Volt Meters vs Amp Meters

1957 Chevrolet Belair

Volt Meters vs Amp Meters – Installing a new under the dash amp meter, oil pressure and temperature gauge? You should consider purchasing a voltmeter instead of an amp meter. A voltmeter is much easier to install and it will tell you all you need to know about your electrical system. Amp meters require a heavy gauge wire. If you are installing an Amp Meter in your car, a very heavy wire (usually 10 awg) must first run from the alternator to the amp meter and then to the battery +, which dramatically lengthens the battery charging circuit increasing voltage drop.

If you have and under the dash amp meter now it should be removed before your electrical system is upgraded to an alternator and anytime more accessories are added. As you add accessories and increase system current wire size needs to be increased. I would rather know what my classic cars system voltage is at all times rather than battery charging current. A voltmeter will indicate battery voltage when the key switch is turned to “ON”.

Battery voltage should be about 12.5 volts if fully charged. After engine is started a voltmeter will indicate system voltage, which should be about 14 volts. As long as your system voltage is at 13 to 14 volts when your car is running, and fully loaded. Then you know that your alternator is working property. Amp meters only indicate the battery charging current.

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1957 Chevrolet - Volt Meters
1957 Chevrolet 150 Custom


1957 Chevrolet - Volt Meters
1957 Chevrolet 150 Custom


1957 Chevrolet - Volt Meters
1957 Chevrolet 150 Custom