the predominantly thin body parts? And last but not least, what kind of welding equipment is suitable for you if you are relatively inexperienced in welding work?
The second question is: With “learning by doing” you can learn almost everything – even welding! And we will be happy to answer the first question with our little guide.
Here you will find the right welding equipment to weld parts on your car
To what extent a welding machine is reliable and of stable value depends on the quality of the components, the power capacity and the variable adjustment possibilities, but whether the welding machine is suitable for your purposes is primarily determined by the type of welding process.
When welding car parts to the bodywork, frame, exhaust system etc., three types of welding are possible:
1. the gas-shielded welding machine – by far the best choice
Not only experienced recreational craftsmen, but also specialist car workshops rely on gas-shielded welding machines and their flawless results in car repairs. The process known as MAG or MIG welding is the simplest and most advantageous method, especially when it comes to processing thin sheets.
Another advantage is that there is no slag that you have to tap off after welding. This saves time and protects the body parts of your car. Because gas-shielded welding is one of the arc welding processes.
Here, the arc generates the heat to melt the filler metal, in this case the wire electrode, which can consist of various metals. The inert (MIG) or active gas (MAG) used in the welding process forms the protective atmosphere for the resulting weld pool and the arc.
You have not yet been able to acquire expert knowledge about welding? Then a gas-shielded welding machine is just the right thing for you. With it you can hardly do so much wrong that it will have serious consequences for your car parts 😉
The handling of the gas-shielded welding device is uncomplicated and after a few “welding tests” you will produce high-quality welds with the correctly selected setting options.
A suitable shielding gas welding device is, for example, the BT-GW 150 shielding gas welding device from Einhell.
The welding unit BT-GW 150 can be used in the MAG process (metal active gas) for different materials and thicknesses. It is offered including pressure reducer for shielding gas cylinders and a welding shield.
2. the TIG welding machine – for professionals and those who want to become professionals
Tungsten inert gas welding is also part of inert gas welding. TIG welding machines are particularly popular with welding experts for two reasons. One is the low material distortion. On the other hand, the clean and narrow welding seams, which are even possible for fine work on very thin sheets.
The arc that melts the raw material is generated by a current-carrying tungsten electrode under inert protective gas. The electrode does not melt, but you will have to grind it frequently.
The TIG welding process without welding filler material is particularly useful when processing automotive parts. You can easily monitor the application of the weld seam and the result is an even flatter seam.
If you work with a filler metal, you add it manually in the form of a rod or wire. Depending on the weld joint, it is melted off continuously or drop by drop before the molten pool in the arc, which requires practice and sensitivity.
But one thing is inevitable for both variants. The areas to be welded must first be thoroughly cleaned of paint residues, rust, oil and dirt.
TIG welding is not as easy as the MAG/MIG process. But if you accept the challenge, after a few hours of practice – please don’t use your car 😉 – you will be rewarded with first-class welds on thin or thicker car parts.
For TIG welding we recommend the TIG/TIG inverter welding machine 180A – BWIG180 from Berlan.
With the TIG/TIG inverter welding machine 180A you can weld both electrode and TIG inert gas welding. To do this, you connect a shielding gas bottle (argon, CO2) to the TIG connection via the supplied hoses. In addition to the gas cylinder you need a pressure reducer (manometer).
Although the purchase price of the inverter welding machine suggests an entry-level model, it can compete in every respect with a professional machine.
Since the BWIG180 from Berlan is an air-cooled welding machine, you should pay special attention to the hose package. If it heats up during the welding work, give the machine a short break.
Note on gas-shielded welding equipment: All gas-shielded welding methods can only be used in closed halls, workshops and garages. The shielding gas would be discharged from the welding point in a draught or when working outdoors even in light wind. The result would be an interrupted welding process or a defective weld.
3. the cored wire welding device – flexible welding without gas
Flux cored wire welding machines are the inexpensive alternative solution to gas-shielded welding. You need neither a gas cylinder nor a pressure gauge. The welding device is generally operated via a 230 V connection. Therefore it is not susceptible to draughts and wind and you can weld in front of your workshop or garage.
In contrast to MIG/MAG welding, the flux-cored wire electrode is not solid, but consists of a sheet metal-clad powder core. During the welding process, the powder is converted into shielding gas and stabilizes the arc. A slag layer additionally protects the surface of the weld seam during the cooling phase from oxidation by oxygen etc.
A flux cored wire welding machine also works with a very fine spray arc, which hardly causes any material distortion, even with more extensive welding work on thin car sheet metal.
Disadvantages of cored wire welding compared to MAG, MIG and TIG welding:
- The welding current cannot be adjusted to the material in such a differentiated way, which without sufficient welding experience can lead to the burning in of holes or an inferior welding seam.if the welding results are sufficiently positive, the seam quality is nevertheless somewhat inferior.the flux-cored wire produces considerably more welding spatter than a solid wire electrode.the previously protective slag layer must be knocked off with a slag hammer.due to the toxic fumes, breathing protection or suction is required.
The cored wire welding machine of our choice is the cored wire welding machine BT-FW 100 from Einhell.
Even though the cored wire welding machine is not a professional machine, it fulfils all the requirements for welding thin and thicker sheets and steel parts, is easy to operate and therefore not a bad buy for welding beginners, especially as the price-performance ratio is right.
The question at the end:
Is an E-Hand electrode welding machine suitable for car repairs?
Electrode welding machines, in which the electrode is guided by hand, are relatively inexpensive and less susceptible to paint residues, rust, oil or dirt on the workpiece.
However, the welding equipment is only of limited use for repairs to the car. Because its use starts at a sheet thickness of approx. 2 mm, which makes welding work on the body sheet impossible. An electric hand electrode welding machine in the automotive sector can only be used for frame welding work on carrier parts.
If you still think an electrode welder is the right choice, you should take a closer look at the Armateh Compact Electrode Welder AT-9302.