Multimeters can be used for all kinds of purposes. One of those is locating a ground fault in a circuit. After reading this article you will know what a ground fault is, why it is bad, and how to use a multimeter to find one.
We will go thru the steps required to safely find a ground fault so it can be fixed and not cause harm.
Before going into how to find a ground fault with a multimeter though, it is a good idea to know what a ground fault is.
A ground fault is when wiring is worn, chafed, pinched, or bad and current is getting out of the system and into the ground.
Normally current either gets to the ground thru the circuit and a dedicated wire or the current doesn’t go into the ground at all, but instead stays in the circuit.
The reason why ground faults are dangerous is that if current is getting out it means something is damaged in the system. The thing might still function properly, or it could not have enough power going thru the circuit and the item might not function right.
Ground faults are also dangerous because if you are working on the item that has a fault and touch the part where the fault is, then the current can go thru you.
This will only happen if the thing is on though, so if working on something make sure it is off. You may touch the bad wire though unknowingly with normal use and get shocked. Even worse, depending on what the bad wire touches it could cause a fire or worse shock.
If the wire with the ground fault touches water, then it can shock everything in the water. This is why you need to find ground faults as soon as possible, if you suspect one.
One of the easiest ways to find a ground fault is by using a multimeter. This is good because a lot of people already have multimeters on hand. Continue reading this and you will learn the steps required to safely find a ground fault.
Any multimeter will work for finding a ground fault. You don’t need the most expensive one on the market and there are a lot of different ones on the market.
All you need is a multimeter that is reliable. Make sure the object that you are going to be testing is unplugged and off. Then also make sure that the probes are connected to the multimeter.
Once his is done set the multimeter to the ohm setting. If your multimeter has more than one position for the ohm setting, then set it to the 1x position.
After you have the multimeter on and set up, it is time to do the ground fault test. Touch one probe to a terminal and touch the other to the device housing or mounting bracket.
Now, you move the first prob that is touching a terminal to another terminal. If the multimeter reads anything besides infinity during any part of the test, then there is a ground fault.
If you are testing something with multiple circuits, then you can use the multimeter to determine which circuit is bad as well.
If for example you have a battery that is connected to a fuse, then you can connect on probe to the battery side and then one to the fuse side. Start turning off fuses unitil the reading is correct or the infinity symbol and then you will know which fuse is bad. Talk about battery, if you need a tool to maintain your car battery, i recommend you using the best battery tender, i used it and it is great tool to do that.
The thing about finding ground faults in a circuit that can be annoying is figuring out which one it is, but it really isn’t that hard. You just have to test each on until you find the bad one.
This requires being patient and taking your time. If you stay patient and take your time though, then you can find which circuit is bad and know which one to repair, instead of having to fix them all.
The best way to fix a ground fault is just to replace the bad wire. This is the simplistic type of ground fault to fix. If it is just one wire or a few wires that are bad or old, then you can remove them and put new ones in.
Sometimes though the ground fault is in a specific part. If that is the case, then you have to replace that whole part. It is normally not worth the trouble or safe to fix the part instead of replacing it.
Also, you should never use a part with a ground fault for the danger or damage that it can cause. Just order the new part and replace the whole thing, to fix the ground fault problem.
Ground faults tend to not be hard to fix, but they can be a real struggle finding sometimes especially depending on how big the system or circuit is.
The trick to finding the ground fault though, is breaking the system down into smaller sections where you can and using patients and going slow when you can’t break it down.
Then you just need a simple multimeter that is reliable to start testing. To test for a ground fault connect one probe to a terminal and the other to the case of the object and then move the first probe from terminal to terminal.
If the multimeter on the ohm setting gives any reading besides infinity, then there is a ground fault. If the system has breakers, then you can connect on probe to the terminal and the other to the breaker.
You can then shut the breakers off, until you find the one that is causing the bad reading. That way you know which part of the system you have to work on.
Once the ground fault is located, then it is easy to fix. You just have to replace the worn or pinched wires with new ones and the problem should be solved. Sometimes though it is a whole part that is bad and you will have to replace it. Grounds faults are dangerous though and should be taken serious. They should be found and repaired as soon as you are aware of one existing.
Dead car batteries are an annoying thing. This is especially because a lot of times they happen out of the blue. Sometimes it is from something simple such as a light getting left on and you can jump the car and get on your way, but sometimes the battery is too dead to jump and needs completely charged.
What does it mean though if your car battery won’t charge. Well, in this article we will look at some of the possibilities of why a car battery won’t charge and some of the solutions for that.
The first reason why a car battery might not be charging is that the alternator may be bad. The alternator is what converts the spinning of the engine into power that goes back into your battery.
Normally, when a car and alternator is working properly, the alternator will charge the battery as you drive, so then it will have enough power to start the car again the next time you need it too.
If the alternator is bad though, then it is not providing any charge to the battery and their for the battery is not charging.
The alternator not charging the battery could be something as simple as the connections have came undone. If that is the case, then all you have to do is reconnect things, and it should start working properly.
Vibration while driving or wires going bad is how the battery and the alternator could become disconnected. If they are not disconnected though, then their must be something else going on.
You can run a test on the alternator by a automotive multimeter and see if it is putting off a charge. If it is not putting off a charge, then it is bad and must be replaced.
Getting an alternator replaced isn’t that hard and if you are mechanically skilled then you can do it yourself. If you aren’t though, then any shop can do it for you. If the alternator is putting off a charge, but it isn’t constant, then you might just have a bad belt.
If your serpentine belt is loose, then it could be slipping and not allowing the alternator to work properly. If that is the case, then you will need that belt replaced. Again, this isn’t that hard of a task to have done and isn’t to costly of a repair.
Another reason why the battery may not be charging is that the battery itself is bad. A lot of things can go wrong inside of the battery. The battery could short itself out or get internal damage from shocks or vibration.
To find out if the battery itself is bad you can run some test on it. If the battery itself is bad, then you will have to replace it and get a new battery. A bad battery can not be repaired.
Also, if the battery shows visual signs of being bad, then it is time to replace it. If it has corrosion or leaks, then it is defiantly time to get a new battery. If the connectors aren’t corroded to bad, then they might be able to be cleaned off and this might allow it to charge properly again.
Another reason why a battery might go bad is just its age. As a battery is used suffer builds up on the plates and forms a crust. When the battery is being charged it breaks this suffer off of the plates.
Over time though the sulfur will not come off the plates all the way and won’t go back into the solution. Also, the sulfur eats the plates and over time and recharging the plates just disappear. As the sulfur is broke off the plates int he recharging process, a part of the plate goes with it.
Think of a rusted panel and how it crumbles, well the plates int he battery work the same way. If your battery is old it won’t recharge or hold a charge and again will have to be replaced.
Another final reason why a battery might not recharge is that the charger you are using may be bad, not be the right type, or not be connected right. Some batteries require special types of chargers to recharge them.
If you are using a charger and it doesn’t seem to be charging your battery, then make sure it is the right type for that battery.
Another reason why the charge may not be charging the battery is your may not have it connected right. To connect a charger to a battery you want to make sure the positive lead is connected to the positive connector on the battery.
If it is not it will not work and cause damage to the battery. You then connect the negative to the negative pole on the battery. Once connected make sure you plug the charger in and set it on the right amps or speed of charge to match the battery.
If these things don’t work, then the charger itself might be bad. Try a different charger and see if it works with the battery you are trying to charge. A battery charger could get a short in it just like a battery can or the inside components could go bad. If you want to buy a new battery charger, this is the best battery tender for you.
A battery charger has to convert the AC or DC current into current that the battery can use and this converter mechanism on the inside of the charger might go bad or stop working. This is especially the case if the charge is old, or if the charger has not been stored or used right in the past.
So as you now know there are a few reasons why a car battery might not be charging. The alternator inside the car could be bad or you could have a loose belt inside the car. The battery itself could be bad. The battery could have damage that you don’t see or it just might be old and wore out.
If it has been recharged a bunch, then it just might not be able to be recharged any more. Lastly, the charger could be bad if you are trying to use an external charger or it could be connected wrong. After you have made sure it is the right charger and is connected right, you might need to try a different charger to see if that fixes the problem.
Now you have a better understanding of why a car battery won’t charge and should be able to trouble shoot it for the situation that is at hand for you and your current situation.
The electrical system in a car can be one of the most annoying systems to find the problem of something with.
Sometimes, however, the problems in the electrical system is something simple such as a bad battery or fuse. If it is a bad battery, try to use best battery tender to maintain it. It is a tool to recharge your battery.
In this article, we will teach you how to check a fuse to see if it is bad or not using a automotive multimeter.
This should be one of the first things you do if you are having issues with a specific area of your car because it is the easiest and a lot of times is the problem which will save you a headache if you just start there.
First, though before explaining how to test a fuse with a automotive multimeter we will cover what a fuse is. A fuse is simple a wire normally surrounded by some plastic that completes a circuit when plugged in. Most fusses have two prongs with a small wire running between them.
When the fuse is plugged into where it goes these prongs touch another piece of wire and complete the circuit. It is that simple. The thing is a fuse is designed to break through if something goes wrong. This is because when the fuse breaks or blows, it will protect the more expensive part of getting damaged.
A fuse blows when to much power runs thru it. This extra power causes the metal wire to burn up breaking the circuit. When the circuit breaks the extra power cannot get to the main part that can not handle the extra power. In cars, there are normally fuses in two spots. There is a fuse box under the hood with all kinds of fuses in it, and there is also sometimes some fuses under the dash on the passenger side.
Knowing where your fuses are is important if you want to check them. Some of the fuses are a different color, and each color indicates how much power it can handle. The bigger fuses though are normally a dark gray though and not a color.
On the small fuses, you can normally see thru the colored plastic, and this allows you to see if it is blown or not without testing it. Also, blown fuses may have discoloration which is a sign that it is bad and needs to be replaced. The big fuses though you can not see the wire, however, so these you will have to test if you think something is wrong with it. Read on to learn how to do this.
The first step before testing a fuse with a automotive multimeter is making sure that the car is off and the keys are not in the ignition. This will help keep you safe when pulling the fuse out and also protects the car. The next step is to locate the potential bad fuse. To do this, you go to the fuse box and look at the diagram or in the owners manual and find the one that corresponds to the system you are having trouble with.
For example, if your power door locks aren't working, then you will want to pull the fuse that goes with that. Then to pull the fuse, you do literally what it is called, and that is pulled straight up on the fuse. You want to make sure you pull straight up because you don't want the prongs getting bent or damaged as you pull the fuse out.
Once you got the fuse pulled you can visually inspect it. If it is a clear plastic you can try to see if the connection seems broken. If you can't see the wire through, then it is time to get the multimeter out. To use the multimeter you first have to turn it on and get the probes out. You then can set the multimeter to ohms.
This will measure the resistance of the fuse. You can then touch the probes together. This gives you a baseline reading and will tell you roughly the number you will get once you put the probes on the fuse. Once you have an idea of the reading, you should expect you can connect the probes to the fuse.
To do this, you just have to touch one probe to one prong and the other to the other prong. This will give you a reading. If the reading is close to what it was when the two probes touched, then the fuse is fine. If it does not give a reading, then that means the fuse is blown. This is because the current it is trying to send thru the fuse is not making it back thru.
To make sure the fuse is blown you can change the multimeter set to the setting to measure the current which is the arrow with a line. You can then touch the probes to the prongs on the fuse in the same way. If it beeps continuously, then the fuse is fine, but if it does not emit a sound, then the fuse is blown. Either test is a sufficient way to see if a fuse is blown.
If the fuse is blown, then it is pretty simple to replace it. You just have to buy another fuse that is the same and plug it in (click here to check price at amazon). If the fuse is not blown, then you will have to dig deeper into your electrical problems which can be frustrating. That is why it is good to start with testing the fuse first because for most people it will only take a couple of minutes to test the fuse.
Another thing to remember if it isn't the first fuse that you test is to make sure to look at the diagram closely and that you test all the fuses that go to a particular system. Sometimes a system may have more than one fuse, so you need to make sure you test them all with the multimeter to rule out one being blown.
So now you know how to test a car fuse with a automotive multimeter. It is an easy task, and pretty much any multimeter can do it successfully. You can either use the resistance or ohm feature on your multimeter to check the fuse, or you can use the continuity setting to test the flow of current.
Either one will work and will give you a reliable reading on if the fuse is blown or not. Also, don't forget you can visually check the fuse to which might be able to save you more time in finding out if your car fuse is blown or not.
Multimeters are a handy tool around the house and in the garage. They can be used for a large variety of things, and are especially useful when working with cars.
You can use them to test different electrical systems in the car to see if there is a problem, as well as use them to check fuses or even the battery.
Finding the best automotive multimeter can be hard though since there are a lot on the market. We are here to help though. Following is a list of a few of the top automotive multimeters that we recommend.
There are hundreds of different multimeters on the market, and they can range in price, so knowing which is a good one and which isn’t can be hard.
Luckily for you, we are going to take an in-depth look into five of the best automotive multimeters on the market. These are all top multimeters, and after reading farther, you will see why.
Where to Buy
4.5 out of 5
4.6 out of 5
4.6 out of 5
4.7 out of 5
4.7 out of 5
Starting off we have the Innova 3320. This multimeter is average size measuring 2”x10”x5” and weighing 1.25 pounds. This multimeter is UL certified meaning that it is safe for you to use.
It is convenient to use as well because it has auto-ranging scales meaning that you don’t have to change a knob depending on what you are measuring, it can sense this for you.
The 10 MegOhm input is safe for automotive and household uses (i.e., household outlets, fuses, wiring, general-purpose batteries, vehicle battery and charging system, automotive circuits and more).
The LCD screen is bright and easy to read and giving digital readings make it easy to use as well. There are also color-coded LEDs which makes quick battery checks fast (green = good, yellow = weak and red = replace).
The case is made out of strong, durable plastic, that will last awhile and can handle normal wear and tear. The corners also have rubber on them to help with drops.
There is a single switch to change between AC and DC which makes it fast to switch. The probes have a decent length which is nice, but the probes are where the biggest complaint about this unit comes in.
A lot of people have issues with them not being sensitive enough. Sometimes you have to fight with them to make sure they are making good enough contact to get a good reading. This can be annoying at times, but when it works, it works well.
Some other nice things about this unit are that it has customer support that you can call and get help, and it also has built-in auto turn off, so you don’t have to worry about the batteries getting wasted.
Next is the Innova 3340. It measures at 12.5”x4.5”x6.5” and weights 1.12 pounds making it a little smaller than the Innova 3320 version. The Innova 3340 is similar to the 3320 but has more features built in.
The INNOVA 3340 is great for testing alternator diodes, duty cycle, solenoids, breaker points, wiring, switches, and more.
It is still UL certified making it safe for anyone to use and the case is still a durable plastic with rubber corners. The screen is also the same top quality screen, and it provides digital readouts. This model doesn’t have the LEDs for quick battery check, but it does have some other useful features.
The Innova 3340 can be used to find RPM readouts, alternator test, and temperature readouts. This makes it a very versatile tool and allows it to do multiple things with one device which is nice.
The only complaints with this unit again come with the sensitivity of the probes. Some people have been having issues of the lowest readout being in the .4 ohm range meaning that if your item puts out less then that, it won’t read it, or it will give you the wrong reading.
This is annoying, and if you are going to be using it with low sensitivity things a lot, then you might want to consider a more sensitive option.
Next is the Improve AM-510 with NIST certificate. It is normal size and weights 1.4 pounds. The NIST certificate means that it was tested at an outside 3rd party lab to make sure that the unit was calibrated right and gives proper readings.
This model have accurate performance for light commercial and advanced residential applications like rewiring an electrical panel, installing heated floors and light fixtures, troubleshooting and repairing home appliances, electrical sockets, and automotive electrical problems.
The unit is in a hard plastic case and is durable and will last for a long time. The LCD screen is bright and gives easy to read digital readings. It can be used to measure both AC and DC current and is easy to switch between the two.
This multimeter has a CAT III safety rating meaning that it can be used for high voltage things. It can be used for up to 600-volt items. This means any car batteries or household things will be fine.
Outside of reading the normal things of resistance, capacity, etc., it can be used to measure temperatures which are nice.
On top of all this, it has a built-in stand and probe holder to make it easier to measure things. It is like having a third hand.
The last thing that makes this easy to use is the built-in flashlight, so you can see where you are working.
The connector hole where the probes go into can also be hard to push the probes in, but after a few uses, this gets easier. The best solution is if you get a bad set of probes is just to get a different pair that will work with this unit.Outside of the quality issues with the probes, this is a great unit that can do a lot.
Now we are to the Fluke 115 Compact which provides the perfect answer for general purpose electrical and electronic test requirements. This model is also your average size and in a hard protective shell that will handle normal wear and tear. It comes with a soft case which is nice for carrying it around.
It is CAT III safety rated so that it can be used for anything up to 600 volts. This means that you can measure pretty much anything. It can also be used for AC or DC and is easily switched.
The LCD screen is top quality and to make it easier to read it is LED backlit. This multimeter can be used for Resistance, continuity, frequency, and capacitance and had true RMS to give accurate readings.
The ergonomic design of the Fluke 115 compact makes it easy to use one-handed, but it also has a built-in stand to help make it easier to use as well.
It can be used in pretty much any temperature, so even if you live somewhere cold or hot, you won’t have to worry about that affecting the readings.
It is also really simple to use, and most people will be able to use it right out of the box within a few minutes. The probes that it comes with are pretty good, but some people have had issues with them not working right.
Lastly, we have the Fluke T5-1000. This model is top of the line, but still only weighs 1.2 pounds. It comes with a NIST certificate meaning that it is calibrated correctly and going to give you correct readings.
It also can be used for up to 1000 volts and check current up to 100 A- without breaking the circuit, so there is nothing that this thing can’t measure.
It automatically detects between AC and DC making it easy to use. You can make readings with the probes which store away easily or the open jaw current measurer making it simple to use.
On top of all this, the leads and probes accept accessories to make them more useful in certain situations. You can put clamps on them, for example, to make them easier to hook onto something and stay.
On top of being able to measure all the normal things, the T5-1000 can also measure temperature. This means you can eliminate overheating as a problem right away.
This multimeter is also rugged and can handle any conditions you throw at it, so you can use it anywhere and don’t have to worry about it breaking.
So which one should you get? Well, if you are using it every day, then you should get the Fluke T5-1000. That is because it can do pretty much everything and it can do it accurately.
This means that the readings you get can be trusted, and the T5-1000 is reliable. If you are just a hobbyist though, then the Fluke T5-1000 may be more than you need.
If you are only going to be using it around the house, especially for your car, then the Innova 3340 is the best bet. That is because it can still do a lot of different things.
It can measure the normal battery things as well as the alternator and RPMS. It is also a fairly reliable unit and easy to use.
None of the options on this list are bad though, so if you think one of them would work better for you, then it is safe to go with one of the others.
So know that you have read this you know more of what to look for in a multimeter. There is a lot on the market, but this list is a great starting point and will get you on the right track to finding the best automotive multimeter for you.
This list should at least help you be less stressed about the choice that you are making and if you pick one off this list, then you know you will be getting a good reliable multimeter.
So you have probably head of a tool called a multimeter and wondered what all in can measure. By the name you probably know that it can be used to measure multiple things, but aren't familiar with what.
Well, after reading this article you will have a better understanding of what all a multimeter can measure and also what a multimeter can be used for.
A multimeter is a small handheld device that is used to measure different things for different purposes. It is normally a device that most people have on their bench because it is really handy and can do a lot of things.
The come in both analog and digital versions. Are in a plastic shell and durable. Nicer ones may even have a rubber case around them to keep them from getting scratched up or protect them if they are dropped.
These are the basics of what a multimeter is physically, so keep reading to find out what a multimeter is on a deeper level.
Before we get into what a multimeter can measure it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how it works. A multimeter is pretty simple especially depending which one you have.
There are a variety on the market, but they all work in similar ways. Here we will look out how the most common work. The most common multimeters have two ports where you plug the leads into. The leads are wires with a metal prob tip.
Inside the multimeter is a coil which is suspended in a magnetic field. Their are also different resistors. When the probes are applied to an energy source it makes a current and this causes the coil to spin. The spinning coil then gives a reading on what ever you are measuring.
Some multimeters are digital. These work in a similar way, but the movement of the coil is able to be converted to a visible number output with computers.
The advantage to a digital multimeter is that they last longer and don't have interference issues. They also provide more accurate readings.
So now that you know how a multimeter works we can get into what they read. All basic multimeters can read:
More advance multimeters can measure others things as well which we will get to farther in this article.
Is the measure of the flow of electricity through a conductor. For a multimeter the conductor is the wire that connects the diodes and then the coil inside. This is easily calculated with the twisting of the coil or through computer processes.
So first we will look at voltage and explain what it is that is actually being measured. Voltage is the difference in electric charge between two points. The way this is measured is you put the two probes on the diodes and this causes a circuit to be formed.
When the circuit is formed energy flows from one point two the other. It passes through the multimeter and that is able to tell you how much is flowing through. This is because electricity always flow from low to high and it is a never ending cycle.
Inside the multimeter it also uses a resistor so help with the calculation. This is because there is a direct relationship between voltage, resistance, and current. If you know two, then the third is easy to find and we already know that a multimeter can find current.
Lastly all multimeters can measure resistance. Resistance is ability to not have electricity flow through it. To measure resistance the multimeter just has to provide a known amount of voltage and the already knows the current.
Then it calculates the resistance since it is a direct relationship with the other two. This is similar to how it finds voltage, but just changes what part of the equation it provides.
Multimeters do not measure all three things at the same time though. Most multimeters have knobs and you can turn that to tell it what you want it to measure.
So what else can a multimeter measure besides current, voltage, and resistance? Well, the answer is all sorts of things. Some multimeters can be very costly, but these costly ones can measure temperature, humidity, frequency, capacitance, decibels, and even more things. The advanced multimeters are little handheld computers that really have no limit on what they can do.
This question also has pretty much no limit to it. Most normal people just use them around the house to test simple electronics like appliances or batteries, but the potential there is no limit. By the way, if you are looking for an tender for your batteries , you should look in my post about best battery maintainer to pick one.
Electrical engineers use them all the time for common things to advanced things. They don't have to just be used in the construction or engineering field though.
Multimeters are even used in science labs for testing all kinds of things. These advanced elaborateness can measure anything and are made to be very accurate.
Multimeters are basically a bunch of tools in one. They are a voltmeter, ohmmeter, and ampmeter all combined. The advanced ones are even more than this. Multimeters can also be used to measure direct current or ac current.
Some have switches that have to be flipped to change this and others just are able to do it on their own. Some multimeters can even give out readings in multiple units. You can choose the unit that you want the reading to be given out in.
So now you know how multimeters work and also what they are used for. More importantly though you know all the things that they can measure.
Most basic multimeters can measure current, voltage, and resistance. Advanced multimeters though can be used to measure all kind of things from frequency, to temperature, to humidity, and even more.
There are a few different devices to measure different things when it comes to electrical things such as batteries. You have a device called a voltmeter that measures one thing and a multimeter that measures others.
What does each one do exactly though? Well, read on to find out what each device is meant to do and also the differences between the two devices.
We will start out with talking about a voltmeter since it is the more simple of the two. A voltmeter is designed to measure the difference of potential between two nodes in an electric circuit. This is known as voltage.
Voltmeters can be designed to measure both direct current circuits and also alternating current circuits. Some special voltmeters can even be used to measure the voltage of radio waves.
The way a voltmeter works is that it has a fine wire coil that can carry current. This is connected to the power source with leads with metal tips. Some also have clamps. The fine wire is suspended in an external magnetic field.
When a current is applied this causes a magnetic field in the coil which reacts with the other magnetic field. This causes the coil to route and this rotation moves the needle that gives you the reading.
With modern technology though some higher end voltmeters are digital. The digital ones work in a similar way, but with the computer inside it is able to turn the electrical reading into a number that appears on the screen.
The digital ones are more accurate because you don't have to worry about something happening to the coil inside the voltmeter or interference with the magnetic field.
Now we will move on to the more advanced multimeter. Even though it is more advanced it actually works in pretty much the same way as a voltmeter. It still has a coil and magnetic field and when a current is applied it reacts with the magnetic field to give a reading.
The resistors though are a little different and this is where multimeters get their name because they are able to measure multiple things.
Most multimeters can measure voltage, ohms, and ampere. You just use a dial to set it to what you want to measure. With multimeters though there are a lot on the market. (Click to get a best automotive multimeter for your car).
Advanced multimeters can do all kinds of things. The price range can vary, but the advanced ones are nice. They work in a more complex way and are normally digital.
Advanced multimeters can measure all kinds of things from temperature, to humidity, to frequency, and even more. Multimeters are used in all kinds of settings and they even have lab grade ones.
So now you know the basics of a voltmeter and a multimeter. You know how they work on a basic level and what they can do. Here in this section though we will go into even more detail of the differences.
A voltmeter is basically one part of a multimeter. This means that voltmeters are generally cheaper than multimeters. A voltmeter only measures volts where multimeters can measure multiple things.
With this information you can also assume with good reason that voltmeters can be used for less things than multimeters. Voltmeters are good for electrical work, electrical enginering, and household appliences. Multimeters can be used in pretty much any field.
So as you can see both these tools have their purpose. For most people a standard voltmeter will probably get the job down for things around the house, but it doesn't hurt to have a cheaper multimeter around just in case.
If you work in science or labs though, then you may use an advanced multimeter. Voltmeters and multimeters really aren't that different. They both work with coils and magnetic fields, but a voltmeter is just one part of a multimeter.
The best battery tender also popular tool, you need to have one to maintain you battery.
Now you should have a better understanding of when you might use a voltmeter verses a multimeter and have a better understanding of the differences between the two.
This article will look at how many amps are in a car battery.
It highly depends on the battery, each battery should have a rating, some batteries can deliver a very high current, c. 1000 amps for short periods. Batteries are more commonly measured in Ah (amp hours).
So, we are going to be focusing on amp hours and not cold cranking amps in this article.
An amp-hour (Ah) is how many hours a car battery can put out one amp for one hour, so if the car battery is 40 amp hours, then it can put out one amp of power for 40 hours.
After reading this, you should be able to figure out how many amps is a car battery.
The easiest way to figure out how many amps our car battery is is by just looking at the tags on it.
Car batteries can range from 40 amps to as high as the low hundreds, so there is not one set amount of amps in a 12volt car battery.
Most batteries, however, don't have wrote on them how many amps they are. This can make it hard to figure out how many amps your battery has. One rule of thumb is the bigger the vehicle, the more amps the battery has.
Choosing a tool to recharge your battery is not easy, take a look to my post about top rated best battery tender to choose the good one.
Since your battery probably doesn't have wrote on it how many amps it is, then you might have to use a chart and get an estimate. The battery will have written on it the class of battery it is, and this will help you figure out the amps.
Once you know the class you can look up battery amp charts and see a close estimate of how many amps your particular battery has.
Another more scientific way to find out the amps of your battery is by using a resistor. You hook this up to the battery, and it applies a draw on the battery.
You want to make sure your battery is fully charged when you start to get the most accurate estimate. The resistor should be 1ohm, 200watts.
After connecting the resistor, you will want to check it every hour or so and see how long it takes the battery to drop from 12.6 volts to 12 volts. This is about a 50% drop in power.
Once you have the time that it took for that to happen. You take the current measured thru the resistor and multiply it by the time that it took to drop to that point, so if it took 10 hours for it to drop to 12volts, then you have a 120amp hour battery.
This test should be done at around 77 degrees because if it is warmer or colder, it will affect the discharge of the battery. Also, the voltage should drop around .1 volt every two hours or so.
If it is dropping faster or slower than that, then you might be using too much or too little voltage to get an accurate estimate.
If you know the amps your battery is supposed to be and want to see how many your battery has in it, then you can use a voltmeter. You do this by taking your voltmeter and connect it to the battery.
Some nicer volt meters have clips that hook right on to the battery. Others though have metal rods that you have to hold on to the battery post. For these you might need two people, but probably not.
Once you have the voltmeter connected it will give you a reading. For a car battery that it's fully charged it should read around 12-13 volts.
This is because each cell in a battery is 2.1 volts and six cells are adding up to 12.6volts, but there is some leeway depending on how old the battery is.
So reading it, some have needles, and some are digital. The digital ones are easy since they display a number, but the needle ones are a little harder. For a needle one, you have to look to see where it lines up and read the volt number.
Some voltmeters have more than one number, so you have to know which one is for volts. Once you do that, you have to do the math to find out how many amps are in the battery if that is what you are worried about.
Some voltmeters do have a spot to tell you amps, so if your has that number and that is what you want to know, then you don't have to do that math to convert volts to amps.
If you have to do the math, then you need to know the maximum amps your battery holds, and that varies from battery to battery, so you will have to read it.
Once you know, you can take the volts that it has and divide it by 12 or a full battery. You then take that percentage and multiply it by the number of amps your battery can hold to find out the amps your battery has.
Just because the reserve amp hour on most batteries is low doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful with them.
Most car batteries can deliver a lot of amps at the beginning for a short period when cold cranking, so when working with your battery trying to find the amps out you need to be careful and use safety precautions.
Wear insulated gloves, and make sure that no wires are exposed that could lead to you getting electrocuted or a short happening.
So after reading this, you now know that car batteries come in a wide range of amps. Most, however, are in the range of 40amps to 120amps or so, and the bigger the vehicle, the more amps the battery can hold.
Also, the amps we are talking about finding in this article is the reserve amps and is much lower than the cold cranking amps. You have learned that the best way to find the amps is to read the battery and if it doesn't say to find the class level of the battery and use a chart to find the amps that it has.
If you can't do that though, then you can use a resistor and apply a charge to the battery and see how long it takes to drain. You can then do some math to estimate the amps.
Lastly, if you know the amp your battery should be and want to find out if yours has that much, you can use a voltmeter and some math to check that.
Charging times for a battery can vary by a few different factors. One is how much charge the battery has, and two is how many amps you are charging it at.
After you read this article, you will learn how to calculate the charging time for your battery and also the way to charge your car battery.
You will also learn why two amps is an ideal charging power. Continue reading to learn how to figure out how long it will take to charge your car battery. For charging a battery, I recommend you should have the best battery tender to do that. It is the best tool to recharge and maintain battery.
The first thing to do before figuring out the charge time for a car battery is figuring out How much charge the battery has left. The best way to do this is to first read the battery and see how many amps it is.
A car battery is 12.6 volts when fully charged, so knowing this depending on the reading you can calculate how much charge the battery has.
For example, if it reads 6 volts, then you know that it is roughly fifty percent charged. You can then take the number of amp hours the battery is and multiply it by the percent to see how many amp hours are left. For example, if you have a 48 amp battery and it is fifty percent charged, then it has about 24 amps left.
Using this method you can find out how many amps are left in any battery. Once you have calculated this, you are close to figuring out how long to charge your battery to get it back to the full charged. Before we get into that though, I will touch slightly on what an amp hour is.
Amp hour is how much power is put out to run a specific function of the car for a set amount of time. If you have a 50 amp hour battery, then it can put one amp out for fifty hours before being completely dead.
Certain things on your car draw a specific amount of amp hours. There are a lot of factors that go into how many amp hours something draws though.
For example, headlights can use 8-12 amps for most modern halogen bulbs, but in older muscle type cars they could use as much as 20 amps. This means if you have a 50 amp battery and headlights that draw ten amps, then they could run for five hours.
There is more than just headlights though that draw amps. That is why on short trips your battery may nor get completely recharged, which is where charging might become needed if you take a lot of short trips.
This is especially true in the winter months. Now that you know more of what an amp hour is we can get back to calculating how long it will take to charge your battery.
So we mentioned one factor for charging the battery was determining how much power was left and the other is the amp rate that you are charging it at.
For this article and example, we will be using a two amp charger. Once you know how many amps are missing from the battery, it is a matter of just simple math to find out the time to charge. You take whatever amount is missing and then divide by two.
For example, if you have a 50 amp battery that is half depleted, then it has 25 amps missing. You then divide 25 by two since that is the charging rate to get 12.5.
This means it will take 12.5 hours for the battery to be completely charged. If you are using a different charging rate, then you just divide by that number instead.
Read on through to find out why two amps is a good recommended speed.
The main reason to charge at slower speeds or two amps is that faster charging can cause damage to the battery. It can buckle the battery plates, and this will make the battery not function right and can damage other areas of the car.
Also, if the battery gets hot while charging then keep an eye on it and unplug it if it gets too warm. If you have a temperature gauge and your battery gets 125 degrees Fahrenheit, then you need to stop as soon as possible.
Another final reason that fast charging is bad is that it can lead to overcharging which hurts the batteries useful life.
A lot of people wonder which is better to use a 2 amp or 10 amp charger for your car battery. Well, we are going to answer this for you.
The key thing to remember when charging a car battery if you don’t want to charge it too fast because this can cause damage to it. However, you don’t want the charging to take forever either.
A car battery is typically 48 amps. This means that a 2 amp charger will take 24 hours. A 10 amp charger, on the other hand, will take 5 hours.
For a car battery in most cases, it is okay to use a 10 amp charger and is normally the recommended amount. This is because it charges fast enough to not have to wait forever, but it doesn’t charge so fast that the battery will be damaged.
So, if you have to choose between 2 amp or 10 amp charger the next time you are charging your car battery, it is okay to use the 10 amp charger.
Finding out how long to charge a car battery at two amps isn’t that hard. It takes some basic math that anyone can do and also some basic tools that are easy to use.
You have to know how much charge is left in your battery. Convert that to amps, and then divide the missing amp hour amount by two to figure out how many hours it will take to fully recharge the battery.
If the speed you are charging at is different, then the math is the same steps, but just with different numbers. This means that now you should be able to calculate how long to charge any battery.
You may know that different types of batteries have different charges or volts to them. This is because they need a different amount of power to operate.
For example, your TV remote doesn’t need a lot of power, so it doesn’t use many volts. This means that a TV remote would have fewer volts in it than a car battery.
In this article though we will look at how many volts are in a motorcycle. Is it the same as a car battery or less? Well, once you are done the reading, you will know how many volts is a motorcycle battery and also anything else related to this that you might need to know.
Maybe you’re interested:
Well, I am not going to waste your time here. We are going to get right into answering some questions. The first one we will look at is are a car and motorcycle batteries the same voltage? The answer to this is it depends.
Pretty much all car batteries have a voltage of 12.6 when fully charged. They are called 12-volt batteries though. The charge can jump to a range of 13.6-14.6 volts when the car is running. That is because the alternator is feeding the battery charge and it isn’t being drawn that fast.
The reason why it depends is depending on the type of motorcycle you have will determine the type of battery that is in it. Some bigger motorcycles might use standard car batteries or at least they use 12-volt batteries.
Think of your Harley Davidson and chopper type motorcycles. These bigger rides do use 12-volt batteries, so they are the same as a car battery. This means that you can charge them using something that is designed to charge a car. Some motorcycles don’t have this size battery though.
If they don’t have 12-volt batteries, then what size do they have? Well, some smaller motorcycles and especially scooters have 6-volt batteries. This is because they don’t use as much power when driving.
Also, by having a smaller battery on the vehicle, it cuts down on weight which can help on speed. Small things such as crotch rockets you want to be lit so they can go fast. These little rides have smaller batteries to help with this.
A 6-volt battery though when healthy is more than that, just like with a bigger battery. A typical good 6-volt battery has 6.3 volts. This voltage again jumps some while the motorcycle is running. When the motorcycle is running the charge is normally around 7 volts or so when it is a new good working battery. You can use a car battery tester or a automotive multimeter to check how many volts it has exactly.
The next question you might have now that you know the voltage of the different types of batteries is why is the voltage higher then what the battery says?
Well, we have already discussed why the voltage is higher when the motorcycle is on, but the reason the voltage is higher than advertised even when the vehicle isn’t running has to do with how the battery is made.
Most batteries for cars and motorcycles are lead-acid batteries. This means that they have a lead-acid mixture inside of them that holds the charge. The electrons move thru this and into the different parts of the car.
This is a really simple explanation but gets the job done. The electrons are broken into compartments called cells. Each cell in a battery holds 2.1 Volts. This can still range some, however.
Since the electrons are moving from cell to cell and then into the parts of the car, when you turn the motorcycle off, one cell might end up with more electrons than a neighbor. This is why if you measure the volts of each cell, they will be different.
One cell may not last as long as another cell either. This means you might end up with a cell that can only hold 1.5 volts while the rest are holding 2.1 and the reading would still be close to the proper amount of 12 or 6 volts.
The loss of the ability to hold the charge can come from a variety of reasons, but the main one is sulfur build up. I am not going to go into a lot of detail of why a battery might not hold a charge though because there are many reasons, and that is a whole different article.
So, now you know the charge is broken into cells. For a 12 volt battery there are six cells, and for a 6-volt battery, there are only three cells. This helps explain why the 6-volt batteries are smaller. They have half the amount of cells in them than a 12-volt battery.
The cells are held in place with a plastic enclosure. This enclosure is the main part of the battery you see, and the two end cells have diodes that pop out of the top of the case that is your positive and negative leads.
This is where the wires hook up. Knowing the basics of how a battery is made up though can help you with understanding how the different voltages work and why they have different voltages.
Need to recharge your motorcycle battery, let use the best battery maintainer for motorcycle, it is an essential tool of biker.
The last question we will look at is if one type of battery is better or not. This means should you try to buy a motorcycle with a 12-volt battery or get one with a 6 volt or does it matter.
The answer is it doesn’t matter really battery. Both 12-volt batteries and 6 volts do what they are supposed to do. They are relatively the same, and the only thing different is the number of cells. They will still drain the same way and still age the same way.
Also, the same things that might cause one to not last as long will affect the other. This means that you shouldn’t make your motorcycle purchasing decision just based on the size battery it uses. Buy the motorcycle that makes you happy and doesn’t worry about the size of the battery.
Now you know that motorcycles have two different standard battery voltages. Some motorcycles use a standard 12-volt battery. These are your bigger motorcycles that need the power and aren’t worried about cutting weight. Smaller motorcycles though use a 6-volt battery.
This is because the battery is smaller and they don’t need as much power. You also know how a battery works now and that they all drain the same way. When buying a battery just take the old one with you, so you make sure you are getting the right voltage for your ride.
There are a lot of car battery testers on the market so finding the best one can be a challenge. Instead of you having to try out different ones though, we will make it easier for you and provide a list of some of the top battery testers.
We will look at the benefits and negatives of each one, and the end gives you our recommendation. Continue reading to find out which one our experience has determined is the best one.
Where to Buy
4.7 out of 5
4.7 out of 5
4.6 out of 5
4.6 out of 5
4.8 out of 5
The first battery tester we will look at is the Schumacher BT-100. This is a simple battery tester which comes with the benefits of being easy to use.
The good thing about this model is it is still fairly small. It weights 2.7 pounds and measures 15”x7.5”x3.5”. It can still fit in a glove box if needed but is more suited to be carried in a toolbox.
This model is great for everyday use on 6V and 12V batteries. It can test load, battery condition, starter motor draw, and offers complete charging system diagnosis.
One thing that users love about this model though is it has alligator clip connectors. This makes it easy to connect the ends to the battery and you don’t have to hold the ends on there.
That makes using this tester way easier. This one also does have a few more features than just testing the battery charge, but not all the bells and whistles.
Users love that they can use this model to test the start draw. This means you can find out if your starter is bad while this one is connected.
It can also diagnose the complete charging system in your car which means you can find out if the alternator is working properly and charging the battery.
Users love that this one can do those things because it allows them to troubleshoot some things with there car battery and make sure other things aren’t wrong before getting a new battery.
The big problem with this unit, however, is that some users have issues with it getting too hot. This hasn’t been across all units though and could have just been a bad batch.
Next, we have the Solar BA9. This model is starting to get more into the more advanced models. The digital LCD screen is optimized, so it is easy to view in all lighting conditions which users love.
Also, this is a small unit which people like. It weighs 3 pounds and measures 10.3”x7.1”x2” making it nice and compact to fit into a glove box.
The controls on this model are easy to use and make it easy to scroll through the different menu options. The way this is connected to the battery is also high end. The alligator clip connectors are top quality, and users have been able to use this tester for years.
Users also love that this model has been showed to test accurately multiple battery types. It can test all four of the most common battery types (including Flooded, AGM, Spiral and Gel Cell) and gives accurate results on charged and discharged batteries (down to 7 Volts).
Solar BA9 has wide operating range tests batteries all the way down to 40 cold cranking amps and as high as 1200 cold cranking amps.
These is good because you don’t have to worry about your battery tester not being compatible with your battery model or giving you false results.
It is safe to use. It doesn’t get hot while testing and the instructions are easy to follow. Also, it has overvoltage protection and reverses polarity to make sure you don’t get hurt while using it.
The next model we will look at is the Foxwell BT705. This is a fairly advanced model as well with a nice bright LCD screen. The size is good which makes it easy to store and use.
It weighs 3 pounds and measures 13”x3.2’’x9.1”. Users like how this model can do more than just check the charge of the battery. The clamps on this model also work well.
The BT705 can do a load test, charging test, and starter checks on top of checking the voltage of the battery making it a useful tool.
This model can test batteries from rated from 100 to 2000CCA and multiple battery types- regular flooded, AGM flat plate ,AGM spiral and gel. It also test 12&24 volt charging system with quick and accurate test result display in just 3 seconds.
The menus are easy to navigate, and the buttons are of good quality. Users like the ability to use this tester easily without much experience.
Also, the tester is sturdy and built well meaning it will last a long time. The rubber sleeve helps protect it from scratches or drops.
The one flaw with this model is that it needs updates to make sure it functions right and some users have had issues doing that.
Depending on the type of battery you have, this might not read it accurately unless you install the update. The update issues have only been for some people though and could have just been bad internet and not the unit itself. This is still a good unit but is something to remember.
The next tester we will look at is the Schumacher SE-4022. This is a powerful device that serves double duty as both a tester and a charger.You can test a battery to make sure it needs charging before starting to charge it.
This battery tester is larger at 14inches x 14inches x 20inches and weighs 27.3 pounds, but it does have wheels so that you can roll it around your shop.
One nice thing about this tester is it accommodates 6-volt and 12-volt batteries so that you won’t need any other tester or chargers.
The tester’s cables are six feet long which gives you a total of twelve feet of reach since there are two cables. This means you won’t have any problem with being able to connect this tester to the battery.
This tester can not only test your battery, but it can also check your starting system and other electrical systems. It does this with two rotary switches that are included.
Also, built into this tester is a voltmeter, so you won’t have to have an external one. The tester has bright, colorful gauges that make it easy to read.The cool thing about this tester is it can be used to start an engine in a pinch. It can put off 200-amps when needed.
As a charger, it has a 40-amp mode and a 2-amp mode. The 40-amp model is best for charging larger batteries or charging quicker. For slowly charging the battery or for smaller batteries you can use the 2-amp trickle charge mode. It also has an auto shutoff switch.
Having all these features makes it a nice all in one tester and charger combo.The only complaint is that some units have came broken, but customer service has fixed that error, and it seems they are packaging them better now to prevent this.With all that is built into the Schumacher SE-4022, it is an excellent multipurpose tester and charger.
Another more advanced model from Solar is the Solar BA327. This model can do pretty much everything, which users love.
It is a bigger battery tester, but that is because it is also a printer. The Solar BA327 wights 5 pounds and measures 14.5”x10”x3.3”. This means that it is still small enough to carry around, but you probably want to carry it in a toolbox.
This battery tester does pretty much everything, and there isn’t anything bad to say about it. It can test multiple battery types (including Conventional, AGM, Gel Cell, Spiral Wound and Deep Cycle Batteries), 6 and 12 volt batteries from 40-2000 CCA, operating range from 1.5-30V, 6, 12 and 24V system testing.
This model has long cable leads which are extra long at 10 feet meaning you won’t have any problem connecting it to the battery.
Also, the clamps are high-quality alligator ones. This scanner can test every battery type so that you won’t have compatibility issues and it can test drained or charged batteries. Also, it has temperature compensation built into it, so if it is hot or cold, that won’t affect the reading.
This unit is also multilingual, so anyone can use it and understand it. The menus are easy to navigate, and the printer feature is nice so that you can document things.
This will test all parts of the battery electrical and charging system meaning if there are any issues anywhere it will let you know. The printed report is easy to read and makes keeping track of multiple vehicles scans easy. The Solar BA327 is great and is the do all of the battery testers.
The best car battery tester out of these depends on what you are needing. If you just want an easy to use simple unit, then the best one is the Schumacher BT-100. It is built strong and does the job it is meant to do very well.
If you need a a powerful device with tester and charger combo, you can choose the Schumacher SE-4022. It is an excellent multipurpose tester and charger.
If you are an advanced user or shop owner though, then you will want a more hi-tech unit. If that is the case, then you can’t go wrong with the Solar BA327.
It does everything and the printer built in is a nice perk. If you go with the Solar BA327, it will most likely be the last battery tester you buy because it does all the things you will need it to do.
In addition, Foxwell BT705 vs Solar BA9 are good depending on what you need, all product descriptions mentioned above, you can rely on that to choose the product that best suits you.
All the units on this list though are good and have there pluses and minuses. Now that you have read the reviews you can match your needs up to them and find the best car battery tester for you.
You can’t go wrong with any on this list. They will all do what you need them to do, and you will get results easily that make you satisfied.