How to Install a Car Volt Amp Gauge

Updated February 21, 2017

A car volt amp gauge -- or ammeter -- is a good way to keep an eye on your vehicle's electrical system. If the voltage drops, you may have a battery or an alternator problem, or if it spikes, you may have issues as well. Because of that, ammeters are very popular in car stereo installs. In this case, the vehicle is a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado.

Remove the trim panel on the dash using your hands by turning the key to the "on" position, putting the vehicle in gear and pulling off the panel. Once it's off, put the truck back in park and turn the key off.

Locate a spot on the trim panel to mount the ammeter and drill a hole using the drill and hole saw. Make sure there is nothing behind the trim panel that would cause problems once the gauge is in place.

Disconnect the battery first at the negative terminal, then the positive, using the open-end wrench.

Crimp a yellow ring terminal onto the end of a section of 10-gauge wire using the wire strippers and wire crimpers.

Run the 10-gauge wire through the engine bay and into the firewall through the factory grommet. Secure the line using zip ties along the way.

Install the ammeter into the trim panel using your hands and reinstall the trim panel in the reverse order of disassembly.

Run the 10-gauge wire to the back of the ammeter and crimp a yellow ring terminal to the end of the line using the wire strippers and the wire crimpers.

Bolt the yellow ring terminal to the "S" terminal on the back of the ammeter using the open-end wrench.

Run another 10-gauge wire from a secure grounding point on the interior of the cab to the back of the ammeter. A good ground is a secure piece of metal, usually on the dashboard, that will ground out the chassis. Crimp a ring terminal on both ends of the wire using the wire strippers and wire crimpers.

Bolt the ground wire onto the "I" terminal on the ammeter using the open-end wrench and bolt the other ring terminal onto the metal of the dashboard using the open-end wrench.

Connect the positive wire from the ammeter to the battery terminal using the open-end wrench and reconnect the battery, positive post first, using the wrench. The ammeter should be reading a number at this point.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire crimpers
  • Yellow ring terminals
  • Soldering gun
  • Solder
  • 20 feet of 10-gauge wire
  • Hole saw
  • Drill
  • Zip ties
  • Open-end wrench set
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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.