Brian K. Courtney,co-owner
Allied Fleet Services of Texas
There are quite a few really good tools that I’ve bought or made myself over the years, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just a top five list; my best effort follows.
The Ingersoll Rand 231 C 1/2” Drive Impact Wrench has been the most impressive tool I have ever owned because it has delivered consistent results since 1989 with only the anvil having needed replacement due to the sockets falling off and the tip being worn to nothing. If you don’t like to buy tools twice, this one is for you.
The Matco Electronic Charging Scale (Part No. AC98210A) is the most useful and necessary piece of equipment during the summer months, especially when the recycling machine can get overbooked. There’s no reason to guess how much refrigerant you’re installing into a system. Matco’s Electronic Charging Scale offers peace of mind that the job is done right.
While charging the system, I add a dye charge with Mastercool’s U-53500-C UV Leak Detector Kit. It’s a good value for the price, and portability is not an issue. So later if a leak develops, there’s no need to guess; sometimes other leak detection methods come up zero.
To verify good cold air and to check temperature drops across various A/C devices, I love to use the Raytek Raynger ST2 Non-Contact Thermometer. Before this tool came along, I either guesstimated the temperature or used a thermocoupling device on a DVOM. Guess which one I used the most? Now there’s even another tool that takes the guesswork out of auto repair and it’s useful for anything involving temperature. The list goes on.
The only way to appreciate the versatility of your tools is to learn how to use them. This brings me to the best and most prized tool of all, the mind. To keep this precision tool up to par, it must be kept up-to-date through continuous education and training. I strongly encourage everybody to do so. In addition to being co-owner of Allied Fleet Services of Texas, I am an automotive technologies instructor at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX.