Tool review: brighterIDEAS TESlite Voltmeter Leads

March 3, 2006
A look at how Sullivan's specialized test leads held up in our Innovation Award panelists' shops.

Developed by technician and electrical trainer Dan Sullivan are the TESlite Voltmeter Leads from brighterIDEAS. According to the company, the new leads can produce more accurate electrical test results and find faults more quickly, without piercing the wire. The company also states that:

  • Actual voltage drop readings can be generated with push-button load testing at the terminal or open connection. Substantial voltage drops can then be used to identify corrosive faults.
  • The TESlite leads work with any digital voltmeter in identifying and locating circuit corrosion in less than 3 seconds.
  • It can work on systems up to 28.5 volts.
  • The tool has been tested safe on ECM outputs and 5 and 8-volt sensor supply/return voltages.
  • It performs dynamic voltage drop tests.
  • Due to its load-producing functionality, the TESlite can help reduce or eliminate unnecessary part replacements.
  • A web-based demo is available on-line at the TESlite website, www.TESLITE.com.
  • Distributors are currently being sought.

We put some TESlite Voltmeter Leads in the hands of our Innovation Award panel to see how they would hold up. Here are the panel's thoughts.

The Review

  • "Its value in voltage drop testing is great. Being able to remove the load from the circuit takes the guesswork out of diagnosis." – Jim Shirley, shop foreman, Bonfe's Auto in St. Paul, MN.
  • "It's especially handy when testing wires, as many problems cannot be identified using a test light, or through resistance testing. If you can read voltage and push a button, you can identify voltage drops with the TESliteTool." – Ben Witten, Chevy Chase Cars in Bethesda, MD.
  • "You can easily and quickly determine if you have a problem in any circuit wire while taking routine voltage readings. In short, I've used the tool and it works." – Joe Marconi, owner, Osceola Garage in Baldwin Park, NY.
  • "I like not having to poke a wire and worry about road salt corroding the wires." – Mike Steptoe, owner, Reliable Auto Repair in Fort Atkinson, WI.
  • "Anything that can cut down diagnostic time in finding wiring faults is a plus." – Phil Cook, owner, Carolina Car Care in West End, NC.

Also provided was a manual on electrical theory, which the panelists liked and endorsed. "It's easy to understand, and an excellent resource on electrical theory," stated Dan Walker, owner of Dan's Auto Center in Oakhurst, CA.

Rick LaChance, owner of North Eugene Automotive in Eugene, OR, found that, "After doing this for 30 years, that manual still proved to be a wealth of information. It showed me some things." Witten followed that up, praising the manual's organization, simplified flow and shop-friendly layout.

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