NOTE: I first bought & returned the "Power Probe III Ultimate 12 to 24 Volt Automotive Electrical Circuit Tester Kit" the seller shows a RED tool but ships a BLACK tool. I decided to upgrade and bought the "Power Probe PPKIT03 Master Test Kit" which does have a red tool and many more parts and accessories (at a higher price of course). My review is of the "Power Probe PPKIT03 MASTER Test Kit"
After a local RV shop worked on my 2010 Sprinter van, I noticed that BOTH 12v outlets were no longer working. Said RV shop seems to be challenged by electrical work so, I took my Sprinter to a mechanic I trusted. He grabbed a "Logic Probe" (a tool I was unfamiliar with) and, in less than three minutes, had located the two fuses that had been blown. As modern vehicles can have 100+ fused circuits, testing / locating a problem can be very time consuming. The mechanic told me the logic probe was an expensive ($100+) tool but, after seeing how quickly he could isolate problems using his logic probe, I saw the value of owning one (the year before while on the road, I had spent hours trying to find an electrical problem without success). I did my research online and, the Power Probe PPKIT03 Master Test Kit seemed to have the best bang for the buck. It arrived quickly and, I've had two opportunities to use it. I plan on going over my van thoroughly to see what other problems the RV shop may have induced. The Power Probe PPKIT03 Master Test Kit has a 20' extension cable that, when added to the tool's 20' cable will allow me to reach any part of my 23' van and, my 17' travel trailer as well. Also included are a wide range of accessories to easily check virtually any kind of automotive connection. The built in VOM, the ability to energize circuits, the built in LEDs that light up the area you're working in, the Short Circuit tester and training DVD make a complete package that will allow me to solve problems much faster than I could in the past. This tool is MORE that half the job!
I have been a long time user of the original Power Probe (around 15 years, maybe 20). I purchased and still own two original Probe test lights that I got from my local Snap-On tool truck in the 90s. They still work like new, and the build quality of the new Probe looks to be as good or better than the original. As a heavy user of my probe (I installed car audio and security for the largest car audio retailer in the state for 15 years) the only thing I wished it had was the ability to send power out. I had modified one of my old Probes to do just that. The addition of this feature along with the audible alarm (sometimes you can't see the probe in tight spots), and the voltage display are awesome new features. The one shortcoming of the original was the cable lengthwas a bit short - with this that should never be a problem. I also love the carrying case which gives it a nice safe place for storage and transport. If I have a compaint it is the size. The overall length can make it difficult at times to get into cramped spaces, but this is really a minor fault that is more than made up by everything else. This is by far one of my favorite tools in my arsenal.
The Power Probe III is a fantastic automotive test device. Essentially, it boils down to offering speed and convenience. It can often be done without, but the multitasking capabilities and all in one convenience are hard to beat. Blow less fuses, retire your simple test light, forget about burning DMMs on resistance scales, quickly identify polarity, don't fiddle with two DMM probes, power up circuits or ground the probe tip, read voltage, use it right around a vehicle not just near the battery or dashboard, and it even helps out with speaker cables. A very intuitive tool. It's overload protected, the probe tip is a good size and length, the indications are both visual & audible, plus the tool even has two convenient (and effective) LED work lights. The common spare parts are also available separately :-) The leads are stress relieved, the car battery connectors are robust, and there's also a time saving cigarette lighter plug included. Tool is complete and useable as supplied, not dependant on any internal batteries, and it even comes in a decent hard storage case.
Power Probe version IV is now also available, a better unit yes, but also more complicated, and significantly more expensive to purchase. I’m not knocking the dearer unit at all but… IMO this version III is still the one to buy, much lower price, a perfected design, great for the vast majority of wire probing jobs, simpler if anything to use, and less of a liability. A high quality DMM may be a better investment to help with pulse width, min/max readings, current measurements, and high resolution voltage readings. An easy product to recommend!
The absolute best circuit tester. The ability to provide power and ground saves much time in diagnosing. The colored LED make it a snap to check fuses and for power and ground. The two tones helps when you are checking fuses under the dash where you may not be able to see the lights.\. The continuity tester (The alligator clip hanging off) works like a charm to check bulbs and solenoids. As a professional mechanic who works with this tool at least once and sometimes more a day, this is a must have for any mechanic. Cuts electrical Diag time tremendously.
Once I learn how to use this thing properly I realized it’s one of the best pieces in my toolbox or use it almost every time I need to diagnose an electro mechanical part that I thought has failed.I would Recommended this tool to almost anybody as I feel it is necessary in today’s day and age.
The 3rd generation powerprobe includes a number of changes for additional flexibility. In short, it is a vehicle powered DVM with both a 20 foot cable and an additional 20 foot extension giving you a 40 foot working range around either the battery terminals or cigarette lighter outlet, both clips and a plug are included in the kit.
With the series 3 units they use a hard gold plated banana jack to hold the removable probe or cables to extend your reach. If you purchase the accessory kit, it includes piercing probes that self center on a conductor, pierce the insulation, and attach to the jack allowing you to tap a wire at any point to locate intermittant problems.
While the DVM is backlit all the time, it also has 2 bright white LEDs facing forward to aid in finding and probing terminals in dark places. The actual probe is hardgold plated with a sharp tip and removable at the banana jack. Another identical probe is included with a screw-in female banana jack in the accessories kit to retrofit the powerprobe I and II units to accept external cables and probes.
If you need to excite a circuit with a connection to battery ground or to battery positive, the switch allows a momentary connection to bridge the probe tip to either voltage which is useful in testing relay driven circuits, indicator lights, and other small current loads. The prope voltage is always displayed during testing on the meter. The voltage/ground switch is circuit breaker protected in case you accidentally drive 12 volts into a chassis ground. Additionally, since the switch takes abuse it is easily replaced if it fails with just a screwdriver.
Combined with the testlead set, the powerprobe 3 greatly simplifies testing of vehicular wire and big rigs up to a single trailer. The DVM has 5 selectable modes of operation designed for different problems. Reading the manual is important to get the full value from this meter.
Although the price is a little high, the design and construction quality are excellent. Enough wire is provided to check running lights on trailers or to look for blown fuses. All of the wiring is exceptionally flexible and heavily insulated with top quality connectors. Both the tester and accessories come in hard plastic cases that can be stowed in a service box.
Not mentioned in specifications is that although the probe runs from 12-24 VDC, the meter can be used to measure voltages up to 80VDC.
I love this thing! If you troubleshoot electrical problems in cars you absolutely need one of these. It will save you time and frustration. I’ll never go without one again. Very happy with the purchase. One small note for the manufacturer - it would be great if the case was a little bigger so the tool will fit in a hurry. Not a big deal but why not?
Guys if you do any type of tinkering with cars or sports utility vehicles you got to get this. On quick story I was trying to locate the problem why my trailer lights were not working, By being able to intentionally able ground to wire by pushing a button was great we located the bad ground wire in minutes. I have used this to to apply 12 volts to power window motors to verify if motor was good and roll window up. BE VERY CAREFUL you can ruin small window switches and electronics that is not meant to receive 12 volts. Ask me how I know :-( Jim H
I was a bit skeptical after seeing all the ads on the TV auto repair shows.
After purchasing and using once all can say is I wish these were available when I worked as a professional auto-repair technician! The frustration and time savings would have been awesome.
This really saves time in electrical work, even simple fuse testing (you know, when you are crouched down under your dash panel). Provides know good battery voltage and ground to confirm proper and quick diagnosis.
I was not sure if I needed the latest Power Probe III or a lesser model like the II. It is well worth the few extra dollars for the III. The meter allows easy reading of voltage, ground, battery and ground peaks in a circuit, and other quick diagnostic tests.
Very happy. I like the ability to plug into cigarette port if I am checking something fast or battery terminals if I am doing diagnosis. Beeps on ground Beeps on 12V So if your checking wire in back of vehicle but inside to trigger you can listen to see if you have wire. Displays volts.
I've had for few years and use almost daily. Only thing is display is dim and fading now and had to crack it open one time to fix the ribbon inside.