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Thread: Multimeter setting for power drain?

  1. #1
    Regular Member rushy's Avatar
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    Default Multimeter setting for power drain?

    Evening all. The other halfs Punto is is having some problems at the moment (yes I know its a Fiat and it comes with the territory), could anyone tell me the setting on my multimeter to use to find a power drain in a circuit. I was planning to lock the car, pull 1 fuse at a time and put the meter across the contacts to identify the individual circuit.

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    A car is 12v DC so the setting should be anything over 12 with the symbol v- not v~ as this means alternating current (spelling not that good).

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    Regular Member Grumpy1954's Avatar
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    Personally I'd set it a bit under 12V, as a power drain could just be a trickle, hard to be sure of a small reading on a big setting.

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    Ex Vec-C Admin & Founder GARY3306's Avatar
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    You are checking for current drawn,so you should have it set on the 'amps' setting. Also, the best way to check is to take off the battery pos lead and put the multimeter between the lead clamp and the battery pos terminal (making sure the two don't come together). Then pull one fuse at a time. Setting it on the voltage setting won't give you any results
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    Regular Member hagga's Avatar
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    As Gary says, you're looking for current being drawn... make sure you turn everything off, set it to highest DC Amps setting and make sure leads arein the correct terminals (most multimeters will do 10A)then pull your fuses one by one.. you may want to turn off your interior light if you need doors open to access fuses as this could throw a red herring in the works when you pull that fuse.I presume that you've checked the battery/alterator are good? oh and make sure you swap leads/set meter back to DCVolts before any voltage checks or you'll blow the interal fuse in the meter
    Last edited by hagga; 6th March 2011 at 09:12.

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    What the last two said.

    You'll usually have to move the red meter lead to a separate socket too to use the 10A range.
    Remove the +ve clamp off the battery and connect the meter leads between it and the battery terminal.

    Do NOT try and start the car though! You will fry your meter!

    (Checking current drain on the Vectra is quite interesting as you see the different circuits going to 'sleep' as the car shuts down.)

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    Regular Member markj23's Avatar
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    as its a fiat I would be inclined to clean all the earths around the car first think there is one on the rear inner arch and one in engine bay plus the earth strap engine to body

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    Regular Member rushy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all that guys, it just what i'm after Its deffo not the battery or alternator, as they've both been checked. We can charge the battery put it in th car and within 3 days without driving it the car wont start. You turn the key, the engine turns over slowly, the alarm chirps (like when you disconnect it) and the dash resets itself.

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    Regular Member westonprawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushy View Post
    Thanks for all that guys, it just what i'm after Its deffo not the battery or alternator, as they've both been checked. We can charge the battery put it in th car and within 3 days without driving it the car wont start. You turn the key, the engine turns over slowly, the alarm chirps (like when you disconnect it) and the dash resets itself.
    Ya sure the altenators ok? If you put the meter across the battery terminals it should read over 13-14v when engine running

    Justin

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    Regular Member markj23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westonprawn View Post
    Ya sure the altenators ok? If you put the meter across the battery terminals it should read over 13-14v when engine running

    Justin
    he says it will go flat without using it so its not alternator

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