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All Info About Auto Repair: Digital Multimeters
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Digital Multimeters

A Digital Multimeter is the best weapon you have in fighting those electrical and electronic gremlins that sneak into your vehicle.
» Part 1: DMMs
» Part 2: Using a DMM
» Part 3: Volts & Ohms
» Part 4: Wire Checking

Before you use your DMM to perform a test, you need to know what you are testing and what kind of results you are looking for. If you are looking for volts, you will need to select the proper range for the test. If you are looking for a 12-volt result, select a meter range higher than 12 volts. For example, a 0 to 25 volt range would be best. A range of 0 to 500 volts will not yield an accurate result.

Almost all DMMs have an "auto-range" features that will automatically select the proper range. Some DMMs will let you override this feature and let you manually select the range you want. Some DMMs do not have this option and must be set manually. Check the documentation that came with your DMM and make sure you know and understand the different ranges it is capable of.

Most DMMs that have an auto-range will have the setting either before or after the reading. Ohms are measured in multiples of ten and given the designation 'K' or 'M' with 'K' standing for 1,000 ohms and 'M' standing for 100,000,000 ohms. Amps would be displayed as mA, milliamps or 1/1000 of an amp or A for full amps. Volts will also be displayed as mV or volts. When you take a reading with a DMM that has auto-range, be sure you note at what range the meter is on. You could mistake 10 mA as 10 amps.

Most DMMs that have auto-range will show the reading with a decimal point. A reading of 1.2 amps will be 12 amps if you ignore the decimal point.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4
Additional Information provided courtesy of
ALLDATAdiy.com and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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