Modern cars have complex and vulnerable automotive electrical systems that are prone to developing faults. Sometimes, it can even be difficult for professionals to troubleshoot wiring problems in a vehicle without the right equipment. And that’s when a multimeter for automotive comes in handy!
What is an Automotive Multimeter and what does it do?
A multimeter is a device (usually small enough to fit in your hand) that can measure a range of metrics related to your car’s battery. Most multimeters measure the current, voltage, and resistance of a car’s battery. Some multimeters can also measure temperature and battery capacitance.
An automotive multimeter is mainly used to test the charge of a car battery. People usually use an automotive multimeter to determine why their car won’t start. Along with testing the charge of the battery, it can also be used to detect defective car battery wires and headlight wiring.
Best Automotive Multimeters
The best multimeter for cars is the Fluke 117. It accurately measures voltage and current. It can also measure resistance and capacitance.
Different brands offer different multimeters – digital and analog, basic and more sophisticated. So, deciding on the best multimeter for automotive may be a tough decision with all of the choices!
This comprehensive review rounds up top-rated models available on today’s market. We’ll also discuss what features you should look for when searching for an automotive multimeter. Interested? Then let’s get to the details!
|Name||Max. voltage||Current||Auto range||Weight||Jump to|
|Fluke 115 |
|600 V||10 A||yes||1.2 lbs / 0.55 kg||Review|
| Innova 3340|
|600 V||15 A||yes||0.6 lbs / 0.26 kg||Review|
| AstroAI DM6000AR|
|600 V||10 A||yes||1.3 lbs / 0.6 kg||Review|
best for professionals
|1000 V||10 A||yes||1.4 lbs / 0.62 kg||Review|
Best Automotive Multimeter Reviews
Fluke 117 – best overall
Fluke has been in business since 1948. It’s a trusted test tool brand that helps both professionals and amateurs work safely with automotive systems. Therefore, it is no suprise that the Fluke 117 is one of the best automotive multimeters on the market.
One of the coolest features is the non-contact capability. This allows you to detect voltage without having to make contact with the battery or wire. This is especially helpful for cars, as it helps keep you safe from hot batteries as wells as sparks. It will also help you keep your hands clean.
The biggest issue with mulitmeters is their accuracy. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about this with the Fluke 117 as it’s new AutoV/Loz technology is able to avoid incorrect readings. Additionally, the multimeter provides 3 readings (minimum, maximum, and average) for all of its detections.
Also, while many multimeters require you to manually switch between AC and DC voltage, this multimeter detects it automatically.
Fluke 117 is the overall best automotive multimeter available on today’s market. It provides safe and accurate readings, and it is easy to use for beginners!
Maximum voltage, V: 600 DC/600 AC
Current, A: 10 DC/10 AC
Auto range: yes
Dimensions, mm/inch: 167 x 84 x 46 / 6.57 x 3.31 x 1.82
Weight, lbs/kg: 1.2 / 0.55
No contact readings
Costs over $200
Innova 3340 – best multimeter under $100
Innova 3340 is a digital automotive multimeter with various features and measurements for electrical and automotive work. While this multimeter is not no-contact, it uses pinpointers which add a level of safety. The only downside is that sometimes the cords to the pens can get a little tangled. Regardless, this is a great option for under $100.
It also features auto-ranging and over-load protection, which will help protect your vehicle’s battery.
Another thing I really like about this multimeter is that it can measure up to 15 amps. This is important for device testing in the automotive industry, which might be damaging to ECUs in cars.
This model is also able to read temperature, which is very useful.
Thanks to durable construction and rubber corner guards, the unit is perfect for use during heavy or careless work settings.
Innova 3340 is the best automotive multimeter under $100; it’s ideal for those who need it for work or hobby and want extra protection from falls and damage. It offers all of the measurements that are necessary for automotive work.
- Maximum voltage, V : 600 DC/600 AC
- Current, A : 15 DC/15 AC
- Auto range : yes
- Dimensions, mm/inch : 317 x 114 x 165 / 12.5 x 4.5 x 6.5
- Weight, lbs/kg : 0.6 / 0.26
- Large display screen
- Includes temperature probe and convenient storage for them.
- Has a carrying case.
- The cables sometimes get tangled.
AstroAI DM6000AR – best under $50
If you want an automotive multimeter that won’t break the bank, you should check out this cheap multimeter.
Despite being cheap, the AstroAI DM6000AR can do everything you would want out of a multimeter. It can measure the following:
While this multimeter does use pen nodes to measure current, the tips are very thin which make it easy to fit into small spaces and outlets. The wire fuse also has a safety feature built into it which prevent is from overheating or burning.
I also really like the large display screen on this multimeter, as the blue color makes it easy to ready in low light situations.
AstroAI DM6000AR is the best automotive DMM under $50. Despite its cheap cost, it can still do everything you need out of a multimeter.
Maximum voltage, V : 600 DC/600 AC
Current, A : 10 DC/10 AC
Auto range : yes
Dimensions, mm/inch : 220 x 58 x 170 / 8.66 x 2.28 x 6.69
Weight, lbs/kg : 1.3 / 0.6
Thin pen measurers
Good display screen.
Not as accurate as more expensive multimeters.
Fluke 88 – for professionals
If you’re seeking an automotive digital multimeter for professional use, Fluke 88 has a lot to offer! This is best used for very large vehicles and machinery. They main reason is because it can withstand up to 8,000 volts, and can measure up to 1,000 volts both AC and DC.
It also gives you both maximum and minimum readings, which leads to more accurate readings.
The main downside of this multimeter is that it doesn’t have no-touch capability, so you must use the pens.
Fluke 88 automotive digital multimeter is an excellent pick for professional mechanics. It provides troubleshooting functions, measurement features, and accuracy levels that specialists want in order to address issues on standard or hybrid cars. Overall, Fluke 88 delivers much more than general-purpose meters, even such a powerful as Fluke 115!
Maximum voltage, V : 1000 DC/1000 AC
Current, A : 10 DC/10 AC
Auto range : yes
Dimensions, mm/inch : 201 х 52 х 98 / 7.93 х 2.06 х 3.86
Weight, lbs/kg : 1.4 / 0.62
Good for large vehicles
Measures to 1000V AC and DC
Operating temperature of -20 °C to 55 °C
Takes a while to ship on amazon
Automotive multimeter buying guide
Auto-ranging is an excellent feature to have on a multimeter because it allows you to use the meter on different types of circuits. However, it’s also a good idea to make sure that you always note what range your meter is set on, as this will require a different type of test for smaller circuits.
An automotive multimeter is designed to measure a number of different voltages. The voltage range is the maximum amount of voltage that the device can read. A wide voltage range means the device can measure higher and lower voltages. A narrow voltage range does not mean that the device can’t measure higher voltages; lower voltages are all that it will read.
When purchasing a multimeter, it is critical to consider the safety ratings. A good meter will have a protection system that is high enough to protect you from electrical shock.
Besides, the unit should have four safety levels. The first level is operating voltage, and the second is insulation for AC currents. The third level is isolation and grounding, and finally, grounding for DC currents. When all four of these requirements are fulfilled, then the multimeter can be considered entirely safe.
Size and weight
When it comes to size and weight, automotive multimeters are not as bulky as some of the other automotive units on the market. In fact, great multimeters for auto are lightweight and portable; some models can even easily fit into the pocket. This is definitely a plus, especially if you are working on a car and need to move around quickly.
Accuracy of automotive multimeter
The accuracy of an automotive multimeter is an essential factor to consider when purchasing one. An inaccurate meter can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a problem with your vehicle.
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you purchase a multimeter that has high accuracy:
- Choose a reputable brand
- Read reviews of the product before purchasing
- Ensure the meter has been calibrated recently
- Check the specifications of the multimeter to see how accurate it is.