Top 10 Tools: Tools for the shop owner, educator and inventor

SHOP: Phil’s Auto Clinic


OWNER: Phil Fournier

Phil Fournier opened his repair shop in 1984 and has established a reputation for tool expertise. He serves as an instructor for Standard Motor Products and is an adjunct faculty member at Mt. San Jacinto College in San Jacinto, CA. He invented a piercing probe to reach an oxygen sensor wire far up or down next to a hot exhaust pipe. The probe is sold by AESWave.   

1) Phil’s Electric Piercing Probe

“This probe ends the frustration encountered with previous piercing probes. The wire-piercing probe allows the capture of voltage information off a live wire for diagnostic purposes, either with a voltmeter or a scope.”  This probe allows the capture of voltage information off of a live wire for diagnostic purposes, either with a voltmeter or a scope. The probe is spring loaded and pierces the wire on its own. For information, go to

2) RPS MicroMag FC 1

“I have only owned this machine for a little over a year and I can’t figure out how I ever got along without it. I spent thousands over the years painting my floors. I wish I had just bought the MicroMag and left the floors unpainted. It saves an incredible amount of time in floor clean-up.” The MicroMag can either come as a brush assist machine or a traction drive machine. For information, go to

3) Autel MaxiDAS708

“I have numerous factory scan tools which I really like, but for an aftermarket scan tool that doesn’t cost very much money, it is really a powerful scan tool.” The DS708 diagnostic system offers high performance with intuitive operation; the OE-level diagnostic solution was designed for the aftermarket. Features include vehicle coverage for more than 30 domestic, Asian and European makes; Complete function capability including live data, ECU programming, automatic wi-fi updates and more. For information, go to

4) Drew Technologies’ GM Mongoose interface

“I like the fact that the devices interface with OEM software to give me a factory equivalent scan tool for a reasonable price.” The Mongoose GM supports GM’s Tech2WIN diagnostics and TIS2WEB reprogramming applications. With Tech2WIN a user can connect to powertrain, chassis, and body systems to read trouble codes, view live streaming data, run bi-directional controls, and perform diagnostic routines. TIS2WEB supports all module reprogramming. For information, go to

5) Picoscope Four-Channel PC Oscillocope Kit, No. 3423

“There is nothing like it for recording waveform data and playing it back.” Kit accessories include clamps, ignition pickups, test leads and probes, while the software provides a technical reference library of tests and tutorials on over 50 topics, including waveforms. The scope itself connects and is powered via a USB port in offering an improved sampling rate of 20MS/s, a 12-bit resolution and a buffer memory of 512K. For information, go to

6) EVAPro Model 2000E by Vacutec 

“There are lots of newer and more modern EVAP, but this one has done the trick for me for many years at very low operating cost.” The machine available to the automotive aftermarket, the Smoke Wizard, uses Star technology. The Smoke Wizard can diagnose nine of the top 10 check engine light codes, based on 2008 California Smog Check data. For information, go to

7) GearWrench 120XP Flex Head Ratchet

“This is another tool that I can’t figure out how I got along without for so many years once I got it.” With its extra-long handle and six-position flex head, it provides unprecedented access for hard-to-reach fasteners. The ratchet’s teardrop-shaped head has a low profile, flush-mounted on/off switch that further improves access in tight spaces. For information, go to

8) Streamlight Strion rechargeable flashlight, No. 74300

“I’m 55 years old and I can’t see without lots of light anymore. I’m sure I’ve paid for it in savings on throw-away batteries.”  The flashlight offers three variable intensity modes, strobe mode and the latest in power LED technology. The C4 LED high beam delivers 8,800 candela peak beam intensity;160 lumens and a runtime of two hours. For information, go to

9) Matco Tools Silver Eagle 7.2V power screwdriver, No., SE72VHG

“We rebuild hybrid batteries and they have lots of low torque screws and nuts. This adjustable electric screw and socket driver is the perfect tool for the job.” The screwdriver has 10 position clutch to control torque setting. The tool has been updated with the Infinium 12V cordless screwdriverMUC122SKIT, which has a High torque drive-train with 12-speed adjustable clutch. For information on this tool, go to

10) Matco upholstery tool set, No. UP4SET

“I dislike pulling door panels because of the breakage of so much plastic stuff. These door panel clip removing tools give me a fighting chance to get the panel off without too much breakage.” UP4SET provides a complete set for removing door panel fasteners, upholstery, and trim clips for dashboards and consoles. For information on this tool, go to