Top Five Tools – UnderhoodService

Top Five Tools

Ron Promisson, owner
Promisson Automotive Service Center
Bushnell, IL

Power Probe II — This is an indispensable tool for all kinds of diagnostic problems. Probably the one tool I couldn’t do without.

Raytek AutoPro ST25 Infrared Thermometer — This is another favorite that can be used for many different applications.

Snap-on Vantage — The diagnostic information in this tool is very good and at your fingertips. Saves a lot of time.

MotorVac Fuel System Cleaner — I thought this was just another fuel injection cleaner until I purchased and used it. It does a fantastic job of cleaning the whole fuel system from the intake to the exhaust.

Mitchell ManagerPlus and OnDemand 5 — I don’t know how any shop gets by without a good management system and information system, Mitchell doesn’t stop there — they have a great underlying system of forums and training that make this a top-shelf product.


Lonnie Hinkle, senior district manager
Jiffy Lube of Indiana
Indianapolis, IN


Wynn’s TranServe II Automatic Transmission Fluid Exchange Machine — This machine is great because it doesn’t matter which way you hook up the lines. There is also a booster pump built in to expedite services in the traditionally slow exchangers like the Toyotas and Fords.

RTI Cooling System Flush Machine, Model MCX2 — This machine will flush a cooling system in just a few minutes. It also has a large new coolant reservoir so you can do multiple services without refilling.

RTI A/C Recharge Machine Model TC670E — This is a manual machine that needs to be filled between services. However, since it is manual there is little that can go wrong with it. It has been a very dependable unit and has never broken down.

Midtronics ED18 Battery Tester — This machine is handheld and will test batteries along with starting and charging systems. The ED in ED18 stands for “early detection” and it will estimate when a battery will fail. This can save your customer from being stranded somewhere when they least expect it, and the printout it produces practically sells the battery itself.

Rotary Pit-Style Tire Rotation Lift — This lift is awesome, as it can be mounted flush with the floor so there is no “hill” for my customers to drive over when we guide them into a service bay. It also comes with saddles so we can lift all of the pickups and minivans that we need to lift. Lonnie is also host of Shop Talk, a radio show that broadcasts on Saturdays at noon on Newstalk 1430 AM WXNT.


Frank Drellishak, owner
Drellishak’s Service Center
Rocky River, OH


Rotary Above-Ground Electric Lift — A very reliable piece of equipment, reasonably priced and low maintenance.

Hunter DSP9000 Wheel Balancer — Easy to use, reasonably priced and a reliable brand.

TIP Sandblast Cabinet — Owning a sandblast cabinet is almost a necessity in the northeast for cleaning rusty parts.

OTC Genisys — A very user-friendly tool; easily updated and very handy.

Matco Tool Box MB7525 — A very heavy-duty, well-built tool box with great colors. A must-have for any professional tech.

Matco HHR5 Honda Rotor Hub Remover — If you’ve ever tried removing trapped Honda front brake rotors, you know someone had to invent an easier way! This tool is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time!


Jim Linder, technician/educator/instructor
Linder Technical Services
Indianapolis, IN — An online service for professional technicians. You can access a large database of problems and fixes per make and model, plus e-mail for technical help and post questions on different forums. Some services are free, others require a nominal monthly fee.

PICO 4-Channel PC-based Labscope — An affordably priced 4-channel PC-based labscope. Updates can be easily downloaded from the Internet. It’s simple to save waveforms to your PC to help create your own diagnostic library.

Vetronix MT5200 Engine Analyzer — One of the only ignition scopes on the market that clearly shows parade, raster and superimposed patterns for all ignition types including DIS and COP. Also has functions for mechanical testing with vacuum waveforms, cranking KV and power balance. The screen is bright, clear, color and easy to read.

EASE J2534 Pass-Thru Programmer — The software is easy to navigate and the very helpful technical support personnel are available for help. Able to use for on- or off-board programming for certain makes. Updates are affordable.

CODA Engine Analysis System — A unique software package that works in conjunction with almost any gas bench to graph gasses, Lambda, engine rpm and more. It also has a helpful self-diagnostic capability that looks at the gas readings and gives prompts such as: lean air/fuel mixture, ignition misfire, rich misfire, etc.


Scott Hereder, owner
Import Car Care LLC
Phoenix, AZ


Vetronix MasterTech Scanner — One of the best tools for use on today’s cars.

Snap-on 1/4” drive 10 mm Magnetic Socket — Like an extra hand for those hard-to-get-at bolts.

Maglite Rechargeable Flashlight — Very bright for those hard-to-see areas.

Mitchell 1 Shop Management Program — Very useful in repair as well as invoicing and inventory.

Ingersoll-Rand 1/2” Impact Gun — Great power when needed.


TechShop Top 5 Tools Award

Each month, we ask you, the nation’s technicians and repair shop owners, to identify your Top 5 Tools and submit the information to us. They may be an old favorite or maybe a new one. At the end of the year, we award the companies that were most named throughout the year. “The Top 5 Tools Award recognizes companies that exhibit exceptional brand strength, technological leadership and product innovation,” said Publisher Jeff Stankard. The awards for 2006 will be announced in November at the AAPEX Show.


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