: 1000x838 px
: July 8, 2018
The test procedure is quite simple. Set the meter to read DC volts, and set the correct range if needed. Some meters will select the correct range automatically. Nearly all meters will come with instructions on how to set them to read DC volts. Next, connect the meter across the vehicle battery, positive (+) to positive (+) and negative (-) to negative (-). With the engine running at a moderate idle - say 1200 to 1500 RPM, the meter should read approximately 13.8 to 14.8 volts and be steady. If the reading is substantially outside these figures and all other items mentioned have been tested and verified good, then the alternator is likely defective.
Aside from a dead battery or faulty charging system, the most common electrical issues owners are likely to experience are burned-out light bulbs. After bulbs, though, it's likely potluck: Electrical problems could crop up in many places, from the stereo to an electric motor for a power window or sunroof to an electric fuel pump packing it in. In addition, the cause might be bad wiring, a short, there may be a faulty switch or some other gremlin that's hard to pinpoint.