Tool Review: IPA Relay Bypass Switch Kit with Amp Loop

May 13, 2016
The reviewer calls this tool a must for any tech or shop that does electrical diagnosis.

The Innovative Products of America Relay Bypass Master Kit with Amp Loop, No. 9038A, allows technicians to easily activate DC motors and monitor currents. To use, plug the relay in, flip the switch and attach an amp clamp or low-amp probe to power the desired circuit and see the amperage draw in real time. This set includes six spade relays compatible with most foreign and domestic applications. Technicians can use the Relay Bypass Master Kit with Amp Loop to energize any DC motor independent of "key on" systems, including fuel pumps, cooling fans, blower motors, window motors or any other motor actuated by a relay.

The review

Whether diagnosing a fuel pump circuit, an A/C compressor clutch circuit or other electrical component, Eric Moore – owner of DeMary Truck in Columbus, Ohio – says the Relay Bypass Master Kit with Amp Loop from Innovative Products of America (IPA) improves efficiency in the shop.

“The IPA Relay Bypass Switch Kit with Amp Loop was tremendous in helping speed up diagnosis for relay-related electrical repairs,” says Moore.

Moore has used many relay bypass tools, but none of those included an amp loop to assess current draw. “Having used a relay bypass tool previously, we were familiar with the tool, but the addition of the amp loop made it simple to see what current draw was being experienced in the circuit or component being tested,” he says. “We found no discernible faults to report.”

Noting the tool did not require any set up, Moore says the tool is very easy to use. “Select the style of relay you are testing, remove the relay and insert the bypass in its place,” he explains. “Flip the switch, and the component is powered.”

The tool came packaged in a blow molded case with a foam insert, and it included an instruction card. Moore says there is enough room in the package to place a few other relay bypass tools in the same kit.

For the most part, Moore and his techs used IPA’s relay bypass kit to test fuel pump circuits on Mitsubishi Fuso medium duty trucks. “We also used it to energize the A/C compressor clutch circuit on a 2004 Ford Excursion,” he adds. “This led us to find that the clutch connections at the compressor had broken wires.”

While there were a couple of styles of relay that were not represented in the kit, Moore says, “Overall, we did not think this takes away from the usage or coverage over a broad spectrum of vehicles and systems that the IPA Relay Bypass Switch Kit with Amp Loop kit allows for.”

Because so many automotive repairs require electrical diagnosis, Moore encourages all shops to utilize this tool.

“The IPA Relay Bypass Switch Kit with Amp Loop is a must have for any tech or shop that does electrical diagnosis,” Moore says. “And let’s face it, just about all repair orders involve some sort of electrical diagnosis anymore.”

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