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Testing Tools, Meters, and

Test Lights
Jumper wire
When properly
used, jumper
wires are simple,
effective testing
aids.
They are used to
complete a circuit
by allowing
current to “jump”
across a
suspected open
or break.
Jumper wire
When a jumper wire is used, it
replaces a suspected faulty portion of
a circuit with a known conductor.
If the circuit works properly when the
jumper wire is in place, but not
without, an “open” is indicated in the
area that is jumped.
You should use a jumper wire to
bypass only nonresistive parts of a
circuit such as switches, connectors,
and sections of wiring.
Two types of test
lights are used:
the test light for
checking voltage
and the self
powered test light
for checking
circuit continuity
Use a test light to check
for voltage.
This test light is made
up of 12-volt light bulb
with a pair of leads
attached.
After grounding one
lead, touch the other
lead to various points
along the circuit where
voltage should be
present.
When the bulb goes on,
there is voltage at the
Use a self-powered
test light to check for
continuity.
This tool is made up
of a light bulb,
battery, and two
leads.
If the leads are
touched together,
the bulb will light.
A self-powered test
light is used only on
an un-powered
circuit.
Analog vs. Digital Meters
Digital multimeters
are more accurate.
Digital displays leave
no doubt about their
reading.
The DVOM is not
polarity-sensitive; its
positive lead can be
grounded, and
negative lead
connected to power
without damaging
the circuit or the
meter.
Analog Meter
Moat analog
meters use
permanent
magnets to
provide a
magnetic field.
Meter movement
generally consists
of a moving coil
suspended
between the poles
of a horseshoe
Analog Meter
When current is
applied, the coil
becomes an
electromagnet.
The magnetic force
that results causes
the coil to turn until
it balances with the
spring force.
The diameter of the
wire in the coil must
be large enough to
carry the maximum
current in each
Analog Meter
When reading
measurements on an
analog meter, the correct
scale for the range
selected must be read.
In the ohmmeter example
shown, the range selector
switch gives you the
multiplier; in this case,
Rx100.
To obtain the reading of
150 ohms, first accurately
read the scale – 1.5 ohms.
Then multiply 1.5 times
100.
Current (Ampere) Measurement
with an analog meter
To measure current,
connect the ammeter
in series with the circuit
to allow circuit current
to flow through the
meter.
If connected in parallel,
the amperage through
the meter may be so
high it will ruin the
meter.
The red lead is
connected to the
positive (+).
The black lead is
Digital Meters
A digital
multimeter
(DMM), has an
electronic digital
read-out of the
value of the
measurement
being made.
Has electronic
circuitry for
precise
measurements.
Digital Meters
The DMM is the
preferred choice
for electrical
diagnosis and
testing.
It is accurate
within 0.1 percent
– much more
accurate than
analog meters.
Digital Meters
A DMM with at least 10
megohms input
impedance is needed
for use on automotive
vehicles.
This applies to the
meter only when it is
used on the Voltage
Scale
This high resistance
permits measurement
of some very sensitive
circuits without
Voltage Measurement with a
DMM
Test for proper supply voltage is
usually the first measured in a
circuit.
If there is no voltage present, or if
it is too high or too low, the voltage
problem should be corrected before
further testing.
Voltage Measurement with a
DMM
If you reverse the connection, a
DMM will merely display a minus
sign indicating negative polarity.
Proper Use: always connect with power
“off”
Resistance/Continuity Test
with a DMM
Resistance is
measured in
ohms.
Resistance
measurements
must be made
with the circuit
power OFF,
otherwise
damage to the
meter and the
Continuity Test
Continuity is a quick-go/no-go
resistance test distinguishes between
an open and a closed circuit.
A DMM with a continuity beeper allows
you to complete many continuity tests
easily and quickly.
The meter beeps when it detects a
closed circuit, so you don’t have to look
at the meter as you test.
Continuity Test
Continuity test determine
 Good or blown fuse
 Open or shorted conductors
 Operation of switches
 Circuit paths (by circuit or conductor
tracing)