Top Five Tools – UnderhoodService

Top Five Tools

John Conley, ASE master tech L1, owner/technician
Bumper To Bumper Automotive, Inc.
Norwood, MA

It’s probably hard to pick the top five tools, I have many favorites. I treat tools like employees; They work for me. If I had to pick five I would have to say:

Hunter Alignment System DSP 600 — In only minutes we can accurately set up and measure our angles with four digital cameras and no wires to interfere with the technician. Our four-wheel alignments are picture perfect.

Sun Machine 450 with 5-Gas Analyzer — However you diagnose a driveability issue, it takes time to accurately pinpoint the problem. The Sun machine has a database that saves a lot of set-up time because it’s vehicle specific. We test and not guess.

MotorVac Carbon Clean — It safely cleans and decarbons fuel injectors and top engine; makes them run nice and smooth.

Snap-on Scanner — It’s just easy to use. I think it’s everyone’s favorite.

Snap-on Vantage — It’s easy to handle because it’s compact. I like the database of info, which has great features and is easy to use.


Dan Wozniak, owner
Dan’s Auto/Truck Repair
Arlington, TX


Dan’s Auto/Truck Repair is a full-service automotive and heavy-duty diesel truck repair facility.

Worth Equipment 18,000-lb. Alignment Drive-On Lift, model #18000AX — With two 8,000-lb. air jacks, this lift makes working on big trucks a snap. Excellent quality and very easy to use. A real money-making tool.

Redline Smoke Pro Automotive Leak Locator Smoke Machine, part #TT-104698 — This machine is very compact and works excellent, you can find a vacuum leak or evaporative system leak or many other types of leaks literally in minutes.

MotorVac BrakeVac Brake Flush Machine — This machine is awesome. It works extremely well, is an excellent money-making tool and really gives an excellent result for the money. The customer really can tell the difference in how the brake system feels.

Colonial Label Printer, model #TLP 2824 — It prints out static cling oil change stickers with a variety of messages and mileage intervals. It provides a very neat and professional oil or service reminder sticker that lasts, yet comes off the windshield easily.

My “over the engine” creeper by ATD, part #AD8116 — We work on lots of big trucks and this “creeper” makes it very easy and convenient to lay across the top of an engine compartment for either servicing a truck or performing some type of repair.


Darrell and Edie Schanbeck, owners
ABC Equipment and Auto Repair
Watertown, SD


Here are some of the items or tools we favor most around the shop.

The Snap-on MODIS Scanner is a great time saver for doing quick diagnostics on all vehicles.

The NAPA-made Transmission Jack (1,500 lbs.) works great for transmissions and can also be used for removing gas tanks when we install fuel pumps.

Our ALLDATA program, which we use for looking up labor rates and repairs. It’s great for doing quotes and troubleshooting tips. One of the most powerful tools in the shop.

Hanmecson lifts — 10,000 lbs. of lift makes working on the vehicles so much easier allowing room to access anything under the vehicle.

The Snap-on Transmission Flush Machine HD35. We average one transmission flush per day, and have saved our customers big savings in the long run.


Nelson F. Davis, ASE-Certified Master Technician, L-1 Certified
Merchant’s Tire & Auto Center
Greensboro, NC


OTC Model 700 Digital Multimeter — Very versatile have used this meter for more than 10 years and never had a problem with it.

Matco TRB250 3/8” Drive Torque Wrench — I repair a lot of intake gaskets and this small compact torque wrench will get into small tight areas to torque bolts.

ALLDATA Information System — Probably most used tool in the shop.

Mayhew Hose Clamp Tool — Best tool around for hose clamps. If I were a young technician just starting out, this is one of the first tools I would purchase.

Midtronics Micro 500XL Battery/Starting/Charging System Tester — Fast, reliable accurate. Midtronics’ method for testing batteries will detect problems other testers miss.

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