Professional Tool & Equipment News - May 2024

Page 1, official website of PTEN $15.00 • May 2024 Volume 35, Number 3 Low-linting and latex-free Industrial-grade motor operates at 9,000 RPMs Provides white light up to 500 lm DETAILS ON THE COVER PRODUCTS AND OTHER NEW TOOLS PAGE 10 TOOL BRIEFING BATTERY AND ELECTRICAL SERVICE 101 PAGE 24 CATEGORY SPOTLIGHT DIAGNOSTIC TEST EQUIPMENT PAGE 38 REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY ENABLES 10X FASTER VEHICLE SCANS X-431 THROTTLE V


The Atlas® SBC990 sandblast cabinet removes scale or heavy rust from automotive parts, cleans up rusty tools, and many other special applications. It comes with extra work space and the larger opening allows the user to blast even the biggest parts.

The Atlas® SBC990 uses a powerful vacuum system to clear the work area of “floating” rust and used media.

■ Large work area: 46” x 34” x 33 1/2”

■ Extra large front/top load door

■ Foot operated control valve

■ Self-contained dust collection system with cartridge filter and convenient bottom gate clean-out

■ Extra nozzles and plastic protectors included

■ Heavy-duty blasting gun with replaceable ceramic nozzles

Atlas SBC420 Standard Cabinet with Vacuum ATEHTSBC420 Atlas PSBC990 Pressurized Cabinet with Vacuum ATEHTPSBC990

Atlas SBC1200 Extra Large Cabinet with Dual Doors

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ATEHTSBC990 Atlas SBC990 Large Sandblast Cabinet with Vacuum Replacement Parts & Wear Items Always In Stock!
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Printed in the U.S. Volume 35, Number 3; May 2024



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CEO – Chris Ferrell

President – June Griffin

COO – Patrick Rains

Scott Brown dives into the basic diagnostic tools technicians need to find and solve problems on any vehicle.

Roy Dennis Ripple covers some standard battery and electrical service repairs.

Q&A with Stewart Peregrine, senior executive of ADAS sales for Autel.

CRO – Paul Andrews

Chief Digital Officer – Jacquie Niemiec

Chief Administrative and Legal Officer – Tracy Kane

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Article reprints

Professional Tool & Equipment News (USPS 012-426, ISSN 1081-4485 print; ISSN 2150-2072 online) is published eight times a year in March, April, May, June, July, September, October and December by Endeavor Business Media, LLC. 201 N Main St, 5th Floor, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. Periodicals postage paid at Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Professional Tool & Equipment News, PO Box 3257, Northbrook, IL 60065-3257. Canada Post PM40612608. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Professional Tool & Equipment News, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2.

Subscriptions: Individual subscriptions are available without charge in the U.S. to qualified subscribers. Publisher reserves the right to reject nonqualified subscriptions. Subscription prices: U.S. $50 per year, $93 two year; Canada/Mexico $72 per year, $131 two year; All other countries $105 per year, $195 two year. All subscriptions payable in U.S. funds, drawn on U.S. bank. Canadian GST#842773848. Back issue $10 prepaid, if available. Printed in the USA. Copyright 2022 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recordings or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.

Endeavor Business Media, LLC does not assume and herby disclaims any liability to any person or company for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the material herein, regardless of whether such errors result from negligence, accident or any other cause whatsoever. The views and opinions in the articles herein are not to be taken as official expressions of the publishers, unless so stated. The publishers do not warrant, either expressly or by implication, the factual accuracy of the articles herein, nor do they so warrant any views or opinions offered by the authors of said articles.

The balancing
42 BIGTIME BOXES Igor Polishchuk, Mac Tools COLUMNS 10 NEW PRODUCTS
Sellars, AIRCAT, Coast, and more. 32 TOOL REVIEWS Our review panel tests four di erent tools and gives their feedback. 38 CATEGORY SPOTLIGHT Diagnostic Test Equipment PRODUCTS ON OUR COVER Launch Tech USA X-431 Throttle V Details on page 10 32 39 42
Check out the
PTEN MAY 2024 6 FEATURED PRODUCTS VIDEO In this video, PTEN sits down with Mike DeKeuster, product manager at Snap-on, to discuss their Under Hoist Stand. BLOG A blog from VizyPay asks and answers the question: How can auto shops minimize swipe fees and make payments more efficient and cost-effective? INDUSTRY NEWS SEMA and SEMA Garage announced their research findings on the potential impact of aftermarket products on ADAS functions. TOOL
John Bendpak LITESTIX, No. LS36SMDX 55021320 The Coats Company Maxx 70 and 50 Tire Changer Wheel Lift 55020232 Schrader TPMS Solutions ST-1 Programming Tool 55021293 Thexton Lift Alignment Tool, No. 962 55019223
Baumgardt, owner of Baumgardt’s Auto Repair, reviews the Lokithor Car Battery Jumper Charger, No. J402.
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RThe balancing act

Finding a happy medium between your work life and your personal life isn’t easy, but there are some strategies you can follow to get started.

aise of hands, who else is feeling a bit overwhelmed by work right now? Being that many of you are small business owners, I wouldn’t blame you for feeling like your work-life balance is out of balance. I know I still struggle with this, and, of course, a “perfect balance” doesn’t really exist. Sometimes work is tipping the scales and sometimes it’s life, but let’s be honest, it’s usually work.

From conversations I’ve had with many of you, I know you’re putting in more than the usual 40 hours a week — early mornings, late nights, and weekends are part of your norm.

However, staying in a prolonged state where work overwhelms your personal life or vice versa has its consequences. When our work takes over our lives and leaves no room for anything else, this can be highly stressful. And that stress can take mental and physical tolls — lack of sleep, irritability, lower immunity, higher risks of injury, etc. On the other hand, if you let life overtake work, then you may not have work to come back to.

Though no formula exists for creating a perfect work-life balance, in a blog

from, Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet, lists a few tips to help you find your center.


Whether this is a time of day or a particular location, keep this space free of business emails and phone calls, computer work, and “shop talk.” Give yourself a chance to step back from work and reconnect with the other important areas of your life.


By setting up a more structured schedule, it will allow you to see where you may be wasting time and overextending yourself. Try to list all your to-dos based on priority. Is it a “must-do quickly,” a “must-do in the near future,” a “must-do but not anytime soon”, or a “don’t really need to do at all?”


It can be hard to step back and allow someone else to take charge, but eliminating some of those tasks from your

to-do list can help free up some of your time. Your lead tech or shop manager can handle more responsibilities when needed. If it’s not something you have to do, pass it along to another employee. This way you’ll not only gain a bit of breathing room, but you’ll be able to dedicate yourself to the shop in other ways like making plans for the future. Finding your balance takes some work, but in the end, it’s worth it.



ERIC MOORE, DeMary Trucks, Columbus, OH

LOU FORT, K.A.R.S. Inc., Huntingburg, IN


KIM AUERNHEIMER, Cool Springs Automotive, Brentwood, TN

TANNER BRANDT, Autodiag Clinic, Welford, SC

PHIL FOURNIER, Phil's Auto Clinic, Hemet, CA

JD GOAD, Goad's Body Shop, Lexington, VA

EDWIN HAZZARD, Southeast Mobile Tech, Goose Creek, SC

PETE RUDLOFF, Pete’s Garage Inc., Newark, DE

MICHELLE TANSEY, Dubclinic, Santa Clara, CA




Associated Equipment

JIM O’HARA, Clore Automotive

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Kicking off the New Products section each month, our Featured New Products page includes brand new products showcased on the cover that are available to the automotive market.


The Lumileds Philips Flood Mini LED Worklight , No. X30FLMIX1, is a compact LED floodlight that provides a bright white light up to 500 lm. For handsfree use, the Flood Mini features a 360-degree hook and a tilting handle with soft-touch plastic to protect painted surfaces. The light is rated IP65/IKO8 for resistance to impacts, water, and dust and provides up to eight hours of use from a single charge. A USB-C charger and cable are included.

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The Sellars Absorbent Materials TOOLBOX WaterWeave T500 is a multipurpose wipe that is solvent-resistant and contaminantfree, and combines strength, durability, and absorbency. These wipes can be used to clean equipment and handle maintenance and repair jobs. The hydro-entangled substrate retains its strength, even when wet, so it can also be used on rough surfaces when wet or dry. Additionally, the WaterWeave T500 is a low-linting and latexfree product that can soak up oil and solvents, as well as clean dirt and grime from surfaces without leaving particles behind. Since the wipers are contaminant-free, they are a safer alternative to laundered rental shop towels and cloth rags.

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The SUNEX Tools 1/4” Air Body Saw is designed to meet high-speed metal cutting requirements, ensuring precision and efficiency in working with body and sheet metal. With its 8” length and 1.390lb weight, the tool provides easy access to tight work areas, as well as seamlessly cuts through 2mm mild steel with precision and consistency. The saw features an industrial-grade motor operating at 9,000 RPMs, a variable speed safety throttle, a comfortable rubber grip to reduce hand fatigue and insulate against the cold, and a metal blade guard. The rear exhaust directs air away from the work area, maintaining a clear line of sight and ensuring a tidy workspace. The set includes three air saw blades, featuring both 24- and 32-tooth saw blades. Comes with a one-year warranty.

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Designed and engineered with cutting-edge technology, the X-431 Throttle V from Launch Tech USA delivers a combination of automotive intelligence, quick navigation, and ergonomic handling for optimal efficiency. As the most powerful automotive scan tool in the X-431 family, the X-431 Throttle V provides fast performance for optimal efficiency during diagnostics and vehicle repair. With access to X-431 FIX and CODE ASSIST carline repair information, the diagnostic repair process can effectively and accurately be accelerated with confidence.

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Circle 200 on card, or enter at “e-inquiry” on Don’t like updating online? Contact customer service at 847-559-7598. INCREASING YOUR SHOP’S PRODUCTIVITY WITH THE LATEST ON TOOLS & EQUIPMENT. DON’T MISS AN ISSUE! RENEW your subscription UPDATE your contact information SUBSCRIBE to PTEN magazine RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION OR SIGN UP FOR YOUR OWN FREE SUBSCRIPTION.


The Jump Starter with LiFePO4 Battery, No. JA2500, from Lokithor is designed for longevity and safety. With over 2,000 cycles of 100 percent depth of discharge, its LiFePO4 technology is engineered to surpass traditional batteries. Crafted from safe materials, the JA2500 ensures chemical stability, minimizing the risk of thermal runaway and overheating. The JA2500 has a peak current of 2,500A and serves as a versatile companion with USB charging and a 300 lm LED flashlight for added convenience. Circle 10 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on


The 1/4” Drive Stud Extractor, No. 29894, from Mayhew Tools is designed to fit into small areas to remove hard-toreach seized, stripped, or broken studs and bolts. This extractor is made from high-grade, heat-treated alloy steel, and has a chrome finish for additional rust protection. The extractor clamps down on the damaged stud and maintains a firm grasp of the screw/bolt as it is removed. It can be adjusted to fit studs from 2mm to 7mm in diameter and can be driven with a 1/4” square drive, or a 1/2” wrench, allowing the user to pick the correct driver for the job. Circle 13 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on


The Dodge 4500/5500 Ball Joint Install Adapter, No. 18100-D45, from Schley Products is designed to support the 18100 Ball Joint Press to install the ball joint. The adapter locks in place on the rocker assembly and provides the correct geometry and design to support the press while installing new ball joints. Additionally, the adapter accommodates complex axle housing geometry, is made from high-quality heat-treated alloy steel, and works on 2008-2014 Dodge Ram and Dodge Sterling trucks. Circle 11 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on


The 13” Heavy Duty Hand Riveter, No. 86966, from GEARWRENCH is designed to install steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper rivets in multiple sizes. The double compound hinge and short handle design allow for extra leverage in tight spaces. A high-capacity collection bottle collects used mandrels for easy cleanup and disposal. Ergonomic grips on the riveter’s handles provide user comfort, and the compact design allows for easy access in tight spaces. Included with the riveter is a collection bottle; five nose pieces of varying sizes (3/32”, 1/8”, 5/32”, 3/16”, 1/4”); and a wrench to change out the nose pieces.

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The ARES Tool 12-pc Master Cylinder Adapter Set includes 12 adapters all designed to work exclusively with ARES 70921, 18051, and 18053 Brake Bleeder tools. Round adapter sizes include 29mm, 34.5mm, 42mm, 43.5mm, 47mm, 49.5mm, 50.7mm, 56mm, and 74mm. The set works on disc and drum brake systems and is compatible with 90 percent of current master cylinder reservoirs. Additionally, the set includes a one-piece rectangular adapter for Chrysler and GM vehicles, a one-piece adapter for Toyota and Lexus vehicles, 10-pc round adapters, and a one-piece custom-molded storage and carrying case.

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The CTA Tools Benz Oil Level Dipstick , No. 8824, is used to accurately measure engine oil levels and to check the length of the oil dipstick guide pipe. This tool is designed to work on a wide range of Mercedes-Benz engines including M112, M113, M271, M272, M646, M647, M648, and M651 models. With the 8824, technicians can check the oil level without needing to start the engine. The dipstick is 36.6” long.

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The Sensor Tap Series from MuellerKueps features a combination of steel strength, double coating, and six cutting edges that are designed to make it easy and efficient to cut through heat-tempered steel. This series aims to provide professional thread restoration for both light and heavy duty diesel engines. A short tap design with an integrated guide pin is available in sizes M12X1.25, M14X1.5, M18X1.5, M20X1.5, and M22X1.5. This allows users to find the right fit for their applications. The redesigned Sensor Tap Series features expanded size options and compatibility with the 513 Flexhead Ratchet, No. 514.

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LIFT HEIGHT OF 3-3/8” TO 24-1/4”

The OEMTOOLS 3-Ton Long/Low Profile

Jack , No. 24868, has a lift height of 3-3/8” to 24-1/4” and is ideal for low-profile vehicles, trucks, and SUVs. The 4.3” saddle with jack support pad and foam handle cover prevents damage to the vehicle. Nylon casters protect sealed surfaces and dealer showrooms. This jack weighs 100.3 lbs and is 31-3/8” long.

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The 2-pc Spring Loaded Oil Cooler Disconnect Set for Ford , No. 39100, from Lisle Corporation features a special stepped design to fit connectors. Users simply push the line toward the connector, then engage the tool and pull the line from the connector. The two sizes, 3/8” and 1/2”, are designed to disconnect transmission oil cooler lines on Ford vehicles. The 3/8” disconnect can be used on 2003-2010 Ford V8 Explorers, 2004 and later Ford F-150s, and the Cadillac CS. The 1/2” disconnect can be used for Ford Super Duty Trucks, F-250, F-350, and F-450.

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The Magid ROC GP102 Sustainable Lightweight Foam Nitrile Palm Coated Work Glove features a grey, high-density, 90 percent recycled polyester/10 percent Spandex blend shell designed for comfortability. The gloves are silicone-free, and feature a low-lint construction to minimize product contamination. A rubber band edge reduces fraying, while the dark color hides dirt and grime to extend wear. These gloves have ANSI Level 4 abrasion resistance.

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The IQ Vise from Work IQ Tools features a ball and socket design that allows articulation and 360-degree rotation at any angle. It also includes a Quick Cam compression lever in the front that gives the vise even more functionality by allowing it to lay flat, lock at any angle, or rotate for optimal work positioning. The eight-position IQ Lok locks the ball in place and allows up to 130 ft-lbs of torque. Additionally, five different IQ Vise Jaws allow users to tailor the vise’s grip for the project at hand.

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The Universal Drilling Guide MASTER M6-M10 from Pichler Tools is designed for safe drilling out of broken stud bolts with thread sizes M6 through M10. The Hardox-Drills are suitable for tough and hard materials, with an optimized cutting edge and special, flat spiral angle at 135 degrees. The carbide head-cutter is ideal for levelling and smoothing the break-off edge of the stripped screw, with diameter 4.8mm by 50mm, 6mm by 50mm, and 6mm by 105mm.

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The 14-pc Insulated Screwdriver Set from Dynamic Tools includes interchangeable blades, featuring a variety of Phillips, Torx, and slotted tips. Each tip is precision-machined for an exact fit and have easy-to-read identification for quickly selecting the appropriate tool for the job. The blades fit securely in a high-visibility, cushion-grip handle, which is VDE tested for protection against electrical shock up to 1,000V. For precision screwdriving needs, a plastic cap can be attached to the bottom of each screwdriver blade instead of using the cushioned handle. A 1,000V voltage tester is also included in the set for checking electrical sources. Roll packaging is provided for convenient storage and carrying. Circle 22 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on


The 9-pc Tesla Die Set , No. DF-SPR/ TESLA9, from Dent Fix Equipment , is designed for use in the application of 5mm self-piercing rivets. Included in the set are eight forming die heads for 5mm SPRs (H1-H8), one SPR rivet holder (B1), and a case. The heads fit the 10T Selfpiercing Riveter, No. DF-SPR70. Circle 23 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on


Used for replacing teflon seals on most Hitachi, Bosch, Continental and Delphi single and double sealed fuel injectors found on many Ford, GM and Subaru engines. It also works on many Ford ECO injectors with direct injectors. Applications include: 2010 and later GM engines including 1.4L, 1.5L, 2.0L, 2.4L, 2.5L, 3.0L, 3.6L, 4.3L, 5.3L, and 6.2L. 2010-2017 GM 2.0L, 2.5L, 3.6L, 5.3L & 6.2L engines. 2014-2019 Subaru 2.0L & 2.4L turbo engines. Ford Injectors 2011 and newer.

61860 TORQUE ADAPTER, 25 NM Helps prevent over tightening plastic and aluminum oil filter canisters and filters. Turns any 3/8" drive ratchet or breaker bar into a 25 Newton-meter torque wrench. Can also be used with 21mm socket or wrench. Not for impact or pneumatic use.


Double sided design allows the tool to work on both A/C and main drive pulleys when installing stretch belts on GM 5.3.L, 6.2L, and 6.6L gas engines. The long tab is used on the A/C belt on 2014 and newer GM trucks. The short tab can be used on the main drive belt on 2019 and newer GM. Heat treated steel provides added strength.


Flexible one-piece design works better than twopiece disconnect tools. Works on 5/16" and 3/8" fuel lines found in 2010 and newer Ford vehicles with 1.6L, 2.0L & 3.5 GTDI, and 6.2L Boss engines. May work on other 5/16" and 3/8" applications. Doubleended tool is designed to fit the limited clearance between the fuel line and high pressure fuel pump.

39100 FORD OIL COOLER SPRING DISCONNECT, 2 PC. Two sizes, 3/8" and 1/2", are designed to disconnect transmission oil cooler lines on Ford Vehicles. The tools have a special stepped design to fit connectors. Use 3/8" disconnect for 2003 - 2010 Ford V8 Explorer, 2004 and later Ford F150 and Cadillac CS. Use 1/2" disconnect for Ford Super Duty Trucks, F250, F350 and F450.

44880 LIFT SUPPORT CLAMP WITH MAGNET Holds gas charged lift supports up to 9/16", found on hoods, tailgates, hatchbacks and trunks. Neodymium magnet holds the tool in place while securing the clamp. Securely holds weak lift supports in the extended position. Allowing access to engine compartment or rear luggage area. Aluminum body and brass threads prevent damage. The colorful flag is a reminder to remove the clamp.


Fully heat-treated, high-strength cast steel tools for removing stubborn pitman

on medium duty trucks and other vehicles with pitman


6-8 vehicles.

on MAY 2024 PROFESSIONAL TOOL & EQUIPMENT NEWS 13 LEARN MORE LISLE CORPORATION CURRENTLY PAYS ROYALTIES TO OVER 100 INDIVIDUALS. If you have an original tool idea which others may need, Lisle Corporation is interested in evaluating your idea. Your idea may be produced and sold by Lisle Corporation under an attractive Award or Royalty Agreement that will bring you an income for years to come. LisLe Corporation • po Box 89 • CLarinda, ia 51632-0089 712-542-5101 • Fax 712-542-6591 • new tooLs © 2024 Lisle Corporation
PITMAN ARM PULLERS arms. 41450 for pitman arms arms held on with a nut. 41610 for Sheppard M110 gears found Class 6-8 vehicles. 41490 for Sheppard M100 steering gears found on many Class
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41450 41490
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Essential diagnostic tools for today’s automotive technicians

By equipping themselves with many of these essential diagnostic tools, professionals can ensure they are prepared to tackle the challenges posed by modern vehicles.

As one who has been performing vehicle troubleshooting since the early 80s, a lot has changed since then. I still remember the first time I saw a scan tool connected to a vehicle display sensor information; I was amazed and had a strong feeling that big things were on the horizon. Fast forward to today, and now we have multiple networks talking to a multitude of controllers all necessary for proper vehicle operation, and it is our job to fix them when problems arise. However, professional service technicians like yourself

still need basic tools to address challenges on vehicles regardless of the level of technology the vehicle possesses. That’s what we’ll be covering in this article.


Even the most basic scan tools and code readers are indispensable for diagnosing modern vehicles. They interface with a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system to retrieve diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), providing a starting point for troubleshooting. However, the service technician needs to be fully

aware of each tool’s limitations and how the tool should be validated for accuracy. For example, generic OBDII diagnostics have been standardized. However, each manufacturer can take these standards further and implement specific diagnostic codes and information. If that information is available, it is up to the tool manufacturer to make sure that data is being properly interpreted. Manufacturer-specific trouble codes have specific meanings, and if the tool’s internal reference libraries are inaccurate, the technician could very easily end up on the wrong pathway. Today,

PTEN MAY 2024 14
p Figure 1 — Autel scan tool, ADAS calibration Photo courtesy of Scott Brown

there is a plethora of diagnostic scan tools available to service technicians with varying features and functions. Let’s explore these to learn more.


Code reading: As mentioned earlier, quick access to DTCs and their meanings is powerful, one just needs to be aware of potential challenges.

Live data : Accessing live data is extremely powerful, some tools allow the service technician to recall and view custom groups of data which can lead to greater productivity. Additionally, some tools will allow the technician to visualize data through charts and graphs which is something that I love to see in tools. Another nice feature some tools offer is the ability to perform output tests or specific system tests while logging and monitoring data which can be extremely powerful. Advanced functions: Some tools offer ECU flashing, programming and coding, security functions, and ADAS service operations such as sensor recalibration as an extension to calibration fixtures and aiming equipment (Figure 1).

More length. More teeth. More access. Revolutionary bi-directional extraction system. Durability, access and maximum storage capacity. THE MASTER SET: MASTERED. Shop sets at WE KNOW WHAT YOU VALUE. EVERY SET FULLY LOADED WITH:
p Figure 2 — Fluke 88 Multimeter, injector resistance check
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Photo courtesy of Scott Brown


Electrical issues require precise measurements which can provide the technician with valuable insight. Digital multimeters (DMMs) (Figure 2) and oscilloscopes provide one with instantaneous information and/or the ability to record values over time. Whatever challenge the service technician may be facing, they will need to possess

the foundational knowledge needed to ensure the data produced during testing is providing actionable information. For example, a technician may be facing a situation where a scan tool is unable to pull any information from the vehicle’s data bus. In this situation, the technician will need to have access to service information and be able to understand how to physically test for proper power, ground, and network wiring. Once the

data bus has been restored as operational, the scan tool can then be used to further analyze the vehicle systems.


Voltage and resistance measurement: Essential for checking battery health, sensor outputs, proper power and ground module support, and wiring integrity.

Waveform analysis: Oscilloscopes display signal waveforms crucial for diagnosing sensors and communication networks.


Over on Diagnostic Network ( there was a recent post by a member seeking help on a communications problem on a 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty Lariat 6.2L. The vehicle exhibited a no crank condition with a DTC U0100 — lost communication with ECM/ PCM “A”. The technician was analyzing the CAN communications line with a PicoScope using their serial decoding tool and although it appeared that there was communication signaling on the

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 Figure 3 — Picoscope CAN Communications
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Photo courtesy of Scott Brown
INSPECTION + ALIGNMENT + ADAS CALIBRATION DIAGNOSTICS 1 2 3 4 DIGITAL INSPECTIONALIGNMENT ADAS CALIBRATION All Systems and Module Health Check Including Steering and Suspension. Text or Email All Customized Reports Instantly to Your Customer. 3D Wheel Alignment with Any Electronic Component Reset. Step-by-Step Illustrated Instructions with Automatic Vehicle Height Tracking. *Return on investment varies by service volume. CALCULATE YOUR REVENUE POTENTIAL RECOUP YOUR INVESTMENT IN AS LITTLE AS 30 DAYS At the Cost of a Typical Alignment System MAXIMIZE WITH A SINGLE SYSTEM & WORKFLOW PROFITABILITY & EFFICIENCY Circle 32 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on

physical bus lines, the PicoScope was unable to interpret until the PCM was removed from the network (Figure 3). The cause here was that one of the power supply circuits to the PCM had a large voltage drop which was insufficient for proper module operation. The module was trying to become operational however this led to it excessively loading the communication circuit. To read the entire discussion, visit msg/m1rbdedulr6s201vsi9378tcw6.


The low-voltage battery should always be respected as ground zero. Proper maintenance of a vehicle’s battery and charging system is critical, especially in hybrid and electric vehicles. These testers assess the health and functionality of batteries, alternators, and related components. Testing

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p Figure 4 — Associated Equipment 6042 Battery Alternator Starter Tester Photo courtesy of Scott Brown


Our 10AP Series offers the convenience of wide or narrow installation wrapped up into one configurable package. This durable, safe, and reliable car lift features an expandable top beam and BI-METRIC™ arms to suit virtually every vehicle lifting requirement – symmetric or asymmetric. The 2-in-1 design gives operators the option of loading vehicles either symmetrically (centerline of vehicle at column) or asymmetrically (centerline of vehicle behind column). The simple, yet highly sophisticated design is sure to keep operating costs low and productivity high. Check out the full line of 10AP lift series at bendpak. com or call us at 1-800-253-2363

Provides the Ultimate In Safety & Vehicle Fall Protection AUTOMATIC SWING ARM RESTRAINT SYSTEM ASARS
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the battery upfront can not only save you valuable diagnostic time but may present a preventative maintenance upsell.


Battery health check: This evaluates the condition of batteries and is something

we do on every vehicle maintenance service. The results are posted to the work order along with any notes, pictures, and in-service dates as needed. When testing a battery, it is important to understand what kind of test is being used to assess its condition. In some cases, one may need

to place a fully charged battery under 1/2 of the cold cranking amps rating while monitoring battery voltage. The first one of these I ever used was the Sun VAT 28. Today in my shop we have a Snap-on load tester along with the Associated Equipment 6042 (Figure 4).

Charging system analysis: Same applies here, one needs to be aware of how the system is being tested. The small hand-held testers for the most part do a good job at assessing charging systems however, carbon-pile testers can place the system under load to activate the charging system to operate near max capacity. This is especially true for hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. The performance of the DC-DC chargers on these can be quickly checked. Please refer to service information on the specifications and proper testing methods before proceeding.


Access to up-to-date diagnostic software and technical service information databases is essential for successful vehicle diagnostics. Wiring diagrams, component locators, connector layouts, and service operations all play a critical role in achieving success.


Vehicle-specific information: Technical service bulletins (TSBs), recalls, and service and repair operations provide a pathway to success. Oftentimes a technician will find themselves performing research before even entering the vehicle. Surfacing a TSB or a recall may provide valuable insight and/or a new perspective one would not otherwise achieve.

Software updates: With the plethora of modules deployed on today’s vehicles one should always consider the possibility that a vehicle problem may be solved by a software update (Figure 5). Updating software in modules is something we perform often in my shop but before updating

PTEN MAY 2024 20 2405PTEN_TOPDON.indd 1
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one should always justify the procedure. If the manufacturer advises that the update should only be administered if problem ‘X’ exists, then this is what should be performed. Sometimes getting the latest ver-

sion of software in the vehicle may solve other issues that have yet to surface. It has been my experience that many software update packages come with very little to nearly zero release notes. In the computer

industry, it is standard practice to issue release notes about what the software is offering. What this means is that although it’s not documented there may be something in that package to address whatever

p Figure 5 — Toyota Techstream
Photo courtesy of Scott Brown

it is you’re faced with. In this case, I opt to add the latest available version.


With TPMS (Figure 6) being a standard feature in today’s vehicles, having the right tools to service and diagnose these systems is essential for ensuring vehicle safety and compliance. We have found that we need more than one tool in our shop because some vehicles simply don’t want to cooperate with some tools.


Sensor programming: This programs new TPMS sensors to the vehicle and reindexes after rotation.

Diagnostics: Helps to identify issues with the TPMS system.


Fluid condition is a vital indicator of

vehicle health. Tools for analyzing coolant, and brake fluid, can preemptively identify issues before they lead to major failures (Figure 7).


Contamination detection: Identifies particulates and contaminants in fluids.


Diagnostics is an essential part of the repair process and can be extremely challenging. By using the right tool at the right time, the service technician can hone in on the problem by providing clues and data points that will lead to an effective outcome. This requires automotive technicians to stay abreast of the latest tools and technologies. By equipping themselves with many of these essential diagnostic tools, professionals can ensure they are prepared to tackle the challenges posed by modern vehicles. In our shop,

we often find problems manifesting from improper maintenance, and this is why we use many of the tools above during preventive maintenance services. Our motto is: “We can fix it, but we’d rather maintain it!” Using these tools to document conditions helps to promote proper vehicle care and can lead to increased revenue.

SCOTT BROWN is an ASE Master Certified L1 Technician and has over 37 years of professional service industry experience. He is an independent shop owner in Southern California and is engaged at various levels within the industry. He has a deep understanding of the challenges technicians experience at the service level and is continuously striving to move the industry forward through education and networking. Brown founded Diagnostic Network (diag. net) after 22 years of service at iATN, where he retired as company president in 2018.

PTEN MAY 2024 22
p Figure 6 — Bosch TPMS Tool Photo courtesy of Scott Brown p Figure 7 — Reichert Multi-Chek Brake Fluid Boiling Point Tester Photo courtesy of Scott Brown
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Battery and electrical service 101

When it comes to battery and electrical service, your diagnosis should be made using both your equipment and your experience as a technician.

Evaluating an automotive electrical system starts with the battery, and the first step in evaluating a battery is the eye test. A battery that looks like junk most likely is. Corroded terminals can lead to deterioration of the posts, eventually killing a battery. The two most common corrosion causes are a current leak across the top of the battery and acid seepage around the posts. Dorman battery terminal protectors fit over the post and under the terminals and provide a shield

that prevents current from traveling across the top of a battery. Spraying the terminals with CRC Battery Terminal Protector safeguards the terminals from the elements.

When performing a visual inspection of a battery, look for obvious leaks at the seams and around the posts. Essure that the battery isn’t bulging at the sides. If the battery passes the visual inspection, perform a load test. I have an OTC model 45NU85 Handheld Digital Load Tester that provides quick, accurate, and easy-to-read results. The

clamps open wide to fit over these newstyle mega-terminals, and the unit doesn’t get hot to the touch when used more than once in a short time.


The use of electronic modules in automotive applications has made battery state of charge (SOC) a significant value. SOC is the remaining capacity available in a battery. A battery that shows an acceptable 12.5V on a voltmeter can have a low state of charge, caus-

p Here you can see a battery holds a nice 12.8V charge with the ignition on and the charger in the 10A charging mode. Photo courtesy of Roy Dennis Ripple










ing the battery to perform poorly. Most electronic modules require an 80 percent SOC when performing reprograms and updates. If your scan tool shows a state of charge below 80 percent, you should charge the battery before performing an update or an electronic module diagnosis. I use a Schumacher SC1305 Battery Charger. I just retired a Schumacher battery charger I’ve used for about 20 years. The SC1305 has turned out to be an excellent replacement. It’s inexpensive, small enough to carry to the vehicle, and offers 2A, 6A, 10A, and 50A charging modes. The 50A mode will start a vehicle with a dead battery, and the 2A charge is perfect for bringing a low SOC battery back to life.

A word on the load test. The battery SOC can compromise the results of a battery load test. A freshly charged battery with a high SOC might pass a load test that it would otherwise have failed. On the contrary, a low SOC battery might fail a load test when it only needs a good charge to bring it back to life. So consider the circumstances before condemning or passing a battery, and maybe give it a second chance at the load test.


Electrical diagnosis almost always leads to component replacement or wire repair. In the case of a wire repair, the diagnosis usually takes longer than the repair. This doesn’t mean that the wire repair should be taken lightly. An ade-

quate wire repair should have low resistance and high tensile strength. The old twist-and-tape method just doesn’t cut it anymore. Soldering the wires is the only way to ensure a strong, low-resistance connection. A 60/40 solder (60 percent tin, 40 percent lead) works best to con- MAY 2024 PROFESSIONAL TOOL & EQUIPMENT NEWS 25 2405PTEN_asTech.indd 1 4/17/24 9:18 AM
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nect a copper-stranded wire. If you’re concerned about using lead for health reasons, they make a lead-free solder of about 99 percent tin and 1 percent copper. I’ve been using Kester 22 AWG Solder. I like using thin solder for wire repairs. It melts quickly and pulls evenly into the wire.

Strip away about 3/8” of insulation on each wire. I use Craftsman 82544 Wire Strippers. I don’t like the automated strippers that automatically adjust to the gauge of the wire. They tend to cut too deeply or leave behind residual insulation. Cutting too deeply removes copper strands, which compromise the integrity of the wire, and not going deep enough leaves behind insulation that can melt into the wire and cause high resistance in your repair. The 82544 is made with separate cutters for numerous gauges of wire. Notice in Figure 1

the stripping options provided by the Craftsman wire stripper.

Slide a piece of shrink tube about 1” to 1.5” long over the wire. Use a shrink tube that fits close to the wire, leaving enough room for the inevitable slight bulge where the solder is applied. Push the two wires so the copper strands mesh together, creating a union that is not much thicker than the wire. Do not twist the wires together; this creates a ball of wire and solder under the shrink tube that can eventually bust through. Before soldering, you can use rosin flux if you wish. Rosin flux is made from pine tar resin and helps to draw the solder into the wire strands. MG Chemicals Rosin Flux works well and is easy to use. MG is a liquid rosin flux that applies easily with an acid brush without clumping up, as a wax rosin flux tends to do.


While your soldering iron is heating up, wipe the tip with a wet rag or sponge. This removes oxidation, old solder, and whatever debris is on the tip. Also, clean the tip between solders if you do more than one wire repair. A clean soldering tip makes for a clean solder. I use a Weller Electric soldering iron. Weller produces many types of soldering irons. The pencil type is most practical for automotive applications; the sleek design makes it easier to access tight spots. The trigger type fits into your hand like a small power drill. The tip heats up when pulling the trigger. The trigger type is a bit bulkier and can be cumbersome in tight spaces. I prefer the solid grip and trigger control of a trigger-operated soldering iron. The Weller D550PK is a reliable soldering iron equipped with an LED

p Figure 1 — Notice the stripping options provided by the Craftsman wire stripper. Photo courtesy of Roy Dennis Ripple
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light and extra tips. The tip of the soldering iron must reach 650 degrees F. The solder must flow like water into the strands of the wire. This is why I don’t use butane-powered soldering irons. I haven’t found one capable of maintaining the desired heat range.

Before soldering, ensure that the wires are secured. They should be held into position so they can’t pull apart when touched by the soldering iron and the solder. Touch the hot iron tip to the bottom of the wire section to be soldered. Touch the solder to the top of the wire strands, not to the soldering iron tip. The solder will cascade over the wire within seconds, pulling into the strands. Pull the soldering iron away. Knowing when to pull the heat source away is crucial. If the heat stays for too long, the solder will melt off the wire, not long enough, and you’ll be left with an ugly clump of solder and a poor connection. Figure 2 shows the solder starting to melt and flow over the wire. Practice this.

 Figure 2 — This shows the solder starting to melt and flow over the wire.
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Photo courtesy of Roy Dennis Ripple

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Includes a precision regulator, an M14 standard reach adapter on a 26-inch hose assembly and an M14 long reach solid adapter

M68 special gauge has one multicolored band for measuring low, moderate, and high leakage; and a scale range from 0-100%


I use a Wagner heat gun to melt the shrink tube. Do not use an open flame. The flame damages the shrink tube, and you could turn the vehicle into a bonfire. Start at the center of the shrink tube and work your way to the outer edges with the heat gun. You’ll see the sealant melt out of the edges of the shrink tube. In Figure 3, heat is applied first to the center of the shrink tube, working towards the outer edges. What you have here is an excellent, low resistance, high tensile strength repair.


Use your discretion when deciding to repair a broken wire. Today’s manufacturers can use some small wires in low-current applications. If you doubt the integrity of the repair, don’t do it; replace the harness.

Sometimes, the point of the repair is too close to an electronic component, or maybe so many wires have been chewed through by a hungry critter that the integrity of the harness is in question. When in doubt, replace the harness.


Automotive technology, especially automotive electronics, leaves a lot to the foresight and wisdom of the technician. Evaluate electrical concerns with your experience as well as your equipment. A good visual inspection, performed by an experienced technician, is a priceless diagnostic tool.


is a Ford Senior Master Technician and an ASE Master Technician with more than 30 years’ experience in the automotive industry. As an automotive journalist, he is the recipient of a 2020 Azbees Award and a 2020 Tabbies Award. Ripple is currently working full-time as the shop foreman at a Ford dealership. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, three dogs, and two motorcycles. He can be reached at

PTEN MAY 2024 30 TOOL BRIEFING Circle 45 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on WWW.LANGTOOLS.COM #CLT-2
HELPS TO DETECT COMMON ENGINE FAULTS 2405PTEN_A&E Hand Tools.indd 1 4/16/24 1:26 PM
 Figure 3 — This image shows how heat is applied first to the center of the shrink tube, working towards the outer edges. Photo courtesy of Roy Dennis Ripple






Austin Matney, previous Best Young Tech Award winner INTRODUCING THE BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Honoring technicians aged 35 and younger who are moving the service repair industry forward, who excel in their current roles and are passionate about their work. Prizes Trip to 2024 AAPEX/SEMA Show in Las Vegas Tools & Equipment from contest sponsors Award plaque and uniform patch
aged 35 or younger
be born after January 1, 1989)
least 2 years experience in the industry
career development, innovation in their role, technical or educational achievement, community service and importance to the shop

Gray Tools 16-pc Insulated Hex Bit Socket Set, No. 25061-I

Reviewed by Phil Fournier, owner of Phil’s Auto Clinic in Hemet, California.

Q: How did the tool function as far as saving you time?

A: I looked up the standard listed in the tool cover, ASTM F1505. Per the label, the tools meet the standard, which in brief is insulation safe to 1000V AC or 1500V DC. No hybrid or electric vehicle in the market today has voltage exceeding those limits, so it would appear this rachet and related tools in the kit are useful for added


The Gray Tools 16-pc Insulated Hex Bit Socket Set, No. 25016-I, features both SAE and metric sizes and comes in a carrying case with a foam organizer. All pieces have dual-layer insulation, providing user protection up to 1,000V in a variety of electrical applications. The set includes seven SAE sockets ranging from 1/8” to 3/8”, seven metric hex head sockets from 4mm to 10mm, an insulated 42-tooth round head ratchet, and a 3” extension attachment. Each bit has its size marked for easy identification. Every piece in the set undergoes a multi-step insulation process to meet compliance with ASTM F1505 standards. Circle 46 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on

protection while working on hybrid or EV vehicles of high voltage. Saving time is not really what’s at stake here. It is rather a condition of added safety.

Q: How was its packaging? Did it come with any accessories?

A: It came with a nice plastic case with insertion spots for each of the tools, so one could easily see what might be missing after work is performed. Accessories include a three-inch extension, also well insulated.

Q: Is there any way you could think to improve or add to this tool?

A: The insulation, unavoidably, makes the tools bulkier. I don’t exactly understand the reason why Gray chose to make the sockets for internally wrenched bolts, rather than the very ubiquitous 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm bolts and nuts that are so commonly used in the hybrid Asian-made vehicles that we work on. In truth, I could find use only for the rachet and extension. The rachet is also a bit short. Some of the bolts can be very tight, and it would be nice to have some better leverage.

Q: What types of jobs/repairs did you use this tool for?

A: We do only hybrid vehicle work, including a fairly significant number of

battery replacements on Toyota hybrids with NiMh batteries. The rachet adds a level of safety and due to familiarity with the work, it is very easy to get careless while working with high voltage, so the tool makes a good reminder of the possibility of bad things happening when working without protective gloves. Even when doing jobs like 12V battery replacement, it’s nice to have the insulated rachet to avoid doing arc welding while removing the positive battery cable bolt near the body of the vehicle.

Q: What features did you like?

A: The quality of the tool appears to be good. The ratchet has small teeth for working in tight spots.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool overall? Why?

A: Given the unique nature of this tool, I’d have to give it an eight for innovation.

PHIL FOURNIER has been the owner/technician at Phil’s Auto Clinic for 32 years and a working auto technician for 45 years. Fournier received his ASE Master Certification in 1982 and his AAM from the Automotive Management Institute in 1994. Currently, he works as a consultant doing diagnosis, reprogramming, and virtual instruction. Fournier currently holds 17 ASE certifications including ASE Master Auto and Master truck plus L1, L2, and L3.

PTEN MAY 2024 32
This product was given to the reviewer free of charge from the manufacturer.

Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet

Reviewed by Brian Culotta, master technician and shop foreman at Dave’s Auto Care in WIlloughby, Ohio.

Q: How did the tool function as far as saving you time?

A: Often when using a more popular metal construction hammer or even a plastic dead-blow style hammer, automotive technicians may resort to adding something “soft” in between the item and the hammer itself to be struck, such as a piece of scrap wood or cloth, etc. These are not only “clumsy” and potentially unsafe but also require additional time to find such items. With these hammers, I can simply grab the tool and swing without risk of damage or injury.


The Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet is designed to conform to surface irregularities, providing maximum surface contact without marring, denting, or hand jarring. The mallet is built to deliver the needed force without surface damage and is ideal for auto body trim and glass. Available in three sizes, the Sorbothane Soft-Blow Mallet is safe on all types of surfaces and assemblies including vinyl, hard and soft metals, glass, and chrome. The mallet also reduces secondary damage and repair time. The impact is absorbed and dissipated within the Sorbothane material, eliminating hand jarring and harmful shock. Circle 47 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on

Q: How has using this tool impacted your shop’s profitability?

A: This tool impacts our shop’s profitability by avoiding damage to components. The extremely soft material it is constructed from assures the stuck item does not get damaged or leave hammer impressions on it. Replacing a part I damaged can be a costly whoopsie.

where you need to strike. Also, a weighted version could be more helpful. The hammers could be a little bit heavier. I think a weighted center core of the hammerhead would improve the design.

Q: What kind of setup was involved before using the product?

A: There was no setup necessary for this tool. It arrived fully assembled and ready for use.

Q: How easy was it to use?

A: Swing! These hammers are very easy to use and are well-balanced.

Q: How was its packaging? Did it come with any accessories?

A: The hammers were packaged with a cardboard sleeve on the hammering surface. No accessories included or necessary.

Q: What features did you like?

A: The unique ultra-soft construction of the hammering head. Also, the three size/weight choices are nice. Three sizes to choose from for any task.

Q: Is there any way you could think to improve or add to this tool?

A: Different-shaped (smaller) hammering heads. Sometimes, due to the large striking surface, the hammer may not fit

Q: What types of jobs/repairs did you use this tool for?

A: During removal of delicate components on a vehicle such as a valve cover or oil pan. This hammer is soft enough to not mar or damage the item it is striking while having enough weight to it to dislodge a stuck component. Also, I can’t think of a better hammer to use for installing metal hub caps onto wheels. This product ensures you aren’t going to dent or bend an expensive classic car wheel cover/hubcap/beauty ring.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool? Why?

A: I would give this a nine. The product performed well and should last the test of time.

BRIAN CULOTTA is a graduate of the Universal Technical Institute in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating, he started working for an independent car dealership as a lead technician for seven years. He then moved to a new job at an independent repair shop where he stayed for three years. He now works at Dave’s Auto Care in Willoughby, Ohio, as the shop foreman and ASE Master L1, L3 technician. MAY 2024 PROFESSIONAL TOOL & EQUIPMENT NEWS 33
This product was given to the reviewer free of charge from the manufacturer.

Milton Industries Water & Air Industrial POWER WAND

age to equipment as the shaft thrusts. The variable trigger offers complete control as well. Also, I like the length of the shaft. It is the longest cleaning tool I have used.

Q: How did the tool/equipment function as far as saving you time?

A: Being able to insert this cleaning tool in between parts to clean them can save extensive time by eliminating and/or reducing the need to disassemble components on equipment.

Q: What kind of setup was involved before using the product?

A: There is no setup required. There is an adapter included in the kit to either


The Milton Industries Water & Air Industrial POWER WAND is an all-in-one solution for precision cleaning in small and large work task demands, such as HVAC units, radiators, filtration devices, auto and trucks, farm and agricultural, and more. The Industrial POWER WAND offers a high maximum air pressure of 125 PSI and 2.8 GPM water flow to handle tough grime and stains. Its customizable pressure flow allows for tailored cleaning. With an ergonomic handle grip and a four-finger grip controller, users have more comfort and control in confined and tight spaces. Circle 48 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on

use this tool with air from an air compressor or water via a garden hose. Both options work well.

Q: How easy was it to use?

A: Very simple to use. There is a flow control knob on the handle to limit the maximum flow as well as a variable trigger to squeeze. During the first use, I was not expecting the tool to create so much sideways “thrust” as the trigger was pulled. It is important to keep two hands on the tool when in use to maintain control of the long shaft.

Q: How was its packaging? Did it come with any accessories?

A: The tool arrived in clear plastic packaging. It was partially bent due to the thin design of the shaft. I think the product should be sold in a better container to prevent damage. A plastic blow-molded case would be nice to store the product when not in use as well.

Q: What features did you like?

A: Having two options to control flow is nice. The maximum flow-control knob will limit you from causing dam-

Q: Is there any way you could think to improve or add to this tool?

A: Having an adapter that could allow spraying a cleaning solution onto the equipment would be nice.

Q: What types of jobs/repairs did you use this tool for? Please provide a few specific examples.

A: Cleaning in between a radiator and A/C condenser to remove road dust/ debris. Cleaning the inside of truck frame rails to remove salt and road debris after the winter months to prevent rusting. Rinsing the underside of a vehicle with the vehicle on the ground during a car wash. I even used the tool at home to clean my gutters!

Q: How does this tool compare to other tools you’ve used like it?

A: This is the first cleaning tool that I have used that uses either water or air. I have multiple long blow-gun style tools but nothing with a 90-degree 10-jet tip like this tool.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool overall? Why?

A: I would give this an eight. I feel the shaft could be made slightly thicker to prevent bending.

BRIAN CULOTTA is a graduate of the Universal Technical Institute in Chicago, Illinois. A er graduating, he started working for an independent car dealership as a lead technician for seven years. He then moved to a new job at an independent repair shop where he stayed for three years. He now works at Dave’s Auto Care in Willoughby, Ohio, as the shop foreman and ASE Master L1, L3 technician.

PTEN MAY 2024 34
This product was given to the reviewer free of charge from the manufacturer.

Electronic Specialties Relay Fuse Buddy

Instead of finding a fuse, you can use its relay which often is easier to access, select the appropriate adapter, connect the Fuse Buddy, and activate the circuit.

Q: Have you used a previous version of this tool?

A: I have the regular Fuse Buddy but not the adapters this came with.

Q: How did the tool/equipment function as far as saving you time?

A: It can save you a significant amount of time when trying to access current draw-type testing. Not so much for battery parasitic drain, but for component dynamic testing.

Q: What kind of setup was involved before using the product?

A: The setup is really intuitive.

Q: Was there a manual included? If so, did you use the manual, and was the manual easy to understand?

A: There is! It’s probably pretty good, too. For the purpose of this review, I did


The Electronic Specialties Relay Fuse Buddy, No. 316, is a diagnostic tool that features an on/off relay bypass switch and live current meter. The tester will normally connect at the fuse panel, where most vehicle relays are found. Relay Fuse Buddy has many applications and can assist in determining whether the problem is the relay, the circuit, or the component. It can be used to turn on/off DC motors, fuel injectors and fuel pumps, for example. Adapters are included for six of the most common types of relays, providing wide test coverage. An amp probe is not required.

Circle 49 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on

go back and read the instructions after I already used the product, just to make sure I was using it properly and also to be able to honestly answer this question that I did use the manual.

Q: How was its packaging? Did it come with any accessories?

A: The unit comes in a box suitable for storage. It has a foam insert for all the components that come with the unit. It is essentially an Electronic Specialties Fuse Buddy with relay adapters that jump the secondary side or switch side thus allowing current to flow through the Fuse Buddy to be measured and displayed.

Q: How easy was it to use?

A: I used it without reading instructions so it would be difficult to get much easier than that.

Q: What types of jobs/repairs did you use this tool for?

A: Where this tool really shines is when you wish to test a circuit, and more likely a component like an electric motor, pump, solenoid, etc, for current draw.

Q: What features did you like?

A: The large display and overall ease of use.

Q: Is there any way you could think to improve or add to this tool?

A: I would add a means to test voltage drop. It may not be able to accurately tell you if you have low feed voltage or a poor ground, but it could give you a heads-up that even though current may seem just good enough, there is a voltage issue to chase, or at least look into. I would also like to see it have a decent min/max feature that could lend itself well to catching stall current/surge current/start-up current. This could be invaluable for testing electric motors and pumps.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool overall? Why?

A: I would give this a solid eight. For specific tests, it’s a time saver and tells you pertinent information quickly.

MATT FANSLOW is the shop manager for Riverside Automotive, an all makes/all models independent repair shop in Red Wing, Minnesota. He has over 27 years of experience in the automotive industry and is an ASE Master Certified Technician (A1-A8) and an L1 Automobile Advanced Engine Performance Specialist. He also has his own podcast, Matt Fanslow Diagnosing the A ermarket A to Z, that provides a wide-open perspective on all aspects of the automotive a ermarket from a working diagnosticians’ point of view. To listen to his latest podcast episode and others, visit In 2021, Fanslow was the recipient of the AAPEX Technician of the Year award. MAY 2024 PROFESSIONAL TOOL & EQUIPMENT NEWS 35
This product was given to the reviewer free of charge from the manufacturer.

Autel IA900AST Wheel Alignment and All Systems ADAS Machine



with Stewart Peregrine, senior executive of ADAS sales for Autel.

Q: What makes this product so innovative?

A: We spend a considerable amount of time listening to the customer and looking at the customer workflow — so what’s the work that needs to be done? We also looked at all the OEM information that’s required to finish repairs, and we took all that information and designed a system that helps the technician through each of the steps easily. We also added, we like to call it “enhanced OEM.” We take the OEM information, and then we enhance upon the procedure. What that means for the technician is an easier placement of targets, so that they ensure that the target is in the right spot, and then also it validates the work that was done. It’s kind of like turning in your homework assignment to the teacher. It shows all the work that was done. And so, from the ease-of-use standpoint for the technician, and then from the shop owner, and even insurance carriers and customers alike, it’s the assurance that the procedures were done correctly and put into documentation that makes sense.

Q: How will this product improve the lives of technicians and shop owners?

A: From a business standpoint because of the ease of use, the technicians that are required to operate the equipment can be somebody as simple as someone just getting into the field. You can put them on this equipment, and they can exceed expectations. So that’s a win-win all the way around, especially in the environment that we’re in. It’s an exciting time for anybody

getting into the industry. The ADAS component is unique, it’s exciting, and it’s very profitable. So, for anyone looking to get into the industry, I would take a hard look at ADAS in general and look at the types of equipment that are out there now, like the IA900, to help your job and help businesses alike make the revenue that’s needed.

Q: What has been the feedback from technicians who’ve purchased this tool?

A: Because of the workflow and the incorporation of all the work that needs to be done and the steps in the tool, it’s been very, very positive. We have a ton of customers out there who have been loyal to other brands and now have come Autel’s direction.

Q: Anything else our readers should know?

A: If you have questions on anything don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can fill those gaps if you just don’t know.

PTEN is the only publication to feature the prestigious “Innovation Awards”. Every year since 1999, the Innovation Awards highlight the newest and most innovative products introduced to the automotive aftermarket. For 2023, PTEN received over 100 submitted product entries in 26 categories. We will be featuring the top scoring products in monthly Innovation Award Profiles. To view a full list of winners online, visit:

The Innovation Awards honor companies that take their products to another level and offer unique features that make a technician’s job easier. The 2024 Innovation Awards are now underway. Stay tuned for the winners to be announced in our September issue!

To view the full interview, visit:
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Diagnostic tools are an important asset in any technician’s toolbox. With the power to nd problems at the source, technicians can perform the repairs they need to, saving time and money. Check out these diagnostic tools and consider adding them to your arsenal.


Exair’s Updated Ultrasonic Leak Detector (ULD) is a handheld instrument designed to help locate the source of leaks in a compressed air system. With this tool, testing the various unions, pipes, valves, and fittings of a complete installation can be done at distances up to 20’ away. The ULD can detect the vibrations of high pressure gases, creating an audible sound through supplied headphones as well as indicating intensity via front-facing LED display as it moves closer to the leak origin. Adjustments can be made to filter out background noise with “+” or “-” buttons for fine-tuning sensitivity. The updated ULD offers an increased ability to detect leaks in hard-to-reach areas while complying with the IEX 61326-1 standard.

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The TS001 Thermal Imager from TOPDON is a long-focus Android thermal imager with a 9mm lens. The TS001 has an infrared resolution of 256 pixels by 192 pixels and a 25Hz frame rate. The adjustable lens covers infrared imaging needs from 0.1m to 500m. Equipped with both measurement and observation modes, the TS001 provides accurate temperature readings and intuitive insights into heat distribution. Circle 52 on card or click “PTEN e-inquiry” on


The Teledyne FLIR E6 Pro is a rugged point-and-shoot thermal camera designed to help inspect, locate, and diagnose automotive problems quickly using 240 by 180 thermal resolution (43,200 pixels) and vibrant thermal imagery supported by FLIR-patented MSX (multi-spectral dynamic imaging). Featuring a 3.5”, 640 pixels by 480 pixels resolution touchscreen, the E6 Pro allows users to edit and organize photos, add detailed notes, and upload files directly from the camera to the FLIR Ignite cloud for convenient access from any device. Users can also share images with customers and create quick reports directly in FLIR Ignite or create advanced reports in FLIR Thermal Studio.

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The Zenith Z7 from EZDS is a diagnostic scanner that features OE level functionality, as well as ADAS functionality and access to security gateways for FCA, Nissan, Ford, and Hyundai vehicles. With built-in J2534 pass-thru capability, along with support for DoIP, CAN FD, and topology scan, it is designed to be an all-in-one solution for diagnostics. Additionally, the scanner has bidirectional communication with 24V commercial trucks and inclusive remote diagnostic support.

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PTEN MAY 2024 38 Diagnostic Test Equipment
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The Alpha MUTT ABS Bench-Top Model from Innovative Products of America is designed to offer fleets extra flexibility with both in-shop and service-truck capabilities, the Bench-Top Model is the first trailer inspection system with a built-in LiFeP04 battery for consistent testing. In addition to this, each unit includes IPA’s patented diagnostic technology for remote-controlled light, air brake, and ABS testing, and is built with a tri-mount handle for portability and versatility in or around the shop. Users can bring the tester to the trailer and expect to get 10 to 20 inspections per charge.

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The Redline Dectection Smoke Pro Air comes with its own onboard micro air compressor, eliminating the need to connect to air lines or inert gas. By eliminating the need for shop air or inert gas tanks, technicians can quickly diagnose, locate, and repair leaks anywhere, anytime. Smoke Pro Air improves the accuracy of repairs and eliminates comebacks by verifying that difficult-to-find component leaks are repaired accurately the first time, the company says.

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The Radiator Pressure Test Kit , No. W89746, from Performance Tool is designed to test pressurized cooling systems up to 30 psi on vehicles to help detect internal and external leaks. The gauge offers psi and bar measurements. The kit includes a hand pump with a 35-psi gauge, a thumb-operated relief valve, and quick-connect adapters.

The Radiator Pressure Test Kit , No. W89746, from Performance Tool

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Hose flushing

Thermal printer

One used oil bottle

Status light

Refrigerant database

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Made in USA

Fully Automatic Recovery/Recycle/Recharge Machine • Automatic oil injection • Two sealed bellows design bottles, one used oil bottle • Status light

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The Milwaukee Tool M12 Auto Technician Borescope , No. 3150-20, is designed to deliver 5mm access and clear diagnosis. The 5mm camera head, paired with a 3’ cable optimized for rigidity, allows for ideal access in tight spaces, including glow plug holes and fuel injector ports. With high-definition front and side cameras with adjustable LED brightness as well as a 4.3” rotatable display, the borescope provides enhanced application viewing. Additionally, it offers 4x zoom capabilities, includes a 32GB SD card, and is equipped with Heat Sense temperature alert technology that notifies the user when the vehicle being inspected is too hot to use the camera without potential damage.

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The i70BT Automotive Diagnostic System from Foxwell is a diagnostic scanner with Wireless VCI Foxlink I. It inherits the same Foxwell advantages in car fault diagnostic tech, such as multiple manufacturer coverage, service functions, and accurate test data, making it ideal for busy garages or workshops. The i70BT supports all system diagnostics as well as oil reset, EPB, SAS, and 35 service functions. Users can run bidirectional tests and perform automatic VIN readings. Additionally, the i70BT supports CAN FD/DoIP, has a wireless connection, and features one-touch update.

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The Icon T8 Intelligent Diagnostic Scanner from Harbor Freight has a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor for lag-free operation and wireless vehicle communication capability. The scanner is compatible with 1996 and newer domestic, Asian, European, and exotic vehicles. Additional features include an 8” touchscreen, wireless OBD-II scanning, a holder for a stylus, and a flip-out stand located on the back of the scanner. It also comes with a heavy duty storage case with hinge pins that can be removed to convert the case into a tool tray.

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The Tru-Point ADAS Calibration System Software Update 1.8.0 from John Bean includes new procedures, features, and improvements. New features include initial remote scanner vendor integration, target subscription expiration message on the home page, activation on first boot and network connection, ability to send messages and promotions to the home page, add pointer target measurements to manual mode, and customer information is now available on the menu after selecting a vehicle.

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The Vividia BD-5030i Borescope from Oasis Scientific is a semi-rigid USB borescope with a .19” diameter probe head and an 11’ long tube. It is equipped with both a front and side camera on the head and is designed to integrate seamlessly with the “USEE” Camera app (available on iPhone, iPad, and Android). Users can switch between both cameras and adjust their LED brightnesses within the app. Pictures and videos can be saved to connected devices.

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The TP150 TPMS Diagnostic Tool from Xtooltech USA integrates tire pressure programming, tire pressure diagnosis, and tire pressure matching. It supports activation of 315MHz to 433MHz tire pressure sensors and can wirelessly program up to eight Xtooltech TS100 universal tire pressure sensors.

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The Fluke 5.5mm Scope with 0.7m Articulating Camera Probe is compatible with the Fluke DS703 FC Video Borescope. The high-definition camera head provides ideal resolution at 1280 by 720 (720p), and the articulating head can bend up to 180 degrees, which makes inspections in tough-to-reach areas easier. With a 5.5mm diameter, the camera probe is designed to pass through spark plug and injector ports with ease. Ideal for a complete valve inspection. Includes a carrying case.


Noregon’s JPRO Professional 2024 v1 Update features on and off-highway enhancements so users can diagnose commercial vehicles and heavy duty equipment in the same application at no additional cost. The update also includes increased support for Kubota engines, additional bidirectional support for Detroit Assurance, Allison transmissions, and PACCAR, as well as tighter integration between Repair Mentor and Vehicle Readiness features.

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A versatile workspace

The stainless-steel surface of this technician’s workspace works well for taking quick notes that can easily be wiped away later.

When Igor Polishchuk, owner of CAtuned in Sacramento, California, outgrew his old toolbox, he knew he wanted a custom Mac Tools Macsimizer toolbox. For him, the quality and durability were big factors in making his decision. He notes that the box is built “very strong” and if he were to open up one of the bigger drawers, he’d be able to stand inside it and have his weight supported. “It’s definitely something I feel confident in,” Polishchuk says. “You load a bunch of tools inside. It gets really heavy.”


Polishchuk’s toolbox consists of the 75” long by 30” tall Macsimizer toolbox, two 16” wide side lockers, and a cabinet.

Igor Polishchuk Shop: CAtuned

Location: Sacramento, Cali.

He made sure the entire setup matched his shop’s colors with the custom MTO red and black pulls.

The stainless-steel surface of his cabinet makes for a more versatile workspace, as the technician notes that he can use a Sharpie to write notes directly on the space, and it easily wipes away. He also utilizes this area for disassembling parts, cleaning them, or with the lighting inside of the cabinet, just to get a better look at them.

Aside from the lighting inside the cabinet, Polishchuk has installed a light inside his top drawer where he stores all his sockets.

“Going forward I’ll probably get a couple more light bars to go into some of the other drawers,” he notes, “just because it makes it easier to see, and it lights up the whole drawer, so you can find things quicker.”


Though Polishchuk has his tools organized so that each type of tool has its own drawer, when over 90 percent of the tools you’re using reside in one space, further means of organization may be necessary. Polishchuk has some organizers he’s currently using, but most of those are the trays that come with the tools.

“Over time those trays kind of disintegrate,” Polishchuk says. “They’re just not built to last forever.” In the future, the shop owner would like to invest in upgrading his organizers, potentially to something with a magnetic base. Other than this and the drawer lighting, Polishchuk doesn’t think he’ll be adding to his toolbox anytime soon. However…

“I’m always adding [new] tools,” he says, “so you never know.”


Polishchuk’s shop, CAtuned, has spent the last 22 years restoring mostly pre2000 era classic BMWs, as well as expanding his business to include producing parts for these vehicles that are no longer available elsewhere.

The shop owner got his start in automotive at a young age from assisting his dad with performing repairs on the family car. As he got older, working on cars became something he did for fun, and eventually turned into running his own business.

For Polishchuk working on the German classics is more enjoyable than performing typical automotive service. When he tried that, he notes that “the everyday repair work left him burnt out.”

“It’s definitely rewarding to work with clients on restoration projects,” Polishchuk says, “because a lot of the clients become more like friends … having that bond with the customer in your restoring their vehicle for maybe a year, it’s a different process [than typical automotive service repairs] and definitely rewarding to see something go from a dilapidated state to something that’s super nice.”

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Polishchuk's favorite part of his toolbox is the built-in power outlets. Photo courtesy of Igor Polishchuk
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Made from high-quality American steel by American workers, the Snap-on® BJP1 22 pc Master Ball Joint/Universal Joint Press Set services over 700 individual ball joint designs in 315 domestic and foreign vehicles, more than any other sets on the market. It is manufactured to withstand the high forces generated by today’s most powerful impact guns and requires fewer adaptors, a true market differentiator. The 180º reversible C-frame accepts adaptors on either end, providing access to the tightest areas.


The BJP1 has a unique, serviceable locking cup retention system, allowing technicians to do the job easily without an extra set of hands.

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