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Test vehicle voltage while driving

I have an Automotive Digital Multimeter and was looking for any ideas to monitor Voltage while driving the car.

If I could hook the meter to the car cigarette lighter socket some how.
Any ideas?

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If your just trying to test your altenator output of your vehicle just place the two terminals of the multimeter to the battery and u should get a good general output voltage that shouldnt vary much from when you drive since the the altenator has a regulator in it

Posted on Jan 15, 2009

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While I was driving my 85 cutlass supreme it shut off on me and will not start back up. Won't even turn on. Is appears to not be getting any power. Any suggestions?

Make sure the battery has a full charge and battery connections/cables all good. You need voltage and ground.
The positive battery cable may lead to a junction block, with fusible links, check them, use a digital multimeter, an automotive test light will work up to a point. Check the fuses in fuse box for voltage, some fuses are hot all the time, some go hot with the key on.
At the moment, I can't rule out the ignition switch.

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What make , model an year vehicle ? Could be a relay problem , power hold relay for ford , ignition 1 relay for GM vehicles or ASD - auto shut down relay for jeep , dodge , Chrysler vehicles . Asian vehicles have them too , Honda - main relay powers fuel injectors , coils etc.... Do you know how to do basic automotive electrical testing ? Check for voltage ? You would need to look at a wiring diagram for your vehicle , see which wire powers the coil an injectors etc...test for B+ voltage ! Videos on you tube showing how to test ignition , fuel etc..

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I try jumping it off but nothing happen I took my starter and went got it test but they say ain't nothing wrong with my starter and I have a full tank of gas but my gas light is on can my fuel pump

Your best bet is to take your vehicle to a qualified professional repair shop . We can't tell someone that has no automotive repair experience how to trouble the complex electrical systems on there vehicle ! It takes years of training an on the job experiences to fix vehicles today . Automotive Repair Testing Starter Circuit Voltage Drop Ground side Starter Voltage Drop

And a lot of vehicles today the computer controls the starter relay enabling the starter to engage .

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05 Cad SRX. Codes PO261, PO 267, PO 273. Injector control circuit low. This is right bank on 3.6. Any ideas what to look for

Check fuse in under hood fuse box .Odd coils 15amp . This fuse powers both fuel injectors an coils on that bank.
The control module enables the appropriate fuel injector on the intake stroke for each cylinder. Ignition voltage is supplied directly to the fuel injectors. The control module controls each fuel injector by grounding the control circuit with a solid state device called a driver. The control module monitors the status of each driver. Each driver has a feedback voltage circuit which the engine control module (ECM) monitors. The injector control circuits are pulled-up to voltage within the ECM . The ECM can determine if a control circuit is open, shorted to ground, or shorted to a voltage by monitoring the feedback voltage. If the ECM detects the control circuit voltage is too low when the circuit is commanded OFF, this DTC sets.
Shorted injector's ? Go on you tube an check out videos on testing GM injectors by scanner Danner . He teaches automotive training classes .
Injector Circuit Wiring Diagram

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Did you actually check for voltage with a test light or digital multimeter? Did you check the ground circuit? I don't know much about your particular vehicle, but, the basics are the same, voltage and ground.
The diagram doesn't say aux, but, the basics are there.

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How to test Downlighting transformer

place a multimeter across the low voltage wires. Start at high voltage and reduce when you have some idea of the out put. Check for either ac or dc voltage.

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Vehicles: any failing to keep its battery charged.

A vehicle unable to charge its own battery has one of 4 problems:
(a) alternator failure
(b) voltage regulator failure
(c) battery failure
(d) wiring problem between battery and alternator/voltage regulator.

One most modern vehicles (including 2002 Lexus RX300 - 2WD and AWD), the voltage regulator is an integral component of the alternator and is not separately serviceable.

In the US, one can get a free "charging system diagnosis" from the popular auto parts chains: AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts & Pep Boys. You needn't remove any parts from the car to get this diagnostic, since they can attach a diagnostic meter to the charging system in the parking lot. This diagnostic aid will tell you exactly which component has failed - battery, alternator or voltage regulator.

In case the vehicle is immobile, one can DIY (do it yourself) the diagnosis.
(a) inspect the wiring for corrosion/loose connections/loose connectors/etc.
(b) check alternator belt/pulley - if drive belt is properly turning the alternator pulley (no slippage/misrouting/etc.), then the mechanical tests are complete, and you'll need to continue testing the electrical performance of the charging system components.
(c) first component to test: battery
DIY test 1: remove battery from car and put battery on a 120VAC automotive battery charger and charge it fully (or just check it in the car with motor off, since the car's charging system is a type of automotive battery charger).
test parameter: a fully charged lead-acid automotive battery should read 12.45 volts on a VOM/DMM
DIY test 2: disassemble battery out of car after driving it to one of the auto parts chain stores (Advance/AutoZone/Pep Boys) for a free battery test. These testers will test the battery under load, which is not possible with just a DMM.
(d) if wiring is good, and battery tests good under load, then
the failed component is the alternator/voltage regulator - by process of elimination.
(e) DIY test 3: direct alternator/voltage regulator test (car must start and idle successfully to perform this test)
Start the car, and put a VOM/DMM across the terminals of the battery. Since the car is running, you'll be reading the output voltage of the alternator and not the output voltage of the battery. The acceptable ranges for alternator/voltage regulator output are:


Most alternators that are charging properly should produce a voltage of about 13.8 to 14.2 volts at idle with the lights and accessories off. Always refer to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. Many Asian vehicles, for example, have higher charging voltages of around 15 volts.

When the engine is first started, the charging voltage should rise quickly to about two volts above base battery voltage, then taper off, leveling out at the specified voltage.

The exact charging voltage will vary according to the battery's state of charge, the load on the vehicle's electrical system, and temperature. The lower the temperature the higher the charging voltage, and the higher the temperature the lower the charging voltage. The "normal" charging voltage on a typical application might be 13.9 to 15.1 volts at 77 degrees F. But at 20 degrees F. below zero, the charging voltage might be 14.9 to 15.8 volts. On a hot engine on a hot day, the normal charging voltage might drop to 13.5 to 14.3 volts.

Here are the full specs for installation of the 2002 Lexus RX300 alternator - you may be able to check these specs yourself (with a torque wrench), or pass them along to your mechanic.

Note: the VIN 8th digit should be "F" for the 2002 Lexus RX300 (2WD & AWD)

2002 Lexus RX300 (2WD and AWD) - 3.0L Engine, VIN "F" SFI DOHC


Drive belt. Tension the belt to 170-180 lbs. for a new belt or 95-135 lbs. for a used belt.
Adjusting alternator lockbolt. Tighten the bolt to 13 ft.-lbs. (18 Nm).
Alternator pivot bolt. Tighten the bolt to 41 ft.-lbs. (56 Nm).

Glossary of acronyms
DIY = do it yourself
DMM = Digital Multimeter
DOHC = Dual Overhead Cam
SFI = Sequential Fuel Injection
VOM = Volt Ohmmeter

How to test a Car Alternator -

Alternator & Charging System Checks -

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1 Answer

How do you test the transmission range selector switch

The Transmission Range Sensor in your car is digital so I recommend using a scan tool that displays sensor feedback data. Alternatively if you have an low impedance automotive rated multimeter you can back-probe the wires at the sensor connector and test for voltage.

The following specifications are based on a review of the wiring diagram for the TR sensor. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this procedure, as there are other sensors that are related to this circuit.

With the key on you should get 12V, or 5V at the GRY/RED wire. With they key on and in park you should get voltage at all wire terminals. Key on in reverse you should get voltage at LT BLU/BLK, and YEL/BLK. Key on in neutral you should get voltage at WHT/BLK, and YEL/BLK. Key on in 2 you should have voltage at RED/BLK, and LT BLU/BLK. Key on in 1 you should have voltage at RED/BLK, and WHT/BLK.

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1 Answer

Engine code p1309 P/S advice on repair

The definition of this code is:
P1309 Engine Misfire Detection Monitor not enabled

It's a problem with the detection circuitry, not a detection of a engine misfire condition. I found this quickly on the net:
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P1309 indicates Misfire Detection Monitor is not enabled.

Breakout box installed, PCM disconnected. Connect digital multimeter between PCM test pin 85 and test pins 51 or 103. Bump engine in short burst with the starter without starting engine for at least 10 engine revolutions. Answer this question: Does digital multimeter reading switch between low (less than 2.0 volts DC) and high (greater than 8.0 volts DC)?

If Yes, Verify correct installation by referring to the Powertrain/Engine Group in the Workshop Manual. If the CMP is installed properly, REPLACE PCM. RESTORE vehicle. RERUN Quick Test.

If no, REPLACE CMP sensor. RESTORE vehicle. COMPLETE Misfire Monitor Repair Verification Drive Cycle. RERUN Quick Test.

The CMP sensor is the Camshaft Position Sensor.

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1 Answer

After driving like two hours with the headlights on, my battery run flat and the car stops

I'm assuming,your alternator is not charging your
battery. Use a digital multimeter,or load tester,to test
the battery voltage,while the vehicle is idling. It should
be somewhere around 13.8 volts. If higher,your voltage regulator is bad,if much lower,the alternator
is bad. Good luck.

Apr 01, 2010 | 2006 Honda Accord

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