Top 10 Tools: David Friend, MobileTech/Wilmington Hybrids

April 13, 2018
This technician turned two-shop owner shares his top tools.

Technician: David Friend

Shop: MobileTech/Wilmington Hybrids

Location: Wilmington, North Carolina

David Friend is an ASE master certified technician with over 18 years of industry experience. Friend opened his first shop, MobileTech, in 2009. He started out primarily performing mobile diagnostics and repairs until he opened a full-service brick and mortar garage in 2010.

In 2016, Friend opened a second location, Wilmington Hybrids, that focuses primarily on hybrid and electric vehicle diagnostics. The new location offers a classroom area where Friend holds hands-on and classroom training for automotive professionals.

“I enjoy the challenges of the ever-changing automotive landscape, from the complexity of emerging technologies as a technician, to the challenge of growth and customer retention as a shop owner, and engaging young and old technicians through training,” Friend says.

1. Drew Technologies CarDAQ-M

The Drew Tech CarDAQ-M is a modular and complete SAE J J2534-1 and J2534-2 designed to be easily upgradeable for new technologies. “This is one of the most reliable tools on the market, with great tech support,” Friend says. “[This tool] gives you the ability to use factory-level OEM diagnostics from manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Volvo and BMW to name a few.”

2. Snap-on Tools 14.4V 3/8” Drive MicroLithium Cordless Impact, No. CT761

This impact provides 120 lb-ft of torque output and produces 2,000 rpms of free speed to handle a wide variety of applications. Friend appreciates the variable pressure switch for speed control and handy LED light. He also notes that this tool shares a battery with Snap-on’s entire line of handhelds, which makes it one of his go-to tools.

3. AESwave uScope Kit

“This is a run and gun scope that can be carried in your shirt pocket,” Friend says. “This single-channel scope packs a punch with the ability to save settings and capture files [at a reasonable price point].”

4. Midtronics Power Supply Charger, No. MSP-070

 The MSP-070 is designed to provide clean, reliable power for charging and maintaining battery state-of-charge during service reflash or complex maintenance. “This tool is essential to meet today’s vehicles’ high demand in voltage while programming, and even diagnosing drivability issues,” Friend says.

5. Electronic Specialties Load Pro Test Leads, No. 180

These test leads work by loading the circuit to see if current can flow. By loading the circuit, Load pro makes a voltage drop test “on the fly,” the company says. Friend uses these test leads for checking grounds and corroded wires, and notes that he’s found these to be one of the most accurate testing tools on the market.

6. Sir Tools 50-pc Ultimate Mini-Driver Kit

“This mini driver set is ideal when disassembling clusters, modules and other items for bench testing,” Friend says. “They are high quality, with a durable case for storage.”

7. AESwave Fuse AMP Loop with Voltage Tap, No. 16-202

The Fuse AMP Loop is designed for easy capture of current and voltage waveforms at the fuse socket. Friend adds that this kit is ideal for capturing amperage with a low amp scope and cuts down drivability diagnostic time.

8. GW Instek GOM-801H Milli Ohm Meter

“This powerful milli ohm meter can streamline diagnosing motor generator assemblies in today’s high voltage vehicles,” Friend says.

9. Wakeon 76562 COP Quick Probe VS

“This is the fastest, easiest and most accurate way to check a COP ignition coil without hooking up a lab scope,” Friend says. “The kit contains a 7’ lead that I find allows you access behind most intakes.”

10. Snap-on Modus Edge

This tool is a combination full-function scan tool and scope/graphing meter with a five-second boot-up and instant ID feature that automatically reads the VIN upon connection to the vehicle. Friend appreciates this scan tool’s speed and versatility. 

About the Author

Stefanie Von Rueden | Assistant Editor - Vehicle Repair Group

Stefanie Von Rueden is assistant editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

Von Rueden’s background includes professional writing and publishing. Previously, she worked in the Continuing Education department at UW-Whitewater. She has covered the vehicle maintenance and automotive aftermarket since 2016.

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