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Old 11-22-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
matthones
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multimeter question

All,

I've never used a multimeter to test battery draw, and after reading multiple posts, I'm still confused. Some say to remove the negative battery cable, others the positive cable, what is the real story? I'm gonna run down to the parts store tomorrow for alligator clips, so how do I use this multimeter? Once I determine if there is a draw, I'll start pulling fuses to isolate, but the problem is getting there first. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: multimeter question

check this site and scroll down until you see "checking a battery drain with a voltmeter".

http://www.aa1car.com/library/battery_runs_down.htm
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: multimeter question

unhook the positive side and put your tester in line.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: multimeter question

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Originally Posted by Tinkermc View Post
unhook the positive side and put your tester in line.
By in line you mean one lead on the positive post, one lead on the positive cable, and then with the switch to the DC volt side, I should be able to see the draw then. Damn I hate being an electrical newb.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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Re: multimeter question

It may actually work better if you use a light. When you use a light and you pull the fuse in the circuit with the problem light will go out.
Your aftermarket radio/CD unit will draw some all the time(something to keep in mind).
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:21 AM   #6
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Re: multimeter question

Pull your Neg cable and put light in series with Neg batt post and neg lead.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Re: multimeter question

Plug the red lead into the 10A socket - this will be able to handle the current draw of a parasitic draw and a dome light... don't turn on your headlights or try to start your truck - you'll fry your meter.

Using the DCV socket will not work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthones View Post
All,

I've never used a multimeter to test battery draw, and after reading multiple posts, I'm still confused. Some say to remove the negative battery cable, others the positive cable, what is the real story? I'm gonna run down to the parts store tomorrow for alligator clips, so how do I use this multimeter? Once I determine if there is a draw, I'll start pulling fuses to isolate, but the problem is getting there first. Thanks in advance.

Matt
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: multimeter question

or you can use a test light. If you're inside a dark garage this works better than a meter that you have to have in line-of-sight.
Info here....
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ad.php?t=33198
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Re: multimeter question

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Originally Posted by matthones View Post
By in line you mean one lead on the positive post, one lead on the positive cable, and then with the switch to the DC volt side, I should be able to see the draw then. Damn I hate being an electrical newb.
dc amps
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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Re: multimeter question

Guys, thanks for all the advice. I tried every which way to find a draw on the battery with no luck. The meter stayed at 0.00 no matter what I tried. I am completely at wits end as to why my battery goes dead between weekends.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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Re: multimeter question

That would lead me to believe you hooked it up wrong and blew the fuses inside the meter.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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Re: multimeter question

Have you read the information in the link posted by VetteVet?
It covers it.
Or the link posted by 63&64 Bowties? It is the simpliest explaination.

Cliff notes:
*Turn everyswitch off. Everything off.
*Pull battery cable. The reality either one will show the drain from the battery.
*Start pulling fuses, one at a time, checking each time to see if the draw is still pesent. Once it disappears, the last fuse pulled is the circuit that has the issue. Then the real fun begins.
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:31 AM   #13
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Re: multimeter question

Always use the negative cable. The draw test will work with either cable/post. There is less chance of shorting things out on the negative side. When you disconnect a battery disconnect the negative first and hook it up last to avoid shorting. Batteries give off hydrogen gas & can explode when a spark is applied. I suggest using the test described in your volt meter's manual because they differ. I noticed your meter's milliamp is separate from your amp. The better meters have a low amp and a higher amp jack. The easiest way for a "newbe" is to hook a test light with a real 12v bulb across the disconnected neg. batt post to the cable. If your truck has onboard computers jump the bulb connection with a jumper wire for 15 minutes to allow the computers to go asleep then remove the jumper and bulb should be off. Examine the bulb closely because it could be on very dimly.
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:48 AM   #14
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Re: multimeter question

Charge the battery and disconnect the battery cable when done with it one weekend. Reconnect the next weekend. Does it start?
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