top of page



Does a DIY Car Guy Need a Power Probe?

Updated: Mar 27

Affiliate Disclosure: Links in this article may be affiliate links. Affiliate links provide me a small commission on purchases of products, or by clicking on the link.

If you are a DIY car guy like I am, you may not have used or even seen a power probe before. Maybe you have but its always been one of those tools the "pros" use, you know, those tools your dealership mechanic friend will bring over to help diagnose an issue on your car in exchange for a six-pack. I'm here to say it might be something you consider adding to your tool box.

Recently I collaborated with ANCEL ( Who sent me out one of their PB100 Power circuit probe testers to try out. (As always I only take in products that I would actually use, and would recommend, and only if I can leave genuine feedback.) Ancel's PB100 is an economical substitute for the well known "Power Probe" Brand of circuit testers at more than half the price of the name brand and even some of the knock offs, this little tool definitely is within reach of the average car guy.

So what exactly is a power probe and why would you want one?

Consider a power probe as a fancier multimeter, kind of.

What differentiates the two is a power probe can apply 12v Positive or negative to a circuit.

The Ancel PB100 has a nice little LCD screen which will read out the voltage or resistance of whatever the "Probe" end touches. You simply attach a positive and negative cable to your battery which powers on the unit, and then touch away at whatever you are testing. If you touch a ground the unit lights up green with an audible tone and displays the resistance on screen, touch a positive and the unit will light up red with a different audible tone and show the voltage of that circuit on screen. So in other words a fancy test light.

But the real benefit (and also a danger, which we will talk about later), is the ability to apply Power or ground to a circuit.

Lets say you are testing a toggle light switch for a new light bar you just installed. You thought you had everything wired up correctly, but the thing just wont turn on. Instead of ripping everything apart, you can take your power probe, touch the feed circuit on the back of your switch and apply 12v+, you find your light bar is working just fine, and it turns out it was just a bad switch. Sure you could've ran a temporary wire from your battery positive to the light bar to test it but what's the fun in that.

There's a lot more you can do with a power probe and it can even be used in emergency situations, or those situations where you just want to test something. Need to test your new Electric fans to see if they'll cool your engine down on a test drive? Hook the power probe up to it and apply power to them from inside your car. Friends working under the hood and wanna prank him? apply 12v to your horn and scare him. (Don't do that) The possibilites are endless.

Recently I used my probe to troubleshoot my Holley Sniper EFI system as seen in this video:

I needed to verify if the CD box light would change when ground was applied to a certain wire. The PB100 made this a breeze.

Now before you run out and buy one, (Use my links so I can buy my self a pack of gum or two please) I have to warn you that with the ability to apply power to circuits willy-nilly, comes the ability to mess things up, sometimes really badly.

Obviously only apply power or ground to circuits that you know exactly what they are for, applying a ground to a positive or vice versa is the same as a dead short, and in some cases, especially older vehicles, this can cause wires to build up resistance, heat up, and possibly catch fire. So Make sure you know what you are doing.

So now that you've learned about power probes, and you've seen how affordable they can be (Even more so if you use the code: griego123 at checkout using this link ) Consider getting one for your toolbox.

64 views0 comments


bottom of page