1. Welcome to 4Runners.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all 4Runner discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other 4Runner owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Multi-meter question

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by glwood54, Apr 11, 2022.

  1. Apr 11, 2022 at 12:51 PM
    #1
    glwood54

    glwood54 [OP] Stop making me buy stuff!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Member:
    #10964
    Messages:
    3,713
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Albuquerque, NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 OR, KDSS, RSG sliders, Eibach shocks, 265/70 Falken Wildpeaks
    Didn't know exactly where to post this question, but I figured this was as good a place as any.

    Last time I hooked up my 4x8 utility trailer, the trailer lights didn't work when I plugged into the vehicle wiring outlet. Yesterday, I was simply checking the vehicle plug to ensure it was getting power to it with my multi-meter. When on DC voltage, the left turn signal on, the display on the multi-meter would blink like the turn signal, but the voltage I was expecting it to show (12V +/-) was not displaying, just "0.L" blinking. Does that mean my multi-meter needs a new battery, or is toast? It's pretty old. OTOH, I checked it in the house on AC voltage, and that display shows 120 V +/-, so that seems ok...
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  2. Apr 11, 2022 at 7:14 PM
    #2
    2Toys

    2Toys Imperial Star Cruiser

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2020
    Member:
    #15337
    Messages:
    572
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gordon
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    2019 4Runner TRDORP
    a few goodies
    Depending on what brand the multimeter is, the meter may take a second or two to "autorange" the voltage. Before it can display the voltage, it is gone because of the cycling of the flasher. My Fluke 87V is like that.
     
  3. Apr 11, 2022 at 7:20 PM
    #3
    GrantA

    GrantA Enjoying God’s creation

    Joined:
    May 25, 2020
    Member:
    #14533
    Messages:
    1,232
    Gender:
    Male
    North Carolina
    Vehicle:
    Fully locked 2020 SR5 Premium
    - GOBI roof rack and ladder - Westcott Design Rock sliders - M.O.R.E. Underbody Skid plates - Dual ARB air compressor & ARB single compressor - LED interior lighting - Ironman 2.0 meter awning and enclosure - Ironman winch with factor55 hook - Ironman foam cell pro suspension - Ironman recovery snatch rope - Ironman recovery traction boards - lilbscustomfab Hybrid Front Bumper - lilbscustomfab BMC - RRW RR7-H Hybrid Beadlock wheels - Nitto Trail Grapplers 285/75/17 M/T - 4.88 gears - ARB front air locker - ARB rear air locker - Hi-lift jack & mount - Sony aftermarket speakers - LASFIT External LED Light Conversion - Center console organizer - Glovebox organizer - ICS phone Mount holder - C4 rear bumper with dual swing arms - C4 gas skid plate - C4 rear diff skid plates
    My Fluke offers a setting for the min and max. The blinker fluctuations (as mentioned) are happening pretty quickly. If it was me I would set your range correctly and then set a min/max and let it record what happens. If you want you can get a cheap one with a needle that moves. The OL means overload and that can happen if the range isn’t set properly or the auto adjustment is happening.

    For reference (not that I approve of this one)…
    Gardner Bender GMT-312 Analog Multimeter, 5 Function / 12 Range, 300V AC/DC, for AC / DC Voltage & Current, Resistance, Continuity & Batteries , Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00002N5EX
     
  4. Apr 11, 2022 at 10:00 PM
    #4
    glwood54

    glwood54 [OP] Stop making me buy stuff!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Member:
    #10964
    Messages:
    3,713
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Albuquerque, NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 OR, KDSS, RSG sliders, Eibach shocks, 265/70 Falken Wildpeaks
    I did it again today, and what is flashing on the turn signals is 0.L. When I check the pin for when the lights are on, it shows 12V solid. That makes sense that the voltage display will not show 12V since it cuts out so quickly. I guess the fact that something is showing and flashing means the outlet is working.

    The multi-meter is a Fluke that my son got when he attended UTI in Phoenix quite some time back.

    I guess it's on to checking the trailer wiring.
     
    GrantA likes this.
  5. Apr 11, 2022 at 10:58 PM
    #5
    Trekker

    Trekker Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Member:
    #15732
    Messages:
    549
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    1997 5 speed
    I think you either have a problem with the circuit or your measuring it wrong. OL on a multimeter sometimes is short for overload. Put the range at higher setting and see if you still get OL.

    Even a cheap un-fused bomb multimeter can measure this stuff
     
  6. Apr 12, 2022 at 6:30 AM
    #6
    glwood54

    glwood54 [OP] Stop making me buy stuff!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Member:
    #10964
    Messages:
    3,713
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Albuquerque, NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 OR, KDSS, RSG sliders, Eibach shocks, 265/70 Falken Wildpeaks
    Probably measuring it wrong. I am totally unfamiliar with using a multi-meter. I'm going to do some research.
     
  7. Apr 12, 2022 at 6:55 AM
    #7
    ZackDanger

    ZackDanger New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2022
    Member:
    #25387
    Messages:
    34
    Western MA
    I have a multimeter that I really like... but when working on 12v automobiles, a simple test light is usually my go-to.

    [​IMG]

    And to round out the toolbox, a continuity tester will help you find ground pretty easy, along with troubleshooting wire runs, etc.

    [​IMG]


    If you want to get really fancy, you get a tester that will indicate negative or positive... but requires hooking it up to both a negative and positive source. (This is much easier on smaller vehicles, like motorcycles):

    [​IMG]
     
    GrantA likes this.
  8. Apr 12, 2022 at 1:46 PM
    #8
    Dillusion

    Dillusion New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Member:
    #7998
    Messages:
    1,928
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    KYle
    Vehicle:
    2018 TRD OR
    OL is not overload its open loop. Hes not going to overload his mm on a 12V circuit. The slow meters switch to OL then spit out the reading but since the voltage is constantly changing the meter is too slow to spit anything out.

    A test light would be better in this case or a better MM.
     
  9. Apr 12, 2022 at 3:05 PM
    #9
    glwood54

    glwood54 [OP] Stop making me buy stuff!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Member:
    #10964
    Messages:
    3,713
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Albuquerque, NM
    Vehicle:
    2019 OR, KDSS, RSG sliders, Eibach shocks, 265/70 Falken Wildpeaks
    Exactly what's happening. The display takes a millisecond to go from the 0.L initially showing to the voltage reading, but then the voltage disappears when the turn signal blinks. I'm going to get a test light which seems more useful in this situation.

    Does anyone have a tried and true method to check out the trailer wiring?
     
  10. Apr 12, 2022 at 3:34 PM
    #10
    Dillusion

    Dillusion New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Member:
    #7998
    Messages:
    1,928
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    KYle
    Vehicle:
    2018 TRD OR
    For the turn signals and flashing stuff I'd go with 2 people and a test lamp.
     
    PhantomTweak likes this.
  11. Apr 12, 2022 at 10:10 PM
    #11
    more4than2

    more4than2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Member:
    #1977
    Messages:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2012 4runner trail dark charcoal
    none yet
    Shift the decimal point so it reads 00.0 in the VDC mode. The range on the Fluke being manually set will allow it to react and show the proper voltage without "auto ranging".
    Also ensure you have a "good" ground, not a painted surface. Run a wire to the negative terminal, then back to the connector for your MM connection for 0 volt, black lead.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top