Why you need a test light in your tool kit

test light

Funnily enough I had a test kit in my tool kit way back when but I threw it out because I had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully a very wise father in law (thanks again Baz!) showed me not only how to use one but how easy it was and how much time it saved.

Better late than never I suppose..


It’s a quick and easy way to check fuses without wrestling with fuse pullers or even pulling them out of their sockets which you’ll agree, saves a tonne of time and possible frustration (especially trying to use those tiny fuse pullers if you’re sporting a set of fat fingers..)

Just connect the alligator clip to the nearest ground – since I’m checking the fuses under the steering wheel in the 2005 Subaru Impreza, the bolt holding the door hinge in place is a very handy ground point.

test light

Now that our ground is in place, turn the key to power (or start the car, up to you) then we touch the tip of the test light to each terminal (metal) point on top of the fuse.

If both points give us a light, that fuse is good! Onto the next one!

test light
This one’s good!

If one terminal lights up and the other doesn’t, it’s likely that fuse is blown. Out it comes!

In the minute and a bit I swept over my own fuse box with this, I came across two that gave me no lights at all, power on or off.

The handy guide on the pull out coin tray explains which is which

So that’s Illumination brightness control (I’ll have to look to see where that actually is..) and parking light. And while the fuses I pulled out of both look pretty old:

The fresh new ones don’t produce a light either, suggesting they won’t unless something else happens (ie turning the parkers on and playing around with that illumination brightness control when I find it.)

Oh wait, there it is.

Must give that a whirl sometime.

Anyway, all fuses seem to be tested in record time and working and that’s the main thing!



Any and every auto store under the sun should have one on the shelf or if you’ve got some Amazon vouchers to burn, you can order one online. The model I’ve used here is a no frills MagiDeal from Amazon that doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart anytime soon but there’s plenty of options available through Amazon ready to deliver (Affiliate link.)


A breaker bar – fight zombies, loosen nuts, make a tire iron when one isn’t readily available.

A good soldering iron – fix wires, get moving again, look like a genius.

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