Tool Review: Electronic Specialties LOADpro Dynamic Test Leads

Electronic Specialties' LOADpro Dynamic Test Leads, No. 180, allow users to instantly load the circuit to see if current can flow. LOADpro leads are designed specifically for finding wiring faults in automotive and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. The LOADpro finds high corrosive resistance, shorts to ground and open circuits more quickly. Using almost any digital multimeter, the LOADpro can locate corrosion in wiring by just pressing the switch. LOADpro Test Leads also feature SteadyPin Probe Tips. Instead of a pointed probe, SteadyPin tips have a small recess at the tip that allows the probe to sit firmly on a male ECM or connector pin.

The review

Lou Fort, Lead Tech at K.A.R.S. Inc. in Huntingburg, IN, tried out the Electronic Specialties LOADpro. 

"The LOADpro is an amazing time saver."

Lou appreciated the “business end” of both test leads. “All of my old leads come to either a sharp or blunt point; it can be quite frustrating keeping them in contact with a terminal. Unlike all of the other sets of leads, the tips on the LOADpro are concave,” says Lou. “No more fumbling around trying to keep in contact with a terminal in a connector. These bad boys stay put even when used on a spade style terminal. All you have to do is hit a corner of the spade and you’re solid.”

More importantly, Lou found that testing a full circuit was simple and quick -- without any doubt of the outcome. “If the circuit being tested has a problem, knowing if it is in the feed or ground half is as fast as moving the ground lead out of the connector to a good chassis ground and pushing that little red button one more time.”

He found multiple applications to use the test leads. 

“I was working on an air-conditioning system with an intermittent complaint. The repair on this one was two-fold. A visual inspection found an obvious clutch air gap out of spec. If I had stopped there, I may have never found and fixed the other problem (likely caused by the wide air gap). Using the LOADpro leads to verify the clutch circuit, I found a 2-volt drop when I loaded it by pushing the button. That drop was being caused by burnt contacts in the WOT relay.

“If I had just fixed the air gap I am sure it would have worked, at least for the short term, but (the customer) would have been back again for no A/C. So if I had just used my normal meter leads or a test light when checking the clutch circuit, I probably would have missed it. End result is a better repair with less of a chance for a comeback.”

Lou found another good use for the LOADpro as well: “If you are an 'old school' headlight trickster you need to look into getting a LOADpro lead set, not only will it eliminate a step in your diagnostic (process), but will give you actual usable data to help make a faster repair.”

Overall, Lou really liked the tool. He had been asking to see it from his tool distributor for awhile, and was thrilled to be able to try the LOADpro out.

“Over the course of 25-plus years I have seen, used and purchased thousands of dollars of tools,” says Lou. “Very few of them get a, ‘Hey, have you seen what this can do?’ from me. This one has been getting a lot of’Come check this out!’ sometimes more than once to the same guy.”