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.
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.
If it weren’t for the probe issues, this would be a great multimeter, but even with those issues, it is still a good one.
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.
If most of your use is going to be with things that put off more ohms though, then you shouldn’t have this issue, and that means that this is a great multipurpose multimeter. To top it off, it also comes with a nylon pouch so that you can take it anywhere.
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.
If that is the case, Fluke customer service is good, so they will get the problem fixed for you. This makes the Fluke 115 compact a powerful little tool.
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.
The only downside to this meter is that it doesn’t come with a carrying case. They make one for it, but the H5 holster is sold separately. This is the only issue with this multimeter, and while it is nice to have the holster to make it easier to carry, it isn’t a need and doesn’t affect the function of this unit.
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.