Top 10 Tools: Josh Mahtaban, PSE&G

Dec. 15, 2015
Josh Mahtaban has more than 20 years experience, getting his start as a technician in the Army from 1994 to 1999. Diesel, hybrid, driveability and electrical work are among his specialties. Here are his top tools...

Technician: Josh Mahtaban

Shop: PSE&G

Location: Clifton, N.J. 

Josh Mahtaban has more than 20 years experience, getting his start as a technician in the Army from 1994 to 1999. He worked at a Ford dealership from 1999 to 2012, where he earned Ford Senior Master Technician certifications. An ASE Master Certified and L1 Advanced Level specialist as well as a Certified N.J. State Emissions Repair Tech, Mahtaban has been employed at PSE&G since 2012 as a fleet technician, working on everything from a Ford Focus to a Peterbilt truck. Diesel, hybrid, driveability and electrical work are among his specialties and he does hydraulic work, fabrication and welding as well.

1. Ford Rotunda IDS VCM II

"This tool is a must-have for diagnosing any modern Ford Motor Company product, especially diesel and hybrid," Mahtaban explains. "The wireless connectivity and faster connection speeds are welcome improvements over the original VCM. It also does an excellent job with cylinder power balance, relative injector flow, relative compression and Mode 6 data."

2. Snap-on Cooling System Pressure Tester - Air Powered, No. SVTS263

"It's a real time saver when diagnosing coolant leaks," Mahtaban says. "I find it works especially good when diagnosing faulty EGR coolers."

3. AESWave uScope

"I really like this small scope for its portability, speed and resolution," Mahtaban says. "It's a great 'first look' tool and, more often than not, it allows me to diagnose the fault without resorting to a more bulky scope."

4. Snap-on 54" Heavy Duty Prybar, No. SPBH540

"What's not to like about a 54" prybar?" Mahtaban says, noting the striking handle is useful for lining up engine mounts - particularly those found in diesel trucks. "It's also great for front end work."

5. OTC CAN Test Breakout Box and Protocol Detector

Mahtaban says this device is very useful when diagnosing "no communication" issues. "It allows you to test the circuits without worrying about compromising the integrity of the pins and inadvertently creating new problems."

6. Milwaukee M12 Cordless 3/8" Lithium-Ion Ratchet, No. 2457-21

"I love the size, power, versatility and value of this tool. I rarely even use an air ratchet anymore," says Mahtaban. "This thing has taken a beating and is surprisingly powerful for it's size and price. The light is a nice feature as well." Mahtaban says he has purchased several other M12 tools from Milwaukee and has not been disappointed with them.

7. Ford Rotunda Flex Probe Kit, No. NUD105-R025E

Mahtaban says this kit is an "absolute must-have" tool for technicians looking to probe electrical connectors and pins on current vehicles without causing any damage to them. "I also find them useful for checking pin fit and terminal fretting," Mahtaban adds.

8. Power Probe Butane Soldering Kit, No. PPSK

"This butane soldering kit heats up quickly and  can be used anywhere," Mahtaban explains. "It seems to get hotter than most electric soldering guns and irons that I've used (and) being able to also use this for heat shrink is an added bonus."

9. Streamlight Septor Headlamp, No. 61052

Mahtaban appreciates this headlamp's three levels of hands-free light that can be used under a vehicle or dashboard. "The battery life is excellent," Mahtaban adds. "It's very durable and, most times, I don't even need to tie up a hand by holding a flashlight."

10. Snap-on Techwrench 1/2" Drive Torque Wrench

Mahtaban recommends this tool for its "superior accuracy," and he says there is no need to worry about losing track of the torque angle when there isn't enough space for the full swing. "The tool will track the angle even if it takes multiple swings to achieve," he says, noting it is his first choice for torque to yield fasteners.

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