Top 10 Tools: David Lang, Independent Vehicle Service Inc.

The bulk of the company's revenue comes from brake repair, clutch repair, maintenance services and alignments.


"Despite all the lighting a well-lit shop provides, it's not enough when you are under a hood and you want to get to access parts such as fuel injectors," Lang says. "My theory is that everyone needs a flashlight that will fit in his mouth when his hands are full." Streamlight's Stylus Pro LED flashlight uses a .5-watt, high-flux LED, as well as micro optical system technology to deliver twice the light output of the Stylus penlight. Techs to carry it in a pocket or on a tool belt for looking under a hood or chassis. The Stylus Pro measures 5.3", weighs 1.64 oz and provides an output of 48 lumens typical and a continuous regulated runtime of 7.5 hours.

6)      Streamlight LED Strion flashlight

Lang says this LED flashlight provides two to three times the output of other LEDs. It offers three microprocessor-controlled variable light intensity modes as well as a strobe function. "I can use this to look any time I need a flashlight, even if I'm looking for smoke." The light features a multi-function, push-button tactical tail button switch, allowing for easy, one-handed operation of the light's momentary, variable intensity or strobe modes.

7)      PowerProbe III

Power Probe's Power Probe III features an easy-to-read backlit voltmeter for reading voltage at the tip. "You don't have to drag jumper leads around and look for power outlets. It is self-lit, so it replaces old lights, and it has a voltmeter." Pressing the unit's rocker switch forward provides a hot lead for powering up electrical components like cooling fans and relays. Simultaneous use of the hot lead and ground lead activate components right in the user's hand. With the polarity tester, positive, negative and open circuits can be identified without having to re-polarize or reconnect hook-up clips.

8)      Power Probe Hook

Lang likes the fact that the Hook can connect to systems from 12V to 48V and includes an accurate inductive amp meter. "You can see how much electricity a circuit is drawing." The AC voltage threshold sets the Power Probe Hook to automatically turn on and display amplitude and frequency when an AC signal is detected on the tip. Other features include: minimum/maximum voltage, current, and resistance measurements, along with peak-peak voltage, frequency counter, positive and negative pulse width and duty cycle and an isolated continuity tester.

9)      Automotive Test Solutions E-SmokePro smoke machine

This OEM EVAP-approved smoke machine locates all EVAP system leaks and vacuum leaks. "I use it the most for locating leaks in the evaporative system and in the induction system." The machine can also find exhaust and EGR leaks, under dash leaks, throttle-body component leaks, brake-booster leaks, turbo and supercharger leaks, head-gasket leaks, vacuum-subsystem leaks, injector o-ring leaks, wind/water leaks, oil leaks, air-injection leaks, MAP sensor leaks and more.

10)  Fluke 233 wireless remote display digital multimeter

Lang uses the wireless remote display digital multimeter for general electrical testing. The multimeter with removable magnetic display allows a tech to be 30 feet away from the measurement point. Lang finds that it will always tell what component in a circuit is bad. "It's always good to have an accurate meter that can also measure amperage accurately." The wireless feature eliminates the juggling of leads and the meter while stretching into a tight spot. The radio transmitter automatically turns off when the display is connected to the meter. There is an easy-to-read display with large digits and bright backlight.

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