Best Automotive Multimeter of 2021

Multimeters have become so popular among handymen, engineers and electricians thanks to their utility and functionality. It is amazing how many values they can measure and how helpful they can be in a multitude of situations. Although some people prefer to use analog multimeters and declare that they are more accurate when doing simple measurements, the digital multimeters own the market. As technology evolved, so have these devices. Nowadays, you can measure the current, voltage, amperage, continuity, resistance and many more values of every simple or complex system.

Multimeters have proven their utility in the automotive industry even from the beginning, especially in the troubleshooting phase. This makes them ideal for workshops and car repairing services. Also, they are essential in the testing process, which is why they are being used by almost every automobile owner who likes to know every technical detail about their car.

The multimeter offer is huge on today’s market, but there are some products that are better than others when it comes to the electric system of a car. This is the reason why users who are planning to use a multimeter for this kind of troubleshooting should be aware that there are several brands that focus on developing the best products. Fluke, Innova and ESI are on the top of the list, but you might find other brands that are worth your investment, too. In this article, we will be presenting to you three of the most popular choices that belong to these brands.

When reviewing these products, we have highlighted their pros and cons based on personal observations and consumers’ comments. If you are looking to buy the best automotive multimeter, you should take a close look at each one of them and make sure that you understand the benefits they offer, but also their downsides.

1. Fluke 77-IV Digital Multimeter

Fluke 77-IV Digital Multimeter, Yellow

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Fluke is one of the best digital multimeter brands out there and it has built a reputation around high-quality products that are capable of measuring a wide variety of values, such as frequency, capacitance, resistance and continuity. What makes its products better than other manufacturers’ is the fact that it strives to offer wide measurement ranges, safe, certified devices, great design and ease of use. This particular model is a standard multimeter that comes in yellow and has a really nice shape that makes it easy to maneuver during use. Its knob is large and easy to use, as it is surrounded by intuitive icons of each function. Design-wise, it is also worth mentioning that its LCD display is quite large and has
backlight in dim areas.

This 9.4 x 6.4 x 3.2 inches digital multimeter weighs only 1.5 pounds, which makes it lightweight and easy to carry. From a technical point of view, it has manual and auto ranging, min/max to record signal fluctuations and a measurement range of 1000V. It is capable of measuring up to 10 Amps continuous and 20A for 30 seconds. It has 0.3% accuracy, which is enough for someone who wants to make simple measurements during the troubleshooting process. It is ideal for a car service or a workshop. Also, it features a versatile meter for field service or bench repair. Another nice feature that this product has is
its TPAK magnetic hanger that makes it more comfortable for you to work. Although this product can be incredibly helpful, it doesn’t have a NIST certificate and it doesn’t come with a night light.

What’s to like?

  •  It is fairly priced
    It is a standard multimeter
    It is nicely designed
    It is easy to maneuver
    It has manual and auto ranging
    It measures frequency and capacitance
    It measures resistance and continuity
    It has 0.3% accuracy
    It has min/max to record signal fluctuations
    It has a TPAK magnetic hanger
    It has integrated probe holders
    It has a large display
    It is small-sized and lightweight

What’s not to like?

  •  It doesn’t have a strong LED light for night work or tasks that must be done in dark places
    It doesn’t include a temperature probe

2. Innova 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter

Innova 3340 Automotive Digital Multimeter

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If you are one of those consumers that are after the best products that are also cheap, you will love this digital multimeter. Innova brings to the market a device that offers value for money and that is good enough for mechanics and electricians who want to test a car’s electricity. It truly has a lot of nice features for its price, as well as an ergonomic design. It is an UL certified product that ca test alternator diodes, duty cycle, solenoids, switches, breaker points, wirings and more. Besides that, it has a temperature probe that allows you to use it as a thermometer when needed. Also, it features auto-ranging and it comes with safety features such as automatic shut-off and over-load protection. This way, it will shut down when not used in order to preserve the battery life and it will not break in case of big
current fluctuations.

Except for having a great design and being packed with a variety of features, it is also easy and comfortable to use. It measures 12.5 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches and it weighs only 1.12 pounds, which makes it lighter than Fluke’s multimeter. This is a cordless product that works with 2 AA batteries and that can perform alternator test and RPM reading. Also, it has battery quick check LEDs, so you know when it’s time to change them. Another feature that adds up to its functionality is its hands-free testing. It comes with a built-in stand and a wrist strap that lets you measure all the above mentioned values without touching it.

What’s to like?

  •  It is inexpensive
    It has an ergonomic design
    It is lightweight and small
    It is suitable for professional use
    It is ideal to automotive jobs
    It tests alternator diodes, duty cycle, wirings and many more
    It includes a temperature probe
    It has auto-ranging
    It has safety features
    It includes test lead holders
    It is UL certified
    It is cordless
    It has a large display

What’s not to like?

  •  It doesn’t have a backlit display for night work
    It is not recommended for advanced specialty applications

3. ESI 585K Deluxe Automotive DMM

ESI 585K Deluxe Automotive DMM

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Another inexpensive, yet highly performant digital multimeter than can be used for automotive applications is the 585K model from ESI. If you want a professional multimeter that is digital, has a lot of functions and is developed by a renowned manufacturer, but you don’t want to invest a lot, this is exactly what you need. This product has a nice design, a good grip, is lightweight and small-sized and very easy to use. It has 45 test ranges, 14 test functions and a dual display with an analog bar graph and digital readings. It includes test probes and alligator clip test leads, it has a temperature probe and a 9V battery. It comes in a zippered storage case that will help you protect it from dust and dirt.

From a technical perspective, it is worth mentioning that this product has RPM for distributorless and standard ignitions, it includes an RPM pick-up and it has10 Meg/Ohm input impedance. Also, it comes with dual fuse protection and safety leads and jacks. More than that, it has a built-in tilt stand that lets you read the values while doing some other task, which means that no touching is required.

What’s to like?

  •  It is inexpensive
    It has a practical design
    It is easy to use
    It is lightweight
    It is cordless
    It includes a temperature probe
    It has a protective holster
    It has a 9 V battery
    It has an adjustable sensitivity switch
    It has a carrying case
    It has 45 test ranges
    It has 14 test functions
    It has dual fuse protection

What’s not to like?

  •  It doesn’t have a night light


Final Thoughts

It is only natural for a beginner electrician or a mechanic to have no idea what a good automotive multimeter should offer. On the other side, an experienced user knows that the accuracy, safety of use, smart features, the battery and the functional features of a multimeter matter. The three products in our list highlight the existence or the lack of these characteristics. Therefore, if you want to buy a high-quality device, but you aren’t exactly sure what you are looking for, you should analyze them thoroughly.

Before investing in one of the best multimeters that you can find on the market, ask yourself the following: what are my needs? What do I want to use this product for? How often will I be using it? Will it be helpful in my daily job or only occasionally? What is the accuracy that I need? Do I need a cordless or a corded product? These are just a few examples of questions that might help you make the best decision. If you are an occasional user, then it becomes obvious that you don’t need to through a lot of money into this product. If, on the other hand, you are a professional electrician or a mechanic, it will be totally worth it and this investment will bring you even more money, as you will be able to do your job properly.

Being passionate about cars and other vehicle types means more than just admiring and driving them. The whole thing becomes much more interesting when you know exactly how it works and how to fix something when it is broken. This way, you get to truly know your car and to make it your best friend. A multimeter is one of the devices that helps you test and troubleshoot in a lot of situations, from a faulty battery to complex electrical systems that are dysfunctional. Take a look at these three products once more and see which one is the most suitable for your needs.