SHOP: Auto Craftsmen
LOCATION: Montpelier, Vt.
OWNER: Amy Mattinat
Amy Mattinat, president of Auto Craftsmen, has established a reputation for service excellence. She attributes her success to continual education, networking with shops from around the country and becoming a marketing expert through CinRonMarketing.com. Besides managing her business, she teaches women car care clinics and other classes. She writes an automotive car care blog, a newsletter, a newspaper column. She also wrote a book: “How To Buy A Great Used Car.” Tire and wheel repair is a big part of the business in hilly Vermont. A large number of cars serviced are European.
TOP 10 TOOLS
1) CEMB 915 tire machine
Auto Craftsmen uses the tire machine mainly on passenger cars. The machine features an air tank in tower, dual clamping cylinders, semi-automatic swing arm, inflator jets on each clamp, adjustable bead breaker, low profile mounting helper, bead suppressing tool and the ability to work on 14" to 26" tires. “I just got a good, overall all-purpose workhorses,” Amy Mattinat says of the machine. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10926529.
2) CEMB K8 wheel balancer
Mattinat notes this wheel balancer has as much automatic set up as possible and she calls it a “work horse.” The balancer features self-diagnosis and self-calibration, menus for quick selection of units of measurement, optimization program for compensation of rim and tire unbalance, programs for "static" balancing and the balancing of different types of rims, standard quick nut mounting, one button split and hidden weight program, and a 10-compartment weight tray. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10926336
3) Snap-on wheel balancer
The Snap-on Motorized Wheel Balancer (EEWB304D) can be used on passenger cars, light trucks and light commercial vehicles. Mattinat says this wheel balancer saves time by automatically entering wheel sizes and is more convenient since it is 1.5 feet higher than other balancers. “It makes it a little bit easier,” she says, noting that tire work is very laborious. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10940720.
4) Snap-on Verdict 07 scan tool
This scan tool does especially well with European cars, and Mattinat notes, “My shop predominantly works on imports.” Snap-on's Verdict uses a wireless scanner, wireless scope and touchscreen display tablet to let technicians be in more places at once. A keyless scan module simplifies vehicle connection. Windows/Wi-Fi/Internet provide access to web resources and the optional ShopKey information system. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10166833.
5) Lincoln Electric Arc welder SP100
The Lincoln Electric arc welder SP100 can be used for sheet metal welding, light-frame auto body work and farm and small shop applications. Mattinat says this welder controls the flame well and is easy to use. The SP100 has been replaced by the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 180 dual welder. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10937718.
6) Snap-on sand blaster
The Snap-onAbrasive Blast Cabinet (YA3825) effectively cleans metal parts right down to the bare substrate. The applications vary from automotive, manufacturing, restoration, tool and die shops, marine repair and electric motor rebuilders. “They (the sandblasters) are extra long,” Mattinat notes, allowing the techs to get into a lot of different spaces. “Even with enormous gloves on, he (the tech) can still use it,” she notes. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10940691.
7) Snap-on CT44 10A 3/8” electric impact gun
The heat-treated alloy gears in this tool provide strength and durability, meaning less chance of breakage and a one-handed forward/reverse switch lets user easily switch directions, getting the job done quicker. “It does all the small stuff and it’s battery operated, so it’s easy to move around,” Mattinat notes. For information on this tool, go to www.vehicleservicepros.com/10102617.