Technicians’ Top 5 Favorite Tools & Equipment – UnderhoodService

Technicians’ Top 5 Favorite Tools & Equipment

Ken Peavy, owner
Peavy’s Garage
Katy, TX

Peavy’s Garage is a family-owned and operated shop, AAA approved since 1970. We also have Peavy’s Tire & Automotive in Houston. About five years ago, we discovered BG products and equipment, which increased our business by 30% and profits greatly. General service techs operate the equipment, which lowers expenses and increases profits. Preventive maintenance is the name of the game now. The tools listed below provide added value to our customers and generate additional revenue for our shop.

BG PF5 Transmission Flush Machine — We average 29 a month as a five-day-a-week shop.

BG PF 9 Brake Fluid Flush Machine — We average 45 flushes a month.

BG CT2 Coolant Flush Machine — This is a great product. We average 27 a month.

BG 936 Power Steering Fluid Flush Machine — This is an older model, but we still complete about 16 power steering fluid flushes a month. We plan to upgrade in the near future.

BG 938 Differential Flush Machine — This machine is effective and simple to use, allowing us to offer added value to our customers. We average about 16 a month.

These products have been a blessing to our business by providing great add-on value for ticket sales. And the best thing is that each one of these tools helps to prolong the life of our customers’ vehicles.


William (Bill) Jones Jr.
Jones Service
Franklin, PA


Office chair — Although not used much for mechanical purposes, it has been used numerous times as a mental tool for thinking out those “hard decisions,” and a few unmentionable times it was used as a shot put, wrecking ball and theft deterrent substitute.

ALLDATA — Great source for diagnostic, locations and torque specs.

Snap-on Scan Tool

Acetylene Torches for cutting, bending and anger management.

Stanley Hammer — Definite anger management!

Hope you like a little bit of honest humor.

— The Jones Service Crew


Matthew Calvert Sr., owner
Calvert Diagnostics
Annandale, VA


Snap-on SOLUS Scanner — A must for diagnostics and troubleshooting in this day and age.

Electronic Specialties EST-65 Infrared Thermometer — We use this tool to measure temperature for A/C work and engine-related diagnostics.

Fluke 78 Multimeter — We use it for checking voltage, continuity and amps in electrical systems.

GearWrench Metric and Standard Ratcheting Wrenches — These handy hand tools are definitely a must for tight spots under the hood.

Blue Point CTS5 LED Test Light — This tool lets us know if power or grounds are available for electrical diagnostics.


Matt Bowman, owner
Doug’s Car Care
Jacksonville, NC


RO Writer Shop Management Software
Power Probe
BDM Blue Streak Scanner — Graphing capabilities and fast data.
iATN — The best and most cost-effective way to solve problem vehicles.
Mohawk Lifts — More than 15 years in service and works like we bought it yesterday.


Jimmie Harding, owner
Harding Auto Repair, Inc.
Huntsville, AL


A pen/pencil is the most important tool I use on a daily basis.

Snap-on Wireless MODIS — Great for graphing and diagnosing non-visual and intermittent problems. Its ability to communicate with our PC is not only convenient, but also allows us to share what we see with our customers.

Mitchell On Demand — This software keeps our shop up to date with current technical service bulletins and repair procedures. The On Demand Manager has streamlined the administration of our shop. Using Manager we were able to downsize our data from three applications to one, which has saved us a ton of time.

Wynn’s Transmission Flush Machine — Works really well at evacuating all fluid.

Snap-on Box Wrenches — The long, no-offset box wrench is great for tensioner pulleys.


Bobby Dunn
Triangle Car Care
Raleigh, NC


Regarding my top 5 favorite tools, I have a slightly different slant on this. I consider a tool anything that helps my business.

When you look at it this way, the best tools we have are people — employees, customers and vendors/suppliers. Without great employees, I cannot run my business. Without loyal customers, I have no business. Without a good relationship with vendors, I would struggle with my business.

Next, training — management and technical — is an absolute essential tool. Without knowledge to fix cars, we are sunk. Without the ability to run our businesses correctly, we can become slaves to our own shops. Good shop management software is also an essential tool — we use R/O Writer and are very pleased with it. It allows us to have great monitoring and reports so we can manage properly. It also allows for great follow up with our customers (maintenance reminders, etc.).

Telephone on-hold messaging is another great tool we have. This helps to inform/educate our customers about their cars and any services that they may not have been aware that they needed and that we provide. We use a local company, Compass Communications Studios, and have been very pleased with them. We developed several different messages with them that we can change on our phone system periodically. Professional trade associations. I would hate to try to run my shop without membership in a group of my peers. I am an active member of IGONC (Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina,, and it has been invaluable. They have facilitated tech training, along with being instrumental in bringing affordable management training to our area. The key is to join and become an active participant. This has opened up tremendous communication between us and other shops around the state. The help that is available from our colleagues is amazing, if we only have the opportunity to network with them. The value of what I learn at each monthly unit meeting far exceeds the costs in dues and time spent.


Michael Gould City of Eloy Eloy, AZ I like to look at tools a little differently. Especially those tools that aren’t used every day, but sure come in handy on those special occasions.


Hanson Screw Extractors — Great for removing broken screws, bolts and so on. Small enough to fit in our shop truck, big enough to handle Class 8 trucks and heavy equipment.

Central Lighting Underhood Light — Really lights up dark engine bays. Stays where you put it.

Raytek Non-Contact Thermometer — We use it on everything from A/C, brakes, exhaust and tires.

Lisle Pneumatic Fan Clutch Wrenches — Make fan clutch removal a snap.

Myers Torque Sticks — Haven’t damaged a brake rotor in seven years.

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