In this article let’s take a look at one tool that can change the way you diagnose electrical issues. Whether you are working on your car, boat, (or anything else that runs DC power for that matter) the Power Probe tester will help you diagnose and repair the cause of electrical issues quickly.
What Is A Power Probe?
The Power probe tester allows you to confirm voltage and ground signals in a typical DC circuit. The kicker is however, it also allows you to send voltage and ground as well.
Acting like a test light that can power up circuits or supply a good known ground .
This gives you the ability to test components and circuits effectively, without having to get out the old alligator clips and jumper wires. With a simple toggle switch, ( shown below) you can power up or ground a circuit right from the tip of the tool.
No more searching for somewhere to attach your test light ground! As a matter of fact I have used the ground on the power probe to ground out a test light for vehicles that need more complex diagnoses.
One overlooked advantage is the fact that the tool will not power up at all if there is not a good connection to the vehicle’s battery. This eliminates getting false or flaky readings from a standard test light.
Let’s Take a Closer Look At The Power Probe
The Power Probe
Price = $122.00
Warranty = One year
Part # PP3CSRED
Weight = 1.36 pounds
Size = 7.5 x 12 x 2 inches
Cable length = 20 ft
Amazon rating = 4.7 out of 5 stars
- Supplies Power & Ground to quickly test and back feed circuits
- Digital Voltmeter with Min/Max Voltage Capturing
- 4mm banana jack
- 20 Foot power lead extra length for reach where you need it
- Tests for Bad Grounds and Continuity
- 8 Amp Circuit Breaker Protection
- A little costly (over 100 bucks)
- You do need to be careful as you can damage components by sending power to the wrong place.
Final Verdict: Must Have Tool!
In the world of automotive, electrical circuits have become much more complex than the days of old. The Power probe tester is one of those must have tools for anyone looking to take their electrical diagnosing to the next level, simply because it gives more flexibility and convenience to the user.
This tool will make your life easier without question. Why not check circuits quickly? All while getting things done faster and more accurately. For the money spent the returns on this tool pays for itself…. just in time saved.
The Power Probe Advantage
The test light has been the go to tool for years to test 12v circuits, although still needed today there is something much better than a standard test light…. Meet the Power Probe.
Looks pretty sweet…Don’t go throwing away your old test light just yet though
Your old test light still serves it’s purpose, however for real diagnoses on today’s vehicles you need more power.
It’s time to step up your game with a tool that can make testing circuits much easier and accurate.
A power probe tester allows you to connect directly to the vehicle’s battery, eliminating the need to find a good ground point on the chassis.
An Example Of How The Power Probe Works
Once the probe is connected to battery power and ground it “comes alive.” You now have the capability to toggle back and forth…..Sending power or ground to the tip of the tool.
Let’s say you need to check out a blower motor that is inoperative.
First you would check the fuses just like with a normal test light. The tool can be set to beep a different way, (higher pitch for + power, lower pitch for – ground.
Key on and testing across fused circuits just like a test light, you get positive readings on all, indicated by the red + symbol and the high tone.
We know the fuses are good so we go directly to the blower motor connector. You can use the tool to first check for a good ground to the motor the low tone and – symbol lit up green confirms ground is ok.
Ok now let’s check power, same way and we have it.
Simple And Useful.
There is also a alligator lead off the side of the tool that is a constant ground to the battery.
This allows you to apply ground when needed.
This is a game changer when it comes to diagnosing and repairing electrical issues.
Check out the power probe in action
Seeing that the blower is getting power and ground indicates that it should be spinning.
We need to jump direct power and confirm the motor has failed, the power probe tip can back feed the positive end while the “alligator” ground can send a good known ground.
Simply toggle the switch on the tool and you are sending power and ground to the motor.
Here I am using the Power Probe to check a starter signal on a BMW 3 Series
Diagnosing issues with this tool are streamlined. You can check out more of this diagnoses in my article BMW starter troubleshooting and replacement.
Some Really Great Features of the Power Probe
1. Circuit Protection
The Power probe has a built in 8 amp circuit breaker to prevent overloading and cooking a circuit. One thing to remember is unlike a standard test light this tool can send straight battery power down whatever you have it touching.
Anytime you back feed a electrical circuit you need to know what you are doing. The breaker will protect the circuit, however 8 amps is still enough to do major damage on the wrong wire.
2. Voltage readout
On the led screen at the front of the tool it will show you the battery voltage when hooked up. This can be used to determine a ton of things.
You can even do a very quick check on the alternator, hook it up and start the car…Voltage should go from around 12.6 volts to 14.0 give or take.
This is also useful if you have a situation where a power feed has a large voltage drop, when checking fuses you may see low voltage on certain legs etc.
3. Accessories Are Available
Yet another great feature is you can buy adapters such as back probe pins and wire piercing probes to really get what you need for data.
Does The Manufacturer Back It?
Yes, the Power Probe comes with a full one year warranty. Check out the details here.
POWER PROBE WARRANTY INFO
Power Probe products undergo a strict quality control inspection for workmanship, function, and
safety before leaving the factory. From the date of purchase, we will warranty/repair Power
Probe products for one (1) year against defects in parts and workmanship. All repairs due to
misuse will be charged a fee not to exceed the cost of the tool.
Toll Free: 1-800-655-3585
Brea, CA 92821
Manufacturers’ warranties may not apply in all cases, depending on factors such as use of the
product, where the product was purchased, or who you purchased the product from. Please
review the warranty carefully, and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.
Is The Power Probe Worth Buying?
In a nutshell…yes…. Hands down.
This is one of my favorite tools period.
I’ve been a professional auto mechanic for over 20 years. I have one, and every guy in my shop has one as well. For the price there really isn’t much to complain about here.
Could be a little cheaper, but you do get a ton of value in this package.
One thing I will note is after a while these things do wear out. I have had to split mine to get the probe tip back into place. However it still works great, keep in mind that I am a professional mechanic, mine gets used a ton.
All in all you can’t go wrong with the Power Probe III. I can honestly say that once you have one and experience how it makes things so much easier you will never go back to the old test light.
Have something you want to add to this review? Want a demo video?
Let me know.
Comment below with any questions about the power probe III.