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How to Test Relay for Vehicle with Multimeter

Do you know that everything from the air conditioner to the taillights is powered by various electrical components in your car? Relays can be difficult to identify when something goes wrong with a vehicle's electronic systems, but there is a strong probability that the problem is due to one of those components. So, in this article we have the complete guide on how to test relay with multimeter.

In case you don’t know, relays are used to control a variety of electrical components in your car. Their switch-like functionality allows them to regulate two circuits with different amperages. When something goes wrong, it's critical to pinpoint the source of the problem so that it can be repaired without causing further damage to the vehicle. However, even amateur mechanics can easily test a relay.

Before we get into the main lesson, we will first look at what a relay is, and what a multimeter is.

What is a Relay?

Every car has a relay, and they're also being used in maritime and the aviation sector. They are used to connect a low-amperage circuit to another high-amperage one. The low-amperage circuit can turn the high-amperage circuit on or off using relays, which operate as switches.

Think about your car's headlights as an example. On/off switches on dashboards can handle a lot of amperage, but if you attach lights directly to them, you risk melting cables and perhaps a fire. Switches are also capable of controlling numerous systems at once, such as turning on the headlights when the wipers are activated or extending the antenna when the radio is on.

What is A Multimeter?

A multimeter is a measuring instrument that is capable of measuring a variety of electrical components. When it comes to Multimeter, the term "volt-ohm-milliammeter" has to do with a multimeter that is capable of measuring voltage, resistance, and current.

Generally, a multimeter is known to be a standard diagnostic tool that is being used by technicians in the electrical/electronic field.

The Relay Diagnostics/Troubleshooting Process

• Estimated time required: between 30 minutes and an hour depending on skill level and location of retransmission
• Skill Level: Beginner
• Vehicle System: Electrical

What Is the Various Relay Safety to Put in To Consideration?

Although relay testing is a straightforward procedure, it should not be taken lightly. Taking the following considerations into mind when working with relays is a good idea:

Step 1: Replace Faulty Relays With New One

Once you have noticed that the relay is faulty and that it has to be replaced, it is not acceptable to use relays from other components of the vehicle or from a random rubbish bin in your garage to complete the job. The incorrect relay can result in a short circuit or a power surge, both of which can cause harm to your vehicle's electrical system.

Step 2: Don’t Allow The Relay Drop On The Ground 

Handle the relay with care and avoid dropping it off on the ground. If the relay is damaged internally, it might result in the burning or melting of wires and other components. Also, refrain from altering the relay in any way.

Step 3: Avoid Exposing The Relay To Flammable or Gaseous Substances

In a location that contains flammable or explosive gases such as gasoline or other fuels, do not begin working with relays or anything else involving electricity until the situation has been stabilized.

Step 4: Confide in The Vehicles Manuel for Connecting or Changing Relays

You should always use your vehicle's service handbook (not the owner's manual) to identify and comprehend the wiring system and relays, even if you are a seasoned tinkerer in the garage.

What Are the Requirements for Testing A Relay

List Of Required Tools:
• A high-impedance test light
• An ohmmeter - often known as a digital multimeter - is a device that measures resistance (DMM)
• Service manual for a vehicle (strongly recommended but not required)

List of components/Parts Required:
• Jumper wires. Used to connect two points together.
• Replacement Relay

It will save you valuable time, easy access and convenient if you organize and keep your tools and equipment in place. When that is put in place, it will eliminate the need to wait or look for someone who will assist you to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. Note, blowtorch is not needed while testing a relay.

Even if you have a limited amount of garage space and plan to perform maintenance and repairs on your vehicle on the street, make sure you are not breaking any laws by doing so. Every state and municipality has its own set of rules regarding this type of activity, and we will not assist you in getting your automobile back on the road if things go wrong.

Procedures on How to Test Relay with Multimeter

Without wasting too much time, let me quickly show you how to test relay with Multimeter. See the guidlines given below.

1.) Find the relay that has to be tested and turn it on. Depending on what it is in charge of, it could be positioned under the dash or in the engine bay of the vehicle. However, if you're not sure where it is, look in your service manual's electrical chapter, and wiring diagram for guidance.

2.) The fastest and most straightforward method of testing a relay is to replace it with a known good replacement. The downside is that the same condition that caused the first relay to fail could also cause the second relay to fail. It also makes a beeline for your money. While the relay is not in use, inspect and clean the connectors.

3.) Take a multimeter and set it to the Ohms setting. The resistance of the electromagnet coil is measured by touching the leads across the pins. Anywhere between 50 and 120 ohms is OK. Out of range or open indicates a faulty electromagnet coil winding and indicates that it is time to replace the relay.

4.) Leave the ohms or continuity setting on the multimeter. Make contact with the leads that connect to the switch pins. A regularly open relay should have the status open or OL displayed.

5.) Using a 9-12V battery connected across the pins, energize the magnetic coil. As the electromagnet coil is energized and the switch is closed, an audible "click" should be heard from the relay. When it comes to this 4-pin relay, polarity is not important, but it is critical when it comes to diode relays.

6.) While the coil is still electrified, connect the positive battery terminal to one of the switch terminals. Connect a test light between the other switch terminal and ground to ensure that the connection is secure. The test light should be able to draw electricity and illuminate. Remove the positive jumper from the battery. The test light should be illuminated.

7.) At the switch, check the voltage of the relay. A voltage loss can be caused by faulty contact points. Using a multimeter set to DC voltage, remove the test light connectors and connect the leads across the switch pins or test light connectors, as illustrated. The voltage readout should be consistent with the battery voltage.

8.) Check the switch's resistance to make sure it's working properly. Disconnect the positive jumper wire from the rest of the jumper wires. Activate the electromagnet coil by pressing the button. Set the resistance across the switch pins to ohms on the multimeter and take a measurement. In order for a normally open relay to be activated, it must measure close to zero ohms, and in order for a normally closed relay to measure open or OL.

What to Look for in a Self Leveling Laser Level

Before we look at our individual choices, let’s talk about self-leveling lasers, and what you should expect. There are a number of factors to consider, and manufacturers offer all kinds of bells and whistles. In that sense, every laser level is unique. But there are also some features you should be looking at in every laser level. You need to consider the accuracy, the type of laser light, the laser’s range, and the quality of the build. Let’s take a look at each of these.

Accuracy

Before we look at our individual choices, let’s talk about self-leveling lasers, and what you should expect. There are a number of factors to consider, and manufacturers offer all kinds of bells and whistles. In that sense, every laser level is unique. But there are also some features you should be looking at in every laser level. You need to consider the accuracy, the type of laser light, the laser’s range, and the quality of the build. Let’s take a look at each of these.

Laser Color and Brightness

Most laser levels are made with either red or green lasers. This is because those wavelengths are the ones that are most visible to the human eye. But even the most easily visible laser can be hard to see in the outdoors. This is because the sun is 10 times as bright as ordinary interior light. You don’t notice it when you step outside, because your eyes adjust in a few seconds. But the sheer intensity of the sunlight will block out all but the brightest laser levels. And even levels that work outdoors will have much shorter range than they will indoors. For this reason, some levels come with white or reflective panels to project the laser onto.

Laser Range

Next, you need to think about the range of the laser light. This will be a combination of brightness and accuracy. At the point where the beam is no longer visible, or wildly inaccurate, it can no longer be used. Professional-grade outdoor levels will be effective to at least 100 feet, and sometimes as far as 300 feet. Indoor levels will typically have a much shorter range, since a longer range is usually pointless.

Quality of Engineering

Finally, look at the overall quality of the build. Is the level water-resistant? Is it designed for tripod mounting? What are your other mounting options? Is there a carrying case? Can the level withstand a drop? These types of considerations are particularly important when you’re using your level outdoors. However, even an indoor level is subject to abuse, and will benefit from good mounting options.

Conclusion

We so far talked about how to test relay with multimeter, the Various Relay Safety guidelines, and the step by step procedures on how to test relay with Multimeter. Have this in mind; relays are used to control a variety of electrical components in your car while the Multimeter is a measuring instrument that is capable of measuring a variety of electrical components in your car to test for fault, what is working and components in your car that is malfunctioning.