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Thread: can anyone recommend a multimeter?

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    Regular Member sheepish's Avatar
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    Question can anyone recommend a multimeter?

    Hi All,

    Can anyone recommend a good but inexpensive multimeter that can read low voltage AC?

    The ABS and traction control light came on today (on the wife’s car) and I'm assuming/hoping it's only a wheel speed sensor (?). The Haynes manual recons the sensor should give you between 1.5 and 2 V AC when you spin the wheel. My existing multimeter only has a 750 and 200 options for AC and even on 200, I get nothing from either front sensors... and I'm assuming they haven't both managed to fail at exactly the same time...

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    Regular Member scottyd's Avatar
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    check resistance of them 1st mate

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    Regular Member keefy*2010's Avatar
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    AC the only area this is present is in the alternator which the has a diode pack. Every thing derived from the battery is DC.

    Both Screwfix and Maplin sell multimeters they will have both AC & DC ranges on them.

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    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-60792...3753773&sr=8-1

    thats the one i use :thumbs:

    can prob pick something similar in halfords, maplin etc

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    Regular Member Handyandy-UK's Avatar
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    I can most certainly recommend one

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    Just make sure you get one with an Auto Off function, mine doesn't and has silly 6v batteries. The amount of times Ive found it on and the battery flat.........

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    Regular Member Exclusive BV's Avatar
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    I you want to measure low voltage AC then i recommend the UT50A Digital meter (code N77CB) from maplin. this covers 200mv to 750 v AC & DC. (£19.99) There are lots more expensive one in there but this does the basics nicely for a good price.

    Curiously enough they also stock an automotive multimeter. This unit does not measure AC Current. I was under the impression that the alternator dealt with AC to a point as said above

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    i guess they are all much of a muchness, just check if it can do the readings that you need. mine's an old rapitest, still works fine.

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    As above, you need DC to check wheel speed sensors. The current rises and falls as each tooth on the cog passes the sensor (looks like a sine wave but with a square waveform when seen on an oscilloscope) but it is not actually AC. You may find this hard to see on a digital multimeter as it alternates quite fast.

    What error code do you get? There a quite a few relating to the wheel speed sensors (voltage issues, missing teeth on the cog, etc.) and so will help point you in the right direction as to exactly what the problem is.

    Also check the wiring plugs for the wheel speed sensors. These are at the back of the wheelarches behind the suspension strut and they seem a bit prone to leaking on early cars especially in wet weather. Take them apart and if they are showing signs of leaks or corrosion of the pins, dry them out and clean them up, then wrap them in insulating tape before refitting in the brackets.

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