The scope of products for automotive repair grows every day with the introduction and upgrade of new tools and equipment. All of them offer some sort of time-saving or labor-reducing quality, but the Innovation Award presented by our sister publication, Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN), works to recognize truly innovative products that the end-user feels can help save time or make a particular service easier.
In order to identify the winners, PTEN calls upon 12 ASE-certified master technicians and shop owners to spotlight the best of the best. Selections are based solely on the panel‘s frontline-tested observations, thoughts and opinions—without input from advertisers or the magazine‘s staff.
The following products won an Innovation Award in 2006 ... and a special thanks to our panel for their dedicated service to recognize the best our industry has to offer.
Technicians save time and space with the 7895 Multi-Wrench, which packages the capability of eight sockets into one tool that covers virtually every oil pan drain plug size, according to Innovative Products of America. The company also says it's the only singular tool necessary to perform an oil change.
Schley's 64500 GM Harmonic Damper Holding Tool services both trucks and SUVs by delivering faster crank bolt removals and installations on 4.2, 3.5 and 2.8-liter in-line GM engines. The tool simply holds the pulley stationary in order to remove the center bolt.
Skye International, in cooperation with Leitenberger, offers the SA9020 KooL Tek Cooling System Analyzer. The unit aids technicians in eliminating the need for adapters, and therefore unnecessary costs, in addition to diagnosing defective head gaskets, water pumps, heater circuits, radiator leaks and thermostats—just to name a few applications.
The Fuse Buddy Tester and DMM Adapter from Electronic Specialties can help directly and easily connect to fuse sockets to measure current or test parasitic drain, which reduces time-wasting labor.
Fluid Rx unveiled an ATF diagnostic kit with an included diagnosis chart that allows technicians to visually demonstrate the need for automatic transmission fluid services to their customers.
Lock Technology believes their LT-680 Lower Control Arm Tool can revolutionize CV axle and strut repair by performing jobs faster and safer—with one-person operation and without the risk of damage to components.
BrakeQuip's Brake Hose Manufacturing System allows technicians to efficiently produce what the company describes as OEM-quality hydraulic brake and clutch hoses right in the shop, as needed.
Power Probe has conveniently assembled a collection of Master Cylinder Brake Bleeder Adapter Kits for specific vehicles, such as Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, Chrysler and more. These adapters also feature expandable O-rings to consistently provide leak-proof seals.
Vacula has designed the Valve Core Torque Tool to prevent over or under-torquing, which more safely tightens tire valve cores to meet tire pressure monitoring system specifications.
Lisle has unveiled the 39400 Angled Disconnect Tool Set to better access tight spots with its angled design. The tool can reach spring couplings on Ford and Chrysler A/C and quick-connect fuel lines, in addition to many other couplings on domestic and import vehicles.
Waekon's 76760 kV/Arc Quick Probe measures and compares peak kilovolts; verifies the proper firing of the secondary ignition system; helps indicate spark polarity on distributorless ignition systems; detects problems caused by faulty wires, plugs, caps, rotors or coils; and much more. This tool serves many purposes, but comes in one package.
Storing nitrogen on-board for quicker availability, the NTF-15 Plus Nitrogen Tire Filling System by RTI helps increase service speed while ensuring a higher nitrogen purity level.
The cordless 14.4-volt PowerLuber grease gun from Lincoln Industrial incorporates a two-speed design for higher pressure/higher volume delivery, so technicians can choose from more than one setting.
Sir Tools believes the ST 9020 Pneumatic Brake Caliper Piston Compressor can compress brake piston calipers with the squeeze of a trigger to speed up brake service.
S&G Tool Aid has released the versatile 32100 Electronic Stethoscope to help locate the sources of various leaks, as well as bearing noises, squeaks, rattles, valve knocks and other sounds.
K-Line's handheld AT3635 Ultrasonic Leak Detector pinpoints leaks in weather seals; shorts and arcing in electrical systems; and pressure and vacuum leaks in coolant, A/C, emissions, hydraulic and power steering systems.