Top 10 Best Automotive Multimeter- Versatility, Durability & Ultimate Safety
If you really care about your vehicle, then a multimeter should be a tool you definitely should not miss in your maintenance equipment.
Despite there being quite a lot of automotive multimeters out there in the market, getting the best is practically looking for a needle in a haystack. Taking this into account, we've put a lot of hours of research only to give you the best automotive multimeter.
Besides just the product listing of 10 of the best, we’ll also be taking a look at some of the things you should take into account before you go ahead and make your purchase. From something as simple as measuring current, voltage as well as circuit continuity to diagnosing ignition coils, you can pretty much be able to do any kind of electrical maintenance on your vehicle.
Enough with the introduction already; how about we get started with the review right away?
3 of Our Recommended Picks.
First of all, before we move on to looking at the buyer’s guide, let’s have a quick look at our top 3 multimeters- simply the best among the best.
MD22V Digital Multimeter tester
Fluke 88 V/A KIT Automotive Multimeter Combo Kit
INNOVA 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter
The ultimate guide to getting the best automotive multimeter
Considering the types of automotive multimeters are a lot, it can be so difficult for you to get your hands on the best. With our buyer's guide, however, you'll at least get a head start on the most important things to look for before you put your money on the line.
Analog multimeters vs digital multimeters.
First off, let’s start with the basics, right? Regardless of why you are shopping for a digital multimeter, you’ll always have to make a choice between getting one that’s digital or one that’s analog.
It won't be difficult for you to tell the difference between these two since the analog multimeter uses a pointing needle while the digital multimeter uses a digital display to show the values. The latter in this case is obviously the best car multimeter which is also what you'll get on the market today.
When it comes to accuracy, digital multimeters are far much better to work with and the odds of you taking the wrong readings are much lower.
Auto-ranging multimeters vs manual ranging multimeters.
In this case, the best automotive multimeter is entirely a personal opinion. If you’d love to have most of the work done for you, then you should probably go for the auto-ranging multimeters.
On the other hand, some people love to go step by step when troubleshooting their vehicles and in this case, you should go for the manual ranging multimeter.
If it’s your first purchase, then I’d highly recommend that you go for the auto-ranging multimeters. After all, they do save you the time and hassle of having to set the range yourself.
Cost vs performance
Yet another thing to pay attention to is whether or not it's as good as its price. Normally, I'd say that you don't sacrifice quality for the price. In the case of multimeters, however, it's only best that you go for something that will meet your day-to-day needs rather than going for something that's too expensive and won't be using it as often.
On the other hand, depending on your budget, you can go for a cheaper multimeter. At the same time, you should ensure that it does have what it takes to take care of the basic maintenance procedures such as voltage and current measurement flawlessly.
The best car multimeter is totally different from the basic multimeters we are used to. the reason for this is quite simple. For a car, the work to be done is way too much as compared to basic electronics.
Besides the automotive multimeter itself, you’ll always have the test probes that come along with it. you’ll be needing the normal test probes and in addition to this, alligator clips as well as IC hooks.
If you’re lucky enough to get an automotive multimeter kit, you may get all three which saves you the trouble of shopping for what’s missing.
The multimeter’s build.
On the outside, it may be difficult to tell apart an automotive multimeter from the one you’ll use for basic home maintenance. Even so, comparing the construction of either, an automotive multimeter should be far much better off.
For starters, it is best that it has a protective rubber guard all around it. this is to ensure there’s no risk of damaging it just in case you are working outdoors and you happen to drop it.
Another area of concern is whether or not it is rugged enough to withstand wear and tear. Since you’ll mostly be doing automotive work, it is best that the multimeter you’re working with be able to take quite a beating and still work effectively.
Some additional construction details you should look for in the best automotive multimeter is whether or not it's got a strap that allows for hands-free usage as well as a kickstand.
Accessing the fuse and batteries should also not be much of a problem. Rather than going for one that requires you to remove the whole back panel, you should go for one that has a separate battery and fuse compartment.
Besides just having a god construction, there are some extra features that would come in handy on an automotive multimeter.
The min/max function, as well as the data, hold functions. The former allows you to store either the highest or the lowest value regarding a certain unit. This comes in handy when you need to keep track of your measurements. For the data hold, you'll simply be able to freeze the current values displayed on the screen for as long as you want to.
A backlight display.
The best automotive multimeter will always have this feature. Even if you won't be doing most of your automotive maintenance under dim light, there's no harm in getting a backlit display. it will definitely come in handy at some point, don't you agree?
Using your automotive multimeter
When it comes to the actual maintenance of your vehicle using an automotive multimeter, there’s actually quite a lot that you’ll be able to do.
Here’s how an automotive multimeter could come in handy…
Testing your car battery
In some cases, you may doubt that your battery is running low on power. With a multimeter, however, you can know whether or not this is actually true.
All you have to do is locate your car battery and with reference to the manual, go ahead and disconnect the cables from the battery. Having done so, use a 20-volt DC reading for the sake of accuracy.
You should hook up the red probe to the positive terminal of the multimeter and the black probe to the negative terminal and you’re good to go.
Testing your audio system
Something as simple as knowing which the positive wire on your speaker is to knowing the ohm measurement on your subwoofer, a multimeter can definitely do the trick.
For testing the wire polarity, you should first set the multimeter to 20V DC and have the probe to one of the chassis grounds. The red probe should, on the other hand, be on either of the other terminals.
For the one with voltage, you’ll notice a voltage reading on your multimeter.
For ohm measurement, just in case you want to install a subwoofer, first of all, hook up both ends of the multimeter to the amplifier's speaker terminals. Set the multimeter to 200 ohms then check whether the level of ohms on the multimeter is at par with the rating on that of the amplifier.
Troubleshooting your airflow meter
Located at the outlet of the top cover of your air cleaner is the air flow meter. After disconnecting this and removing it, you can check its resistance using your multimeter.
Just ensure that the ohm rating you have set on your multimeter obeys the specification of your vehicle.
The fuel temperature sensor.
Found in the body of the fuel pump is the fuel temperature sensor. Before you test it, you should turn off the car and then disconnect the wiring. Go ahead and check the resistance reading.
The value you’ll get has a wide range but it has to be anywhere between 0.5 ohms and 3.0 ohms; if otherwise, then you may have to replace the fuel pump.
The coolant temperature sensor
This one’s located in the cylinder head and as the temperature of the sensor increases, the resistance value will decrease and vice versa.
Start off by switching off the ignition switch and disconnecting the wiring plug from the intake air temperature sensor.
Check the resistance between the terminals and with a cool engine, it should be anywhere between 2.0 and 3.0-kilo-ohms. With the engine warmed up, this value should range between 400 and 700 ohms.
If you don’t get these values, you should probably get a replacement.
Best 10 of Automotive Multimeter
Moving on to the second part of our review, it's time to take a look at 10 of the best automotive multimeters. Definitely, the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck.
INNOVA 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter (10 MegOhm/UL)
The Innova 3340 is auto-ranging, has a large and clear display, handles all the important automotive functions and has a rugged construction.
Starting us off on our product listing is the INNOVA 3340. The fact that it is a digital multimeter alone qualifies it as one of the best. besides this, however, you’ll be getting the autoranging function from this multimeter and so much more.
Coming with the multimeter is a temperature probe that makes it possible to measure the temperature in both Fahrenheit as well as Celsius.
You can also be able to test the alternator diodes, the duty cycle as well as the solenoids, breaker points, wiring, switches and much more.
As stated earlier on, this multimeter has got the auto-ranging function. This simply saves you the trouble of having to set the range yourself. By having this feature, the INNOVA 3340 just so happens to be the perfect multimeter for both a first-time user as well as an experienced user.
Some added features to this multimeter are the auto shut-off, overload protection, automatic zero adjustments as well as reverse polarity protection.
It also does have the max/min button which allows you to save data. Besides just this, there is also the data hold button which freezes the currently displayed readings which allows you to easily record them.
The INNOVA 3340 construction
On the multimeter is rugged corner guard which offer drop protection and on the sides of this multimeter are two test lead holders for hands-free usage.
Fluke 88 V/A KIT Automotive Multimeter Combo Kit
Considering this is a multimeter combo kit, you’ll have everything al in one package. The multimeter, the probes, the alligator probes, a temperature probe and so much more. It also has the CAT III 1000V and the CAT IV 600V ratings
As far as multimeter brands are concerned, fluke is renowned for having the best=performing multimeters. Let’s find out whether or not the Fluke 88 is the best multimeter for you or not, shall we?
Whereas some people prefer to use the auto-ranging feature, others find it better to use the manual range. Either way, this multimeter has you covered since it does come with both of these.
In either mode, you will conveniently be able to measure both AC and DC voltage as well as current. Other than these two, it is also convenient for measuring resistance, capacitance, frequency as well as temperature measurement.
Within the Fluke 88is a thermometer which allows you to take temperature readings without the need of any other separate equipment.
Besides just the temperature built-in feature, you can also be able to measure duty cycle, current and voltage measurement, resistance, frequency, capacitance as well as pulse width measurement.
When it comes to the safety rating on the Fluke 88, it does observe the CAT III measurement up to 1000V and CAT IV measurement up to 600V. Besides just observing the CAT III and the CAT IV ratings, it can withstand voltage surges in an excess of 8000 volts which in turn reduces risks of electrical surges which may be caused by load switching.
High resolution and clear display
for easy visibility, this multimeter comes with a 6000-count, 3 ¾ digit digital display and in addition to this, it also does have a backlight which makes it easy and convenient to use in dim lighting conditions.
INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter
With the clear labelling all round, an easy to interpret display and the autoranging feature, this would be ideal for a first-time user and an expert as well. The multimeter also conforms with the UL certification and also has the 10 MegOhm input for safety.
Yet another outstanding multimeter from Innova is the INNOVA 3320. Starting with the most obvious feature it comes with, you'll be getting the auto-ranging function with this multimeter which definitely saves you the trouble of having to set the range yourself.
Also, the fact that this is an autoranging multimeter eliminates the chances of ending up with erroneous readings when you have to set the range yourself.
10 MegaOhm input
In order to make it completely ideal for use in handling automotive, it comes with the normal input as well as the 10 MegaOhm input. You can, therefore conveniently use it for checking automotive circuits as well as the vehicle battery and the charging system of your vehicle.
At each side of the multimeter is a probe holder and in addition to this, it does come with a wrist-straps that makes it ideal for use outdoors.
Considering this multimeter does have UL certification, you can comfortably use it with complete peace of mind as far as safety is concerned for handling both automotive and household appliances.
AstroAI Digital Multimeter with Ohm Volt Amp and Diode Voltage Tester Meter
Has got overload protection and conforms with the CAT 1 600V, CAT II 300V and has a double insulation for DC voltage. It will pretty much handle most measurements and with features such as a kickstand, you can conveniently use it hands free.
If you're looking for a digital multimeter that's equally as good for handling household equipment just as it is when it comes to troubleshooting automotive, the AstroAI Digital Multimeter should do the trick.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll be getting, shall we?
Whereas most people tend to underestimate the significance of having an outstanding display on their multimeter, the nature of the display is quite important.
The larger it is, the better of you are. For the AstroAI, you’ll be getting a large LCD display which will be quite easy to read. In addition to this, the max display is 1999 and it’s got 3 ½ digits selection.
Besides just being large and clear enough to make out the values with utmost ease, it also does come with the backlit feature for use even in dim light.
When it comes to using it, you can pretty much be able to troubleshoot most electrical problems. From something as simple as continuity testing to measuring current, voltage, resistance, transistor, diode testing etc., the AstroAI is quite an outstanding automotive multimeter.
With the data hold function, you will take more precise measurements and more so, it’s way better than having to note down the values on a piece of paper.
Completely safe for use
As for the safety rating, this multimeter conforms with the CAT I 600V and the CAT II 300V. there is also a fuse within it for overload protection on all ranges
An added bonus you get to enjoy with this multimeter is a kickstand that makes it possible for you to use it hands-free and more so, there is a low battery indicator which lets you know when it would be ideal to make a battery replacement.
ESI 585K Deluxe Automotive DMM
With as much as 45 test ranges and 14 test functions in addition to having a 10Meg/Ohm input, this multimeter will definitely handle anything. it's also go ta double fuse protection and will handle almost anything thta you throw at it.
Meant for anyone who’d like to have their vehicle in their best possible condition, I’d say that the ESI 585K is the perfect multimeter for you.
Here’s what qualifies this as one of the best automotive multimeters in 2018…
Built-in temperature reading
Now here’s something that you won’t get in just any digital multimeter. Other than just having a built-in temperature reading, it also does have a temperature probe coming along with it. The latter makes it convenient especially when troubleshooting automotive problems.
14 test ranges and 14 test functions.
When it comes to versatility, this multimeter is above average as far as automotive multimeters are concerned.
With the ESI 585K, you’ll pretty much be able to do anything. First off, you’ll be able to troubleshoot current ant voltage measurement for AC and DC in both cases. In addition to this, you can conveniently take resistance measurements and the best part about it is that it has got the 10 Meg/Ohm input impedance for taking large readings.
Temperature values can be taken in both Fahrenheit as well as degrees Celsius. In addition to this, you'll also handle frequency measurement, duty cycle, RPM pick-up, and continuity as well.
For protection against any physical damage, there’s a protective rubber holster around the ESI 585K and within it is a dual fuse protection. Speaking of fuse protection, replacing a blown fuse is quite easy- all you have to do is remove the 3 screws holding the outer case together.
Neoteck Pocket Digital Multimeter 8233D PRO
In addition to having a backlight, a tilt stand, an outstanding grip and a plastic housing for drop protection and conforms with the CE and CAT II 600V. You’ll also be getting a pair of test leads and alligator leads as well with which you can take a lot of measurements on your vehicle.
Already halfway through with our review and we're doing good so far. let's have a look at what more the Neoteck Pocket digital multimeter has to offer besides just portability.
As stated above, it’s quite outstanding that this is one of the few portable multimeters you’ll get for use on automotive. What makes this an even better choice to go for is the fact that you can also use it for troubleshooting your household appliances as well.
Also, for the sake of convenience when it comes to using it, the Neoteck digital multimeter has comes with basic banana-to-test probes as well as the banana-to-alligator clips. We can definitely agree to the fact that the former will come in handy especially when using it on your vehicle.
The last thing you’d want is getting injured even to the slightest degree when working on your car, don’t you agree?
Well, to take care of this, the 8233D PRO has conforms with the CE rating which qualifies it as being completely safe for use in both automotive as well as household appliances. Besides safety, the CE rating also deems it as being completely safe for use on your vehicle.
Still, at the safety, you'll also be getting the overload protection feature. This is made possible by the PCT protection circuit which covers resistance, frequency measurement, and double current fuses. The multimeter also does conform with the IEC 61010-1 CAT II 600V.
What can it really handle?
Don’t underestimate it by its size, the 8233D PRO can be used to measure both AC and DC voltage and current readings, resistance, capacitance, diode check and continuity check which has got a sound as well.
Having a backlit display, the low battery indicator, the auto-power-off function, and the data hold function, it definitely will give you a kick for your buck.
MD22V Digital Multimeter tester
Owing to the fact that it’s got the True-RMS feature, it’s accuracy is the best on all measurements on your automobile. You'll definitely appreciate the large display as well as the backlight and an added flashlight at the rear.
Coming up next on our best automotive multimeter review is the MD22V digital multimeter. Meant for anyone who’s only after the best such as you, this multimeter will give you quite a kick for your buck.
Here’s what it packs under the hood…
A 6000-count display.
The high-resolution display is probably one of the best things about this multimeter. With as much as 6000 counts, it will be possible to take a wide range of readings with this multimeter.
Speaking of readings, the multimeter makes it possible for you to measure NCV, AC and DC voltage, temperature, diode testing, frequency, resistance and capacitance measurement.
In addition to the above-listed units, it will also be possible to troubleshoot a couple of automotive problems such as duty cycle and battery testing
LCD display and a flashlight
Now here’s something you just don’t get every day. Considering it’s got an LCD display with the backlit feature, the MD22V will be amazingly easy to use in dim light. In addition to the backlight, it does have a flashlight as well which makes it ideal to use on your vehicle at any time.
Accuracy and utmost precision
With the true-RMS feature, this multimeter will work with amazing precision and it does outdo other multimeters in its class. The fact that it has got full range measurement does render it ideal for use in the lab, on automotive as well as factories.
AstroAI Digital Multimeter
This multimeter will handle most tasks and at true-RMS. In addition to the accuracy in all measurement, the large 6000-count LCD display with a backlight will make it easy to work with. t
We’ve got another outstanding multimeter from AstroAI. Meant for both professionals and the first-time users, you’ll be getting quite a lot from this multimeter. Let’s take a look at what it’s got, shall we?
A wide range of tests.
It’s not in vain that it’s among the top 10 best car multimeters of 2018. After all, it allows you to handle almost anything. From something as simple as current and voltage measurement to the duty cycle, you can always rely on it to get the job done.
The multimeter also handles frequency measurement, temperature measurement, capacitance, resistance and transistor measurement.
For easy visibility, you’ll be getting a large LCD display. This is a 5 ¾ display with 6000 counts. To spice things up, even more, this multimeter has the backlight function which makes it easy to use even in dim light.
You will also be able to select the manual or automatic range regarding what you’re comfortable with. There is also an overload indication as well as a low battery indication included in the multimeter.You'll also be getting a K-type thermocouple come along with the multimeter.
In addition to having both the manual and the automatic ranges, this is also a true-RMS multimeter which simply means that you’ll conveniently handle the sinusoidal and the non-sinusoidal waveforms.
Something else to take note of…
Included in the package besides the multimeter is a K-type thermocouple, a multi-function sockets a pair of test leads and a user manual- definitely the best automotive multimeter.
uxcell PEAKMETER Authorized Orange Digital Multimeter
from the data hold function and the wide range of measurements to the relative measurement and the auto turn-off feature, you’ll find the usage of this multimeter quite smooth at all times. There is also the fuse protection included as well as the CAT III and CAT IV ratings.
Yet another outstanding multimeter on our top 10 list is the uxcell PEAKMETER. If you are after a multimeter that will be equally as good for electricians, home, and automotive maintenance, then this is what you ought to go for.
A 4000-count digital display
To make it easy for you to read, the multimeter comes with a large easy to read digital display and in addition to this, the fact that it is a 4000-count display does not compromise on its accuracy whatsoever.
Autoranging and manual ranging functionality
Whereas some people may prefer to use the autoranging function, others prefer to use the manual ranging function. Taking this into account, the uxcell PEAKMETER can allow you to use either and at the same time doesn’t compromise on the accuracy.
As for versatility, you’ll be able to use to take a lot of electrical readings including duty cycle and frequency measurement, capacitance, voltage, resistance and many more. For the voltage, it does have the non-contact voltage feature which makes voltage measurement quite easy.
being compliant with the IEC 61010-1 CAT III 1000V and CAT IV 600V overvoltage standards, it is completely safe for use. Besides this, there is also a fuse protection included. For milliamperes, the fuse is FF400/250V and for amperes, it's FF20A/250V
POWER PROBE CAT-IV Digital Multimeter (PPDMM)
The data hold, the max/min function and the relative measurement function deem this multimeter quite handy. You’ll also enjoy the alligator clips, the 6000-count display, a holding strap and the wide measurement ranges you can troubleshoot with it at the safety of the CAT III 1000V and CAT IV 600V is definitely worth every penny.
Finalizing our top 10 reviews is the POWER PROBE digital multimeter is the POWER PROBE digital multimeter. From the display to the performance, this digital multimeter has got all it takes to keep your car in good shape.
Hybrid safe CAT IV rating.
This multimeter is completely suitable for use on Hybrid HV circuits. The test leads included conforming to CAT III 1000V and CAT IV 600V testing. When it, therefore, comes down to taking large voltage measurements, this is definitely the multimeter for you.
Ease of use
From measuring AC/DC voltage and AC/DC current to taking care of duty cycle, this multimeter can pretty much be able to handle almost anything. It does come with a K-type temperature probe for temperature measurements in addition to the test leads and alligator clip attachments which prove quite ideal for troubleshooting automotive.
Owing to the face that it’s got the True-RMS feature, the POWER PROBE’s accuracy level just so happens to be the best as far as automotive multimeters are concerned. It is suitable for measuring both the continuous and the non-continuous waveforms.
On top of having quite an outstanding performance, you’ll be getting the data hold function, the max/min capture as well as the relative function. It also does have an auto shut off feature that’s triggered after 15 minutes. It also comes with a rugged rubberized housing.
With the best automotive multimeter, you'll pretty much be able to do handle most car diagnostics. From your speaker system to check your battery, I think getting a multimeter would be a far much better option than having to get your vehicle checked in a commercial garage.
From our list of 10 of the best car multimeters, you’ll definitely get one that suits you best. even better, you could get a whole automotive multimeter kit for the sake of versatility.
It may not be simple to find your way around using a multimeter on your car the first time; to avoid damaging the multimeter or hurting yourself, take a closer look at the user manual.
All in all, I wish you the best in getting the perfect multimeter.