Every car owner must constantly upgrade their vehicle. These can include wiring issues caused by broken wires, a lack of power in various car parts, and other issues. To quickly diagnose almost any electrical problem in your car, consider the best multimeter for automotive use.
A multimeter is a multifunctional tool that is used to measure current characteristics. It finds any battery issues. Some models can also help you find engine problems, wiring faults, and much more. There are various versions of this device. Each of which has its own cost, features, and functions. Such a vast choice can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. If you don’t want to waste your time choosing the best automotive multimeter, we advise you to read our article.
Reviews of Multimeters for Automotive Use
Regardless of how broad your background is with engine tuning and vehicle electrical systems, this automotive multimeter is ideal for any job put on it. Although the Innova 33400 is mainly used for cars, it is also very functional and can be used at home. It copes well with the measurement of input and output direct and alternating current, current frequency, resistance, and direct and alternating current constancy.
All of these options will help you quickly find and fix problems with the car battery or wiring.
For car enthusiasts, this multimeter will also be useful for checking the RPM of various ignition systems and the tachometer’s operation. Using a handy clip, you can check the ignition cables on older cars without fear of getting an electric shock.
To get started, select the desired input using the interface. The range is selected automatically. For most automatic multimeters the measurement speed is a big issue. Because of the automatic range selection, the dial may fluctuate in standby mode, but this will not affect the speed and accuracy of the measurement.
The display of the multimeter is large and has all the necessary indicators. So you can quickly understand the settings and indicators that the device shows.
- If it is not used for 10 minutes, it will turn off automatically.
- The leads can be swapped out for different types, which is very convenient.
- The multimeter is not durable enough. There may be problems over time (there is no fuse, the design itself is not very durable).
- The screen is dimming in sunlight.
This car multimeter is very practical because it handles most of the issues that any driver can face. Moreover, it is equally good both in automotive use and in everyday life, as well as for industrial purposes.
This multimeter’s main functions and measurements include checking voltage of direct and alternating current, checking car system’s errors, testing batteries and sockets (constancy, diode test, resistance).
Moreover, you will be safe from electric shocks and other issues that may arise when working with a multimeter with the help of a special fuse and a silicone case.
The AstroAI ASIMT33D-CA has built-in protection against overheating and power surges. It will serve you for a long time. A silicone cover on the sides and back of the multimeter protects it from possible physical damage if it is dropped.
The indicators on the display will help you keep track of the multimeter’s charging, and the built-in backlight will help you work in poorly lit rooms.
In addition, the multimeter has a convenient data-saving function. By pressing just one button, the multimeter will remember the last measured values. Thus, you will not need to measure voltage or other parameters a couple of times or write them down. Also, the multimeter has a special stand, so you don’t need to hold it in your hand constantly.
- This multimeter has an excellent value for the money.
- Each lead has a dedent near the tip that provides a secure grip for an alligator clip.
- This meter can not test AC.
- It is limited to 10A.
- It must be set up manually before you start since there is no automatic DC range selection.
AstroAI Digital Multimeter — Best Automotive Multimeter under $100
The updated version of the ASIMT33D-CA multimeter for cars is sure to surprise you with its improved functionality, automaticity, and various new features such as advanced design, a protective case, a stand for convenient operation, and a large backlit LED screen. To use the large screen in a room with poor lighting you only have to press a button.
The accuracy of AC/DC, frequency, and diode measurement is improved, as well as the temperature and current frequency measuring.
The double ceramic fuse prevents the multimeter from overheating and increases its durability for many years. Such protection will be effective on different current ranges.
The magnetic holder makes measuring faster than ever before. You can attach the multimeter to the car so that your hands are free to work with clamps.
Also, you can even easily calculate the temperature of liquids and solids. It also got the much-loved features from the AstroAI ASIMT33D-CA, including a low-battery indicator and a function to save measurement results.
- The straightforward design and large interface of the multimeter makes your work faster.
- It detects DC or AC automatically. As a result, you won’t have to spend time configuring it.
- After 10 seconds, the backlight shuts off.
Fluke 117 — Best Multimeter for Mechanics
The Fluke 117 has a premium price tag, but is it the best Fluke multimeter for automotive use?
Among the advantages of the Fluke automotive multimeter are the unique VoltAlert technology that allows you to detect voltage in a non-contact way, minimal measurement error with this device due to low resistance, built-in lighting for an already large and easy-to-use display for working in various environments.
What’s more, this device is perfect for detecting issues in a closed circuit, as well as calculating capacitance, frequency, and current resistance. You can also easily measure RMS values on non-linear loads and use a multimeter to detect fluctuations. It captures the minimum and maximum values during the check, which significantly simplifies the voltage drop test.
The multimeter has a built-in fuse. It prevents the possibility of getting an electric shock, helps keep the multimeter working for many years, and lowers the average temperature inside the device.
- You can stream instrument measurements on your display using the Fluke Connect app. With the same application, you can save measurements and share them with colleagues or other motorists.
- Each model of this company undergoes various tests (drop tests, tests in vet conditions, etc.) before the release.
- Over time, design defects such as lateral play in the main control lever can become apparent.
The front panel is pretty straightforward. You can use nine different multimeter operation modes. To switch between them there is a standard switch. The multimeter itself looks reliable. On the sides, there is a silicon coating that does not conduct electric current, preventing the possibility of shock. Moreover, this coating protects the multimeter from possible damage.
In addition to the switch, there are also connectors for connecting probes.
Generally, we see three connectors, each of which serves a specific purpose. The first is used to measure the electromagnetic current of maximum 10A. The second is needed for general measurements. The third is used to measure voltage, capacitance, frequency, and other parameters.
A convenient stand adjusts the angle of the multimeter during work. To hold the tool with one hand, you can easily remove the protective silicone case to make it smaller. However, in a protective case, it is also ergonomic and non-slip, which will make your work easier.
Its backlit display with large digits will help people work in bad vision conditions. It is worth considering that the screen is not clearly visible in the sun. The simple interface will take you only a few minutes to be ready to work with this device, regardless of your experience.
The package includes a user manual, special measurement clamps, and the multimeter itself.
- Pretty high measurement accuracy.
- It has a built-in low battery indicator.
- The multimeter is equipped with an analog scale.
- There is no way to reset the meter.
How to Test Car Battery With Multimeter
In order to pick and use the best auto multimeter correctly, we recommend checking the correct operation algorithm. First, let’s find out what values should show if your battery is good? On average, the battery should put out about 12.6 volts.
To get the most accurate results, turn off the machine for at least an hour. It is preferable to check the voltage after a night’s rest. If you have an automatic multimeter, you can simply begin checking after the specified time.
If you’re using a multimeter with a manual range setting, you should do the following:
- Set the voltage range to 0-20V.
- Connect a multimeter to the + and – terminals of the battery.
- The voltage should be around 12.6V.
- After this check, you can start the engine.
- If the voltage drops below 5, it is time to replace the battery.
Multimeter Setting for Car Battery
It may seem that even the best multimeter for cars is a rather complicated device. It is not. For the general battery test, it is enough to correctly set the range of the multimeter so that it shows up to 20V.
Furthermore, some multimeters do not require such a setting because the range of the measured current or voltage is automatically selected. If you have a manual range selection switch, simply set it to 0-20 or another appropriate range for this voltage.
After that, you can proceed to use your multimeter. Now, when you have discovered the most popular multimeters and their features, you can easily choose the best multimeter for automotive work.
My name is Brandon, and I’ve been interested in cars since I was a kid. I got a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology and worked in a private car workshop. I have two cars that have been completely upgraded with my own hands. So I successfully put all my knowledge into practice.
Last update on 2023-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API