How to Use a Multimeter to Check the Current Flow to a Car Stereo Amplifier

Written by nichole liandi
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How to Use a Multimeter to Check the Current Flow to a Car Stereo Amplifier
A multimeter is a useful tool for checking current flow to your amplifier. (Digital Multimeter image by TekinT from

A car amplifier depends upon a steady supply of power, supplied by the car's electrical system, to perform at its best. If you're not getting the performance you want out of your amplifier, checking the current flow that's getting to the amplifier is a good first step in diagnosing any issues.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Multimeter

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  1. 1

    Set your multimeter to register "Volts DC," and set the voltage range of voltmeter to a range that encompasses 10 to 15 volts DC. Exact methods of setting voltmeters vary greatly depending upon model and brand. Check your manual for specific instructions. Turn the voltmeter on.

  2. 2

    Touch the negative (black) voltmeter probe to a ground. The ground bolt for your amplifier is a good choice, but any bare metal spot on the car's chassis or body should serve.

  3. 3

    Touch the positive (red) voltmeter probe to the power input terminal of the amplifier.

  4. 4

    Check the reading on your voltmeter. A reading somewhere between 11 and 13 volts is normal for most car electrical systems.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't get a reading, check the position of the black probe. Current won't flow if you don't have a good ground.

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