Best Multimeters For Automotive Purposes- Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 2022

Things have gone past using just a couple of wooden wheels to move from one place to another.

Nowadays, cars are man’s new best friend and if you don’t own one or don’t have the necessary means to access them through third-party mobility providing services, like the best multimeters for automotive purposes you are going to read about on this page, you might find yourself in a pickle.

This is why having one is quite essential for your everyday use, however, when it comes to the natural causes of car depreciation, wear and tear are among the top tier culprits.

Since. It is a well-known fact that nowadays automatics like cars, buses, etc tend to have much complex machinery integrated into them so they can work in conjunction with each other.

Henceforth, the genesis of malfunction and errors is no doubt inevitable, which is why keeping the right tools that may sort your problems in the nick of time is a requisite you cannot ignore.

In such a multitude of tools, one of the handiest and underrated tools is a multimeter and  I cannot emphasize enough how much of a life-saving appliance it is to diagnose electrical issues in your car.

Having said that, curating such an efficient and noteworthy list of tools isn’t easy and does require you to spend an ample amount of time, which is a luxury not everyone has on their hands.

That being said, to take the load off your shoulders and by doing plenty of trial and error before forming a conclusion, I have gathered the best multimeter for automotive purposes.

Before you proceed to the list below, I would like to address the fact that each and every product is personally tested and has been approved to be added in this article based on their price to value ratio.

Best Automotive multimeters

Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter

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Breaking the ice with the most reputable and renowned brand, the Fluke 117 electrician is an all-rounder tool for diagnosing all sorts of electric problems.

The great part about this best automotive multimeter on our list is that it includes a True RMS feature which ensures you get the most accurate reading possible in a non-linear load, making it extremely nifty for your everyday use.

It is small, easy to carry, highly portable, and can serve in plenty of ways through its jaw-dropping capabilities such as measuring current, frequency, capacitance, resistance, as well as voltage.

Moreover, if you travel a lot and don’t want to deal with changing the batteries, then you will love this digital electrical diagnosing device because it comes with a 9v battery that provides juice to the whole appliance for up to 400 hours.

The lofty backlit display is not a gimmick either, since the device has a unique technology called VoltAlert, which detects any voltage and quickly gives you a reading, no matter how small it is.

Speaking of Small Voltages, The Auto Voltage/LOZ function makes sure you don’t end up having any sort of false reading due to ghosting or any other external stimuli through the low input impedance test.

Since the mode of fuel consumption cars are charging and nowadays more and more cars are going eco friendly and using electrical batteries to move you from one place to another, this multimeter can be quite a handy tool, all credits due to its Cat III rating. (It’s a common feature of digital multimeters nowadays)

And for added convenience for its consumers, the device also supports functionality for magnetic hangers so that you can work and stay hands-free at the same time without hindering your mobility.

Overall, it has an amazing design and builds quality and the exterior feels very sturdy so even if you drop it won’t be that easy to break, making your investment well worth the money. 

And personally, I love the fact that it has the non-contact voltage reading feature so not only does it keep you safe but also cuts you some slack and gets the task done in a matter of minutes.

Pros

  • Small and easy to carry automotive multimeter
  • Cat III 600 Volt Rated
  • Supports ToolPak magnetic holder 
  • Non-Contact Voltage reading makes it the best automotive multimeter.

Cons

  • The display is the dealbreaker

Ideal Industries 61-340 Automotive Multimeter

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Not that I am implying that you should settle for less, but the ideal industry is one true promising multimeter that won’t break the bank if you are a little tight on a budget.

Ideal Industries has been in the game for quite some while, or 1924 if you want me to be precise. Their decades of experience have given birth to extremely accurate multimeters known to man.

If the LCD of the previous bothered you, you would love the design of the 61-340 because it is massive and has serviceable display quality which won’t disappoint you.

Moreover, this high-quality multi-feature multimeter includes numerous test modes such as Relative, Min, and Max so you can switch from one mode to another to better suit your line of work or task.

Just like the previous multimeter, this one also has a Cat III rating, which means you can stick it into almost any sort of appliance or automotive without having a single worry in the world.

And if you are craving for convenience, let me tell you this bad boy only weighs around 1.35 pounds and runs on only 1 lithium-ion cell with an average of 2 hours of battery life.

But the best part is that you can charge the battery and jump into the action right away, cutting the unnecessary cost of buying extra cells. Furthermore, the device is pretty efficient and has a nice auto-shutdown feature which cuts the power to the power when it is not in use.

Ideal Industries also provides 2 years of warranty, so in case anything goes, be assured the warranty has you covered. The measurement accuracy is +0.5% and it has both CE and UL certifications.

However, the only flaw is that it doesn’t have a true RMS feature, leaving a tiny room for inaccuracy, however, the temperature probing attribute can be quite handy especially if you diagnose malfunction in cars.

A true RMS feature can be optional in multimeters because it’s not always necessary.

Multimeters typically have two modes: average and true RMS. The average mode is the most common and is good for most situations. The true RMS mode, as the name suggests, measures the voltage or current with reference to an RMS value. This mode is usually used when measuring signals that are not sinusoidal, such as square waves or pulses.

Most digital multimeters include both modes, but some only include one or the other. So if you’re not sure whether you’ll need to measure non-sinusoidal signals, you should check to see if your multimeter has a true RMS mode before purchasing it.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Plenty of features
  • Temperature reading probe: The temperature probe will definitely come in handy while you perform basic electrical tests for automotive repair or while checking car batteries.
  • Massive Display

Cons

  • Lacks True RMS: Automotive meters like this don’t have a true RMS feature. 

Extech EX355- One of the best automotive multimeters

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Money isn’t everything? Well, tell that to someone that is living their lives paycheck to paycheck! The Extech is a clone of Fluke 117- the best multimeter for automotive purposes in terms of features, however, the price tag varies by a ton.

Tired of getting inaccurate reading in your multimeter? Well, look no further, because the True RMS technology has got you covered and that’s not it yet, you also get to probe for temperature while diagnosing for voltage measurements.

With a Low impedance test (LOz) you can conduct electrical readings as accurate as possible no matter how smaller the measurement is without accounting for any sort of ghosting.

To furthermore eliminate any sort of electrical hazard, the non-contact voltage measurement is a handy technology that automatically detects and indicates the measurement digitally on the LCD.

Speaking of the LCD, it is wide and bright and has room for all sorts of modes of measurement so you don’t have to carry multiple devices just to get the job done.

You don’t have to worry about running out of electrical charge either because the device has an auto-shutdown function that conserves the battery by sensing any idleness.

Overall, the build quality is satisfactory and the automotive multimeter is super small and lightweight to carry in your pocket for reading distorted or malfunctioned voltages, it is one hell of a beast because of its accurate output.

Moreover, for variable frequency drive, you can take accurate measurements through the unique filter which is known as Low Pass Filter which is a feature most other multimeters lack, making this one an industrial-grade device for automobiles.

The device is also rated at CAT III and has 0.5% DCV accuracy with multiple measuring modes for resistance, voltage, current, and capacitance such as Manual ranging modes and Data Hold which freezes the readings so you can easily compare and record it for later.

Pros

  • Super Price tag
  • Plethora of features come with this digital multimeter
  • Temperature probing capabilities
  • Non-Contact Voltage measurement

Cons

  • Delay in response time

Fluke 101 Basic Digital Multimeter

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I simply love the Fluke products, especially for their design and top-tier build quality and the Fluke 101 is no different in our comparison of the best automotive multimeter reviews, it is a minimalist digital multimeter that you can use for your everyday routine.

When I say the word minimalistic, I meant the physical attributes, since this device lacks current measurement which might feel like a massive disappointment.

Apart from that, other features like capacitance, resistance, and continuity can be wholeheartedly measured without any issue. 

This is easily displayed on all the 6000 count LCD, but the Backlit feature is missing, so you might struggle in bright lit areas while performing your diagnostics.

Keep in mind this is a basic digital multimeter which means it won’t be able to get reading of detailed information like amps and milliamps, so if you want a full-fledged multimeter for your car, steer clear.

Nonetheless, keeping aside all the flaws due to being budget-friendly, the device might feel a little restricted while performing diagnostics, however, it still has a CAT III rating with a 600 V Ceiling, which is praiseworthy.

Like every other digital multimeter, the data volts accuracy is around +0.5 percent, with data holding features that you can use to freeze any measurement for record and comparison purposes.

The device weighs only around 160 grams and comes with two AAA batteries, however, there is no rubber gripping like its predecessors, which makes handling a little bit of a hassle.

To sum it up, Fluke has created this automotive digital multimeter for basic purposes, which it does without an issue, however, it is not near an industrial-grade multimeter, which is why I didn’t expect much at this price, and I believe you shouldn’t too!

Pros

  • Good for basic use
  • Extremely budget-friendly
  • Pretty accurate 

Cons

  • Lacks current measurement
  • No temperature probing feature
  • Abysmal Gripping

Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter- Another Best Multimeter for Automotive

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Another Fluke product, but this time it is not shying away from anything by cutting corners in its attributes. The Fluke 87-V is an industrial-grade multimeter that has everything you need without keeping you on your toes.

Rugged, Tough, and sturdy, the digital multimeter is literally made to withstand the blows of fatiguing battlefields and simply calling it strong can be an understatement of the century.

While having this bad boy in your pocket, you can be very well assured that you won’t have to deal with any sort of inaccuracy if your car, by any misfortune, has some sort of electrical multifunction.

The True RMS feature does a mind-blowing job by reading measurements in non-linear signals, thanks to its state-of-the-art technology which makes this possible.

And no matter where you are performing your electrical diagnostics such as high energy altitudes, you can get pinpoint accurate readings in a matter of seconds without any sort of delays which is mind-blowing.

The automotive multimeter strives quite well while troubleshooting any electrically powered vehicles using its Low pass filter which scans for Variable frequencies and delivers accurate output on the LCD screen.

The thermocouple integrated into the device can detect heat signatures which is quite handy if you are working in extreme temperatures.

Moreover, as a bonus, the device also supports magnetic ToolPak hanging so you can work without having to hold it in your hands at all times, which trust me gets quite annoying.

And if none of these features attracts your attention, take a peek at this Cat IV rating which might blow your mind and I believe at such a price range, this appliance feels like a steal, unlike most modern automotive multimeters.

The automotive multimeter has TL75 test leads as well as alligator clips to clamp onto electromagnetic devices easily, so this is one of those digital automotive multimeters that come with everything packed.

And don’t worry, even if you manage to break the super-strong multimeter by any chance, the lifetime warranty has got you covered.

Pros

  • Easy to carry
  • ToolPak compatible
  • CAT IV rating
  • Great for measuring voltage and checking car batteries.

Cons

  • Expensive 

Innova 3340 Professional

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Straight forward, captivating, and high quality, the Innova 3340 is a low-priced industrial-grade multimeter that has no parallel when it comes to accuracy and efficiency.

If by any chance your car has its circulatory malfunctioned, pop this bad boy and you are all set, it will easily pinpoint as well as troubleshoot any problem you might be having without any delays.

The device has a barrage of features that includes auto-ranging for multi-purposes modes and frequency, overload protection to keep your hardware protected from frying itself as well as auto shutdown which detects idleness and conserves battery life.

Moreover, the device also has a temperature probing system and detects heat signature which is indicated on the LCD screen. So you can use it to measure temperature as well.

And don’t be fooled by its colorful finish, because this device is made to perform a plethora of tests that includes, voltage, ampere, rate per minute as good resistance to alternator diodes which makes this device quite handy.

It includes a carrying case so you can keep it safe, as the build is quite delicate and cannot withstand external shocks or impacts.

Moreover,  it is rated as CAT II, however, it is still one of the best budget multimeters with high-end features, so go ahead and troubleshoot all your problems and you won’t be disappointed.

The only flaw is that this multimeter has a mere accuracy of 0.1% which might irk you especially if you want to use this device professionally.

The display is amazing, feels very crisp and spacious, and doesn’t feel cluttered at all, so you can perform easy readings for automotive repair without getting confused.

Overall, I felt like the device is highly accurate and even though the price tag isn’t too steep, it exceeded my expectations, so keep no doubts while investing in it.

Pros

  • Good for automotive purposes
  • Lovely design
  • Resistance to alternator diodes
  • Reasonable price tag: An affordable multimeter

Cons

  • Fragile

Klein Tools ET600 Multimeter

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Being the pioneers of electrical diagnostic tools, the Klein Tools company has been around 160 years troubleshooting away all our locomotive problems.

No matter if it is routine maintenance or calibration, you can confidently use this multimeter to check if the ECU of your Automotive is not going off track and has no computational errors.

The device can measure and test the insulation resistance up to 4000MΩ while having voltage readings ranging from 125Volts up to 1000 volts.

Just like the Fluke Multimeters, the Klein Tools also has a True RMS feature which measures and provides super-accurate readings even in high altitude locations with intense energy.

The LCD display has a backlit to ensure you don’t have any sort of hindrance while reading your measurement.

Furthermore, the device also has a multitude of features such as auto shutdown to conserve battery life, as well as high voltage indication to protect you and your hardware from electrical hazards.

The best thing about this multimeter is that it is CAT IV rated with a 600 V Ceiling, so if you are into industrial grade professional troubleshooting work, get this multimeter without any hesitation and you won’t be disappointed. Especially when it comes to the voltage range.

For convenience, the voltage measurement appliance also supports a magnetic holder for hands-free work and also includes a carrying bag so you can safely store it in a secure place.

As per my experience, so far it hasn’t disappointed me in any way shape, or form, it has a reasonable price tag and I feel like the design quality is extremely good.

The device can be easily regarded as one of the versatile multimeters I have used without breaking the bank, which makes investing in this device a no-brainer!

Pros

  • Super Accurate 
  • Very affordable
  • CAT IV rating

Cons

  • Not sturdy

Best Multimeters for Automotive- Guide to buying

Think you can just go out and buy any multimeter for automotive use? Guess again!

Without some knowledge of what to look for, you might end up with a multimeter that won’t work for your needs. Different automotive multimeters have different features, so it’s important to figure out which one is right for you. Also, think about how often you’ll be using it and what kind of tasks you’ll be using it for. This way, you can make sure that you’re getting the most value for your money.

So, let’s take a look at different factors that you should consider before buying an automotive multimeter:

Safety ratings

We recommend that you never buy any product with a low safety rating as it’s an important feature that should be avoided. Electronics always require safety. Modern automotive multimeters are required to conform with the IEC61010 security rules, Safety & Robustness. Safety ratings are critical if an engineer deals with fault currents that could exceed a high level. So the first step in the electrical test procedure must include examining the user manual for appropriate operation procedures, safety precautionary information, and limits.

Warranty

This warranty guarantees that your purchase is reliable in all aspects and that you do not suffer from manufacturing errors.

Auto Ranging Feature

An Auto-ranging feature is critical because it allows testing for the right range in order to measure the highest significance values.

Resolution and accuracy

The resolution of your automotive multimeter will determine how well it can measure small changes in measurements.

Display

Displays on all devices play a vital role in measuring and troubleshooting analyses. Record a reading mistake that may destroy all of the work that you did. You need to choose one which has backlights and the perfect automotive Multimeter. It is always advisable to choose tools with more visible features. The backlit display helps to make reading the measurement easier by allowing for easy reading.

Size

Dimensions of the instrument always matter; always choose equipment with fewer weights that can be compactly assembled. Some best car meters available today have very compact features and are very easily portable. This makes them great for automotive use.

You can diagnose your car’s electrical problems with ease with these automotive multimeter reviews

If you’re like most people, when your car starts making strange noises or doesn’t seem to be performing as well as it used to, the first thing you do is take it to a mechanic. However, what if you could diagnose some of the most common electrical problems with a multimeter?

All the automotive multimeter reviews that we have looked at are geared towards making your purchase decision easier.

Bottom Line

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know a whole lot about cars’ electrical systems. In fact, when your car’s “check engine” light comes on, you probably just take it to the mechanic and hope for the best.

But what if there was an easy way to diagnose a car’s electrical problems yourself? Believe it or not, there is—and all you need is a right multimeter. With this simple tool, you can test circuits, identify shorts and opens, and much more. So the next time your car’s electrical system goes haywire, don’t despair; just grab your multimeter and start testing!

The products listed are all well worth the money since for all intents and purposes they will serve you quite well without being a letdown. However, some products in this article cannot be used professionally and only for beginner’s use, which is why I advise you to keep an eye out for the Category rating before committing to a purchase.

That being said, this article caters to everyone and that is why I have kept this article as straightforward as possible. I hope my list of best multimeters for automotive purposes is well worth the read.

Daniel Wood

Daniel, who is a mechanical engineer and hobbyist mechanic by profession has been specializing in electronic equipment for the past four years. He worked as an engineer at one of these manufacturing plants that specializes exclusively on this type equipment before opening up his own shop where he does research into different machines all day long!