Car owners who work on vehicles on their own would know what tools they need. To be able to diagnose potential problems, they would also need a proper multimeter in their toolbox. Careful troubleshooting is a must since proper repair or maintenance of a car could mean life or death to the driver and its passengers. Regardless of the price, this is definitely one you shouldn’t skimp on. The right automotive multimeter is out there among the scores in the market. Whether you’re a serious mechanic on the job or simply loves to tinker with his own car, you’ll need one with the right features for the job at hand. As some of the best versatile tools we have today, multimeters read voltage, capacitance, current, and other electrical values that vehicles also have. If you are someone who doesn’t like to always spend on car servicing, you should get the best you can afford and learn how to use it.
This is why we’ve put together a buying guide for those who need info on the best automotive multimeters today. The following has been given proper reviews by those in the automotive industry and by car enthusiasts themselves. They have the features to back up the bragging rights that came with these automotive multimeters.
Buying Guide for the Best Automotive Multimeters
So what should you be looking for before taking out your wallet? There are some basic features that automotive multimeters should have and more advanced ones if you’re working on a specific type of troubleshooting. What you’ll find in this buying guide may help you realize some of the best brand models of automotive multimeters.
What your automotive multimeter should have
- The first step to choosing an automotive multimeter is deciding on whether you should get a digital or an analog version. Digital automotive multimeters have built-in LCD displays where readings manifest in digits. In this case, automotive multimeters that show a specific number of digits will give you a more accurate reading. The analog version uses meters and requires manual settings. Some professionals prefer this kind of automotive multimeter.
- Safety features on automotive multimeters is a must. You will need the assurance that you won’t be electrocuted while in the middle of a diagnostic. Check for rubberized covers around the casing of the auto multimeter as it will stop the flow of electricity. You can have the most durable automotive multimeter in the world but if it doesn’t have any protective covering for the user, you may move on to the next model.
- You’ll want to look out for automotive multimeters capable of testing voltages for both AC and DC. AC or alternating current is easier to create and transmit while DC or direct current only travels at a distance to one point only. Because there are automotive multimeters that only measures one of them, it would still be handy to have one that reads both in case you run into certain kinds of electronics.
Finally, you should also be checking if the automotive multimeter has clear/high resolutions. When tasked with a very delicate job, you need to be able get a good measure of the electrical properties as accurate and precise as possible. If the brand model doesn’t have the level of sensitivity to give you what you need to accomplish the job, you could end up with a lot of mistakes.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Automotive Multimeters
Innova 3320 auto-ranging digital multimeter
Innova has been popping all over as one of the best producers of automotive multimeters around because of its features. The Innova 3320 has an automatic range detector which benefits beginner users because you don’t have to set the range yourself. This device also features a battery tester that comes in handy since you don’t have to produce separate tools for checking car batteries. It also has a uniform setting for AC and DC resistance. The Innova 3320 has a an amply-sized display that separates it from other automotive multimeters bearing smaller displays. As for the durability of this tool, it can withstand minor falls and bumps as well. You’ll be happy to know that is has a certification by the UL with a ready customer support by the company in case you want more info about this model.
- It alerts the user before timing out and shutting off
- It’s great with testing voltages on car stereos
- Easy to use and well built
- The connectivity of the probe is poor
- Indicator lights stopped functioning after a while
What one can get out of a Fluke 115 is a cet if some of the best features around. If you don’t like electrical noise, it has an RMS function for precise data reading. The LED display with backlight makes it easier to makes tests in dark environments. It’s easier to read because its possible to view and get clear readings at any angle for up to 45 degrees. I is designed to be lightweight at 1.3 pounds. This has automatic settings so you don’t have to set it yourself, designed to not cause any risks for beginners.
- Has a good design
- Portable and troubleshoots well
- Has a reputation for durability
- It’s taxing to keep pressing the hold button to keep the reading
A notch above its 3320 predecessor is the Innova 3340. It’s been designed to give ease of use with a wide variety of functions such as a probe for temperature that provides accurate measurements for both Celsius and Fahrenheit. It measures the revolution per minute (RPM) through Innova 3340’s precursory clamp. You can expect this tool to have all the features to able to test everything in your car hood. It’s portable at 1lb and operates at 600V, it has its own case for safe storage. If you think that ends there, nope. This automotive multimeter also does double-duty for your home by being able to detect of a wall outlet is functioning.
- It has the most features that a DIY could use.
- It’s not as expensive but the accuracy is unbelievable.
- The functionality and price are superb
- The view is faint at an extreme angle
If you want an automotive multimeter that’s versatile, the Fluke 77-4 is definitely for you. Equipped with both automatic and manual ranging, you have the option to pick whether to create the settings yourself or leave the detection automatically to this device. You may also use it hand-free because of the built-in magnetic feature that makes it stick to anything metallic. Packing a wallop features, it has both for the professional and the DIY warrior either for home use of checking your car, benchwork or field work. It will test and measure all electrical properties, operational in 1000V and AC-DC resistance. What makes it an awesome little device is its 0.3% accuracy that your everyday mechanic and engineers would be cheering about at competitive price.
- Responds faster
- Has accessories that are quite useful in testing electronics
- Reliable and easy to use
- No instructions on how to use it
Here we have another Fluke in the form of 88V, one of the brand’s best when it comes to consistency and accuracy which is why this is also included among the best in the world when it comes to automotive multimeters. This digital device has everything that you’ll need for your vehicle. It’s capable of measuring after 10 amps of current, or if 20 amps is needed, that’s also possible in a matter 30 seconds. This automotive multimeter has a +/- 1% of accuracy and is easy to use and read.
- An accurate and excellent product
- Great for tests and diagnostics
- Has high-quality meter with equally high-quality accessories
- The plastic case is not durable
The electronics and engineering involved around automotive requires the best tools to keep it as smooth running as possible. This is why you can’t simply draw out cash and buy the first thing you see. There are factors to consider to get the best out of every cent you have. Fort those who’ve been working with electricity, you know by now that an automotive multimeter is something you cannot do without. The best ones with quality components may cost you a bit higher than normal but they have extra features for your use. Go on with your own research to see what other options there are.