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Do I Need a Multimeter?

Discussion in '2.5 Gen Tundras (2014-2021)' started by AK 6.7PSD Replacement, May 21, 2021.

  1. May 21, 2021 at 5:07 AM
    #1
    AK 6.7PSD Replacement

    AK 6.7PSD Replacement [OP] New Member

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    I replaced my 41-month old OEM battery with an Interstate MTP battery and all is well with the world. Until I started to think…

    What if the OEM battery was fine and it was really a failing alternator that caused its premature demise?

    Should I blow some money on a multimeter and determine voltage/amperage output at start/run or live with blind faith that it was only the battery? I have no idea how to use a multimeter either—I didn’t pay much attention in shop class because Curt Culbertson was too busy telling stories about his dates with the shop teacher’s (Mr Buff) daughter.
     
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  2. May 21, 2021 at 5:15 AM
    #2
    Bammer

    Bammer I'm disinclined to acquiesce your request.

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    To check your alternator, start the truck and test voltage at the battery, if higher than 14.2 = good, if not Alt is bad. Having a multi-meter is a good idea and can be had for cheap.
     
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  3. May 21, 2021 at 5:29 AM
    #3
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    Of course you need a Meter!

    Every man that drives a truck does whether it is ever used or not and I think they are free all the time at Harbor Frieght too and likely worth twice the price at that!
     
    Bprose, snivilous, 1lowlife and 6 others like this.
  4. May 21, 2021 at 5:40 AM
    #4
    Stumpjumper

    Stumpjumper New Member

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    You should have had the battery load tested. Auto parts stores do it for free. Just because a battery shows good voltage in a resting state does not mean it will start your truck. I went round and round with a Wal Mart associate on a marine battery under warranty. They said they had to keep it overnight to test. I said bird seed get a manager over here. I was going fishing the next day and needed a battery.
     
    rockmup likes this.
  5. May 21, 2021 at 6:03 AM
    #5
    BravoDeltaRomeo

    BravoDeltaRomeo Old Man Little Blue Finger

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    This. Even if you don't know how to use it by memory, it's a good device to have.

    For battery testing, you need them load tested. This one is easier to use them a MultiMeter, but you can't use it around the house for general testing of voltage etc.

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07KP8GCWG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
    TRDFerguson likes this.
  6. May 21, 2021 at 6:09 AM
    #6
    NoRcptn

    NoRcptn Better than mediocre poster

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    Yep you can find them from 10.00 up to hundreds of dollars.
    I usually review some type of youtube video to reinforce my choice on the correct setting to troubleshoot what i'm looking for. Just recently used my multimeter for Tundra battery and then troubleshooting our Sprinkler controller and sprinkler solenoids.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtNMhCzq72M
     
  7. May 21, 2021 at 6:22 AM
    #7
    Dmas

    Dmas New Member

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    Everybody should have a multimeter, they are cheap and very useful, just make sure you learn how to use it.
     
  8. May 21, 2021 at 6:55 AM
    #8
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Cool story, but did your new TTV6 tow a shuttle?

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    YouTube is your friend, buy a good multi function meter. You can do a whole lot of troubleshooting if you need to on numerous things. Might get yourself a decent soldering iron too if the budget allows. Learn how to use them and they will pay you back five fold or more.
     
    BravoDeltaRomeo likes this.
  9. May 21, 2021 at 7:16 AM
    #9
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Pity the warrior that slays all his foes

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    OP, you might take your truck back to the place you bought it, ask them to check the load (as they’d have done if you’d asked before purchase) then watch what they do. If you’re okay admitting you don’t know what setting and how to check, and want to learn, I’ve had pretty good results, people slowing down to show me what they’re doing to teach me.

    Then, while emboldened, head over to HF (or pay a little more, save the difference in time and gas, and show appreciation for that “free” lesson by buying one at that place you bought the battery)... and practice by repeating the load testing when you get home.... Make sure you have beer on hand. When you’ve accomplished all this, you’ll have earned a driveway celebration!

    Ok, real scoop: I have 2 or 3 multimeters and never remember how to use them.

    But soldering I learned by the monkey see, monkey do method, and I have been adequate at it since. Very cool to be able to solder while I customized lighting harnesses, installed SwitchPro and what-not. Good recommendation, this.
     
    TRDFerguson likes this.
  10. May 21, 2021 at 7:49 AM
    #10
    crewmaxlmt

    crewmaxlmt How dare you!

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    Anyone who plays with electricity should have a decent multimeter and know how to do the basics with it. I taught one of my sons how to use my Fluke about a year ago, 12 years old. A nice feature to look for is "record". If set to "min" "record" it will take a snapshot of the battery voltage when starting your truck.
     
  11. May 21, 2021 at 7:54 AM
    #11
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Pity the warrior that slays all his foes

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    This is cool, Dad!

    Now, can you teach the rest of us?? :angrygirl:
     
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  12. May 21, 2021 at 8:52 AM
    #12
    crewmaxlmt

    crewmaxlmt How dare you!

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    Multimeter, megohmmeter, or oscilloscope?
     
  13. May 21, 2021 at 9:04 AM
    #13
    Black Wolf

    Black Wolf Bigfoot Hunter, Sasquatch too, but not Yeti

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    and......spectrum analyzer, function generator, signal generator, audio analyzer, data logger, loop calibrator/tester, and so on......
     
  14. May 21, 2021 at 9:07 AM
    #14
    AZBoatHauler

    AZBoatHauler SSEM#140/3URx2/BAF140

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    In my experience, the 3rd gen Tundras do not put out this much voltage. I have an HKB voltage booster and still only see high 13’s to 14.0. It is normal for a stock Tundra to only put out around 13.5v.
     
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  15. May 21, 2021 at 9:58 AM
    #15
    jeremyd

    jeremyd 2014 Crewmax SR5

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    Yes, definitely a Multimeter for the tool box. It can be used for several things.. I wouldn't sweat wasting the money on a new battery. Bad OEM batteries are all over this forum..
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  16. May 21, 2021 at 10:01 AM
    #16
    bwh

    bwh New Member

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    Get a good multimeter.

    Buy once, cry once here. You don't want to be trying to trace phantom issues because your meter is cheap and junky - or have it fry itself because it can't handle the load. You can get a Fluke 115 for about $150 on Amazon right now, or if bargain hunting can probably find them on craiglists (115 or 117 would great for 95% of users - you don't need an 87 or anything). They last forever and are built to last.
     
  17. May 21, 2021 at 10:08 AM
    #17
    TundraNYJetFan

    TundraNYJetFan New Member

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    Funny you brought it up. Just got mine yesterday. Klein is on sale on Amazon right now and comes with a few other pieces always helpful for auto and home.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08W1THSM8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8
    Good tool to have regardless. I used it to test the ignition system on my riding mower. It was as suspected, the starter.

    Multi.jpg
     
  18. May 21, 2021 at 10:40 AM
    #18
    1lowlife

    1lowlife Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    My experience as well with the HKB.
    I pulled the HKB after my bad AGM experience, and buying an Interstate, but I think I'm going to put it back in.
    Around 13.5 without it, around 14.3 with it.

    @AK 6.7PSD Replacement if you got 41 months out of OEM battery you did pretty good.
    Many are lucky to get 36 months out of them.

    As others stated, you need a DDM.
    They are very handy for many different situations.
    I use mine a lot just to find continuity of grounds or circuits.

    My 40 year old Coca Cola wall clock died a few months ago.
    I finally found the clock motor and correct sized fluorescent bulbs.
    Added an on/off switch for the lights.
    Every wire in it was the same color, never could have done it without my DMM.

    f7jine3f_9fd9c6680e681db6ca806a48a06969695fbc811b.jpg
    04uis5wh_975a4c330cf7c959ef5de6448e5411c4c275f6a7.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  19. May 21, 2021 at 10:58 AM
    #19
    BravoDeltaRomeo

    BravoDeltaRomeo Old Man Little Blue Finger

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    And by the looks of the Snap-On clock...you took the pic about 12 seconds after replacing the parts. :thumbsup:
     
  20. May 21, 2021 at 11:11 AM
    #20
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Pity the warrior that slays all his foes

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    He added an on/off switch for the lights, so we’ll never know....
     
  21. May 21, 2021 at 11:12 AM
    #21
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Pity the warrior that slays all his foes

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    Ahh, I see it now. Doh!
     
  22. May 21, 2021 at 12:28 PM
    #22
    tttrdpro

    tttrdpro Former Naval Person

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    In progress…
    I agree that a multimeter is a great idea but for the love of all that is holy, please make sure you know not only how to properly use it, but that you understand how to work with electricity safely. I’ve seen people get hurt because they thought they knew what they were doing.
     
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  23. May 21, 2021 at 12:36 PM
    #23
    TRDFerguson

    TRDFerguson SSEM #99/RGBA #8-ish?/It’s a funny name.

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    I always make sure I set my beer down before I work with electricity. Safety first.
     
  24. May 21, 2021 at 1:37 PM
    #24
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    I really only buy Fluke mainly for the quality and features but I use a meter every day too.
    Maybe my favorite feature they have is the Analog like bar graph under the Digital readout!
    I can see voltage swings and trends in a real time way that it can be tough to understand with just the digital readout.
    For some reason not many others offer this but it makes an already better Meter an order of magnitude better for my uses.

    And I can buy an older 20 or 70 series anytime for $50 if I need to which is nice and they are tough to kill too.
     
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  25. May 24, 2021 at 6:54 AM
    #25
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Pity the warrior that slays all his foes

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    Where might one buy one of these older versions at a good price?
     
  26. May 24, 2021 at 7:15 AM
    #26
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Certified tow LEO Staff Member

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    I have several DMM’s and they are worth every penny.
     
  27. May 24, 2021 at 7:19 AM
    #27
    ezdog

    ezdog New Member

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    They are always on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace in my area
     
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  28. May 24, 2021 at 7:31 AM
    #28
    parkerbows

    parkerbows New Member

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    Multimeter yes but I use my scan tool for alternator and battery testing. Mine does both
     
  29. May 24, 2021 at 8:04 AM
    #29
    blanchard7684

    blanchard7684 New Member

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    Load tester and decent dvom with good set of leads will get you long ways to handling most battery problems in any car or truck.

    aside from charging issues you can also check battery drains and relay problems.

    very very high returns on investment here
     
  30. May 24, 2021 at 8:26 AM
    #30
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Cool story, but did your new TTV6 tow a shuttle?

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    Pawn shops
     
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