Technical advice for checking a multimeter

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Updated Feb 17, 2022

[This article was originally published in 2016 by Trucks, Parts, Service. It has been updated to include more timely information.]

Purkeys has released a few key tips and a video to help technicians better use a multimeter. 

“Doing the right pre-checks is important because all service manuals and technical bulletins are based off of two presumptions,” says Larry Rambeaux, Purkeys sales application engineer. “No. 1 is that a technician knows how to use a multimeter and No. 2 is that the multimeter is in proper working order.”

Multimeters combine multiple electrical measurement functions in one portable unit. Technicians can use this tool for a variety of applications, including voltage drop, continuity checks, diode checks, capacity checks and more.

Before using a multimeter, Purkeys says technicians need to run several pre-checks to ensure they have it calibrated correctly. This includes checking the leads and making sure the amp fuses are good. In the video below, Rambeaux demonstrates how to properly pre-check a multimeter.

Purkeys says when a multimeter is not calibrated correctly or has bad leads — or even if it is not on the right setting — technicians can waste a lot of time or misdiagnose important issues. This is why ensuring the proper use of a multimeter with the right pre-checks can help customers save time and money.        

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