With the proliferation of electrical and electronic systems throughout modern vehicles, it’s more essential than ever for technicians to be confident in their multimeter skills. Ross Hatton, Senior Technical Trainer at Autodata Training, explains the thinking behind his new Essential Multimeters training course.
Wind the clock back 30 years and things were certainly very different in automotive workshops. Not everyone you worked with understood even the most basic electrical principles. And if you did want to learn about all those volts, amps and ohms, there was no internet – you actually had to go and buy a book and study. Very few technicians had their own multimeter. Back then, they could cost you more than a couple of weeks wages.
I remember when our workplace purchased our first induction amp clamp. I thought, “Wow, how good is this?”. We could measure starter motor current draw, without having to disconnect the battery leads and connecting the $1000 AVR meter is series! The amp clamp cost $850 but we thought it was fantastic – so quick and so safe. How things have changed. Today, we can buy an entry level multimeter that will do most things we need for around $50, and an amp clamp for $150.
When I first started teaching automotive, I used to ask the students to name all the systems (not components) that used electrical. Now it’s quicker to ask which systems don’t rely on electronics – unsurprising, when we have electronic controlled fuel systems, fly-by-wire throttles, automated steering and braking systems and even see GPS controlled transmissions! The fact is, even a base model vehicle will have around 15 electronics control modules, and it’s not unheard of for high-end models to have more than and 80.
So, for today’s techs, a multimeter is the must have tool – you’ll struggle to conduct important tests and faults diagnoses without one. But how does a multimeter work? How do you test an alternator with a multimeter, or a capacitor, a car battery, or a diode? How do you know what the best multimeter based on your budget and your requirements? Thankfully, we no longer have to buy a book to answer questions like these.
Our new Autodata Training course on Essential Multimeter Skills is aimed at anyone in an automotive trade: light vehicle, motorcycle, heavy, plant, marine, you name it. And it’s not just for apprentices either. Professionals who know the basics will find the information on digital signals very useful as an electrical systems refresher. That’s because this course not only shows you how to set up your meter and conduct the tests, but also explains the signals in detail like duty cycle, positively and negatively switched signals, and pulse width modulation.
If you’re keen to access this course, then why not subscribe to Autodata Training today and change the way you think about technical training. With loads of fantastic courses available online at any time, you can learn however and whenever it suits you. Plus you can use Autodata Training on the job! Not sure of something? Get out your phone and search for it. It’s there any time, on any Internet-enabled device.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!