Automotive Multimeters - Why Every Mechanic Needs One

By: Matt

If you are an auto mechanic or aspire to be one, then you are going to need an automotive multimeter. What is this exactly? Essentially you are dealing with a hand-held meter that serves to test the different components on a vehicle. Something to note is that with modern vehicles, electrical systems are vital, and as a result, automotive multimeters are more widely used than they were in the early days of automotive history.


When you are thinking of buying a multimeter for home use, you should realize that the average model should be able to check a number of different functions. For example you will be able to look at diodes, batteries, switches, relays, and solenoids. When you are attempting to troubleshoot or repair a vehicle, it is very important that you have a tool like this on hand!


Remember however that this is the cheaper model, and if you are willing to spend a bit more money, then you should be able to buy a higher end model, like the Fluke 88V for around $500. For the more advanced home mechanics this will be a rather important tool as they will be able to check the duty cycle, pulse width, Revolutions Per Pulse, and even how long the injector is open. Another great feature in the higher end multimeters is the ability to check for wire continuity.


In other words, wires that are connected will emit a sound while wires that are not will emit no sounds. This is an excellent troubleshooting utility and even the average home mechanic will want to have it on hand. With the economy in shambles your first instinct may be to purchase the cheapest possible digital multimeter out there, and this might be okay for small repairs, but you should note that the lowest amperage available is 10 amps.


The price on these multimeters can be roughly $200 if you are looking in the right place, and that doesn't exactly put a damper on the monthly finances, but anything above 10 amps will destroy the fuse within the unit. In addition to that it could cause damage to both the unit and you. That said, buying something a bit more expensive might be in your best interest. As a wise person once said, this is not wood you're measuring, it's electricity.


Your life is worth more than a $200 meter! You definitely have your work cut out for you when it comes to research, but that doesn't mean it is utterly impossible to get what you need without breaking your bank account. That said, now would be a great time to start researching and see what you can find on the market. It's time to measure some electricity!


If you can't quite afford a Fluke, and are looking for a more affordable automotive meter, try the Equus 3340 or the ES 585 for the best results for the lowest price.