Tip & How-To about Chevrolet Camaro
A (window ) to see electrical ower is a test light. A test light can be aquired at most auto parts stores and dept. stores with an auto section. You can make one too, the ones that are easiest to use are the ones aquired at a parts store or a tool dealer. It looks like a clear handled ice pick with a wire coming out the end with a clip on the end. connect this clip to ground and touch the ice pick end to something powered up and the light inside the handle light's up. You can also find grounds by connecting the clip to the battery positive and anything you touch with the tip thats grounded will light the light. Because you can make it work both ways you need to keep track of how you have it connected. You can get fancy ones that are red hooked to ground and green hooked to power and the wire coming out of the handle has two clips one for grond and power. ( connect to the battery ) These lights if you spend a little money can even have coiled cords, look at spark plug wires and even find power by just holding them in your hand and touching them to power without a wire ands clip. I like to (see) the connection and the power so the simple wired ones are fine with me. ( a dollar on up, a Snap-on brand $35 ) So some electrical device is'nt working ? you pull out your test light and connect it to the battery ground or any other medal ground on the body or motor and put the pointer on the suspected wire or connecter and ( see ) the power. Light's dimmer than as you tryed it on the battery then it's got power but not making a good connection or the grond you connected the light to has'nt got a good connection, try it somewhere else. The cheaper the test light, the more likly your going to have troble with it. while testing something aways test something that you know that works to make sure the light is working. Some test lights can handle high voltage like wall out lets in the house but 12 volt lights should be reserved to cars and high voltage ones to houses and Hybred cars that have big batteries ( golf carts too).
Volt meters like the test light let you see the power too. Like test lights the more you pay the better they are but even a cheap one can find lots of problems. I use a cheap one as theirs less confustion and if you connect it wrong and blow it up you at least didn't blow a lot of money.. I use a Harbor Frieght $8 meter and when I go to get one I get a few so if I blow one or misplace it I know where the other one is and get it. You can get meters that not only tell voltage. they'll tell you if it's positve or negative or altenating current. The cheaper ones might lie to you as you get what you pay for. Some meters are automatic rangeing so you don't have to know how big the power is that your trying to test but on the other hand if it can do that and you don't notice that it's looking at millivolts instead of whole volts you still can be confused. Car problems can be confusing enough with out having your tools confuse you too. Use the simplest tool you can, to find the problem. If a test light will work ( power or not) theres no need for a meter. Most voltmeters will also check for OHM's connection. You can set for OHMs and test a loose light bulb or other device. Put the test lead ends on the light bulb connectors and the connection will be shown in OHMs including (open, no connection ) to short ( complete connection, no resistance) and everything in between. Again the more you pay the more likly it'll be right in the in beween ranges but again if you drop it lose it stomp it, lend it out, and it's gone you do'nt lose as much Money. I keep several meters and store the expensive ones carefully and leave cheap ones laying around where I can find them easy and just throw them away when they act up. Parts on cars can be tested as to their resistance ( the repair manual might list a range that a part is good in) Batteries can be veiwed ( look ) at the level of charge. 12 volt batteries are 12.6 volts fully charged ( and can be higher, called a surface charge) and dead batteries are 12volts, and if you put a load on them they can drop much lower quickly. Get a cheap test light and a cheap meter. then as you see how they do,buy yourself a better one as soon as you see what your going to really need. Cheap is good as long as it'll tell you what you need to know.
Posted by John P... on
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