Technicians’ Top 5 Favorite Tools & Equipment

Technicians’ Top 5 Favorite Tools & Equipment

Roy Larson, president
Beyer Motor Works Inc.,
BMW/Mercedes driveline experts
Chandler, AZ and

Member: BIMRS, Bimmer Tech Group, Mini Tech Group, BMW CCA, ASA, APRA, BBB My 5 favorite tools are:

Streamlight Stylus Reach — This pocket flashlight puts the light where I need it, making it ideal to inspect brake pads and belts.

Vacutec Evap Pro model 2000 — Determines precisely whether the evap system leaks or not, and also works as a smoke machine to find the difficult vacuum leaks.

UView Air Lift coolant exchange tool is the easy way to fill the system and eliminates difficult and time-consuming bleeding procedures.

Raytek Raynger ST infrared gun works great for diagnosing cooling system problems and some A/C problems.

AutoLogic Diagnostic Tool loaded with BMW, Mini and Volvo software gives me complete diagnostic capability, including coding and programming, eliminating any need for dealer trips.

Pete Thayer, owner
Thayer’s Automotive, Inc.
South Burlington, VT

Some of our shop’s favorite tools:

Snap-on MODIS for its wide range of uses put into one hand-held piece rather than the three tools I needed to have before that.

Power Probe allows you to have both positive and negative leads at your hand. When a long cord is attached, it can be used for just about every kind of basic voltage test besides computer work.

Mac Tools’ version of long doubled box end wrenches are used quite often because of the leverage and the choice of sizes on each wrench.

Snap-on’s on-car wheel bearing cup tool (88-500-2) saves us time because we can do the job right, often without a lot of effort.

Gearwrench’s version of racheting wrenches that seem to last the longest (years), work good and are fast.

And, of course, there’s my favorite tool yet — my Mac Tools man who is always a great help.

Richard Kartozian, owner
Karco Specialties
Orange, CA I am the owner of a 12-bay independent shop specializing in Toyota and Honda vehicle service and repair. I am submitting the top 5 tool list from an advanced apprentice technician of mine rather than my own because I now spend most of my time in the office rather than under the hood. His name is Brian Samoska. Brian’s Top 5 Tools are:

Snap-on lug nut socket — 19 mm on one side, 21 mm on the other. Gets used all day long, fits almost every vehicle and won’t wear out.

Vetronix Mastertech scan tool — Easy to use, awesome diagnostic tool for all vehicle systems. Always has the latest updates. Much more than a code reader!

Snap-on 3/8 wobble head ratchet — Has so many applications. I use it all day long.

Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura factory websites — The sites have monthly subscription fees, but they pay for themselves many times over. Up-to-date information at our fingertips. All of our techs use them constantly for repair info, TSBs, diagrams and charts (in color), recalls, factory tips, etc. Very fast!

Sears Craftsman 19 mm chrome 1/2” drive socket — Used to remove locking lug nuts when the key is lost or damaged. Hammer the socket onto the nut and hit it with your 1/2” impact. Saves time and prevents wheel damage. I have broken a few of these sockets, but Sears still warranties them.

Bob Zimmerman, senior technician
Portsmouth Car Care
Portsmouth, VA

My Irwin split point drill bits that I brought from the Cornwell man. These things will drill through everything, including wheel studs.

My Snap-on digital fuel pressure gauge because it’s fast and easy to set up, and easy to use while test driving.

My Power Probe from Matco with all the add-ons because it checks the circuit and then you can verify with power or ground.

My Snap-on Vantage with the low amp probe because it lets you see the circuit fast and quick.

And, iATN, because no matter how weird the problem is, chances are someone else has seen it and can help you.

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