Top 10 Tools: Chad Nelson, Chad's Automotive

SHOP: Chad’s Automotive

LOCATION: Titusville, FL

OWNER: Chad Nelson

Chad’s Automotive services all types of cars, specializing in race cars. Nearly all of the business comes by word of mouth. Owner Chad Nelson also builds race cars as a hobby. Nelson keeps up on new repair tools and is known locally as an expert on diagnostic tools.


1) Launch X431 scan tool

The X431 Master from Launch has multiple connectors incorporated into the Smartbox, boot-up time, navigation within the menus and overall performance are now up to 30-percent faster than prior scanners. Nelson uses it on 98 percent of his repairs, and he claims it has OEM-level diagnostic capability. “You need that one to do it right the first time. It gives me the ability to get the information I need to make the repair the right way. For more information on this product, go to:

2) Mac Tools SmokePro machine from Redline Detection 

The EV9520 Smoke Pro from Mac Tools functions by puffing smoke into one of a car's sealed systems, which produces tell-tale wisps of smoke and pinpoints the location of the leak. After the leak is repaired, the mechanic uses the Smoke Pro's pressure gauge to perform a decay test to confirm that the system holds pressure, scientifically ensuring that the system is properly sealed. “Most guys think it’s for vacuum leaks, but it does so much more. It can be used for oil leaks, exhaust leaks and transmission leaks. It takes two to three minutes to set it up and you can find out so much information.” For more information on this product, go to:

3) Mac Tools MB 1900A Macsimizer 20-drawer work station

TThe Macsimizer MB1900A has 200 pounds per drawer capacity and 400 pounds capacity in the extra wide top drawer.  Its heavy duty construction provides maximum support and will hold up to 12,000 pounds with six casters. It can be also be used to detect oil leaks, exhaust leaks and transmission leaks. It takes two to three minutes to set it up and you can find out so much information.. “As a small business, take pride in storing tools customer see. If you take care of your tools, you’ll take care of their car.” For more information on this product, go to:

4) Mac Tools AR1776 3/8” sealed head air ratchet 

The AR1776 3/8” Drive Air Ratchet is a one-piece, steel ratchet anvil that is quiet but carries a lot of power. This is a sturdy tool perfect for just about every job. With preventative service such as oiling and conditioning, this air ratchet will be in the tool box arsenal for many years. “I’m really big on preventative service. I oil it, I condition it.” For more information on this product, go to:

5) Mac Tools 6-ton Spring Assist Stands 

TThe Lighting Lift jack stand offers a fast lift. The rack bar quickly rises to the desired support point. The heavy gauge, steel frame helps prevent distortion and twisting. “You don’t have to adjust them; you just pull this piece. The anvil in the center actually lifts on its own.” For more information on this product, go to: For more information on this product, go to:

6) DeWalt 12V 3/8” Impact Tool

Three LEDs provide visibility without shadows and the 3/8” hog ring anvil allows for fast socket changes. After three years, the tool is still has good as new. “You just grab it and go.” At only 2.3 lbs., the DeWalt 12v MAX 3/8” Impact Wrench, No. DCF813S2, offers 1,150 in./lbs. of torque for a variety of fastening applications. For more information on this product, go to:

7) Power Probe master set

Power Probe's Master Combo Kit, No. PPKIT03, allows the technician to follow and locate short and open circuits without removing molding panels and carpet just to expose wires. “What don’t I use it for? It offers a lot of flexibility for electronic diagnosis. I use one tool out of the box rather than three or four; you would need a circuit tester, a multimeter and a pulsar if there were no Power Probe.” The technician can see voltage displayed instantly by contacting the probe tip to a circuit. Instantly determines if a contact is a good or bad ground. It also verifies a short circuit or an open circuit. For more information on this product, go to:

8) Mac Tools universal hydraulic flaring tool set 

This tool kit comes in a custom molded box and provides GM fuel line flare; brake lines and transmission 5/16” and 3/8”; flare/double flare 3/16”, ¼”, 5/16”, 3/8” and ½” and metric bubble flare. “It allows you to do standard flare, single flare and fuel line flare. You’re not squeezing a handle and you get uniform flares each and every time. This is versatile.” For more information on this product, go to:

9) Mac Tools anti-vibe hammers

Mac Tools Anti-Vibe Hammers are available in a variety of sizes including 8 oz. (No. BH08AV), 12 oz. (No. BH12AV), 16 oz. (No. BH16AV), 24 oz. (No. BH24AV) and 32 oz. (No. BH32AV), and feature patented AntiVibe technology to dampen vibration. “It really deadens the residual effects from hammering. The hammer absorbs that and does not feed it back through your hands. It’s comfortable on your hands.” For more information on this product, go to:

10) Mac Tools Cobalt drill 35-pc extractor set

TThis master extractor set includes a variety of screw extractors, left-hand Cobalt drills and spiral flute extractors. “It gets you out of a jam a lot of times. Inevitably, bolts are going to break and studs are going to break. Having the bolts will save you from additional hours trying to extract them other ways. You break your drill bits every now and then. You can extract bolts broken off in an engine f or chassis and put them back correctly. You can give the vehicle back knowing it is fixed 100 percent.” For more information on this product, go to: