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Manufacturer of the pictured meter, Equus — yes, I’m going to spare you the Harry Potter naked with a horse joke — claims it’s “your personal home and auto electrical tester.” And I can’t argue that it looks pretty nice, especially for about $17 on the ‘net. But that got me to thinking: Exactly what makes a good home and auto multimeter?

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If your sweet ride is giving you heavy drama, you might want to consider asking it what’s wrong.  Sounds stupid, but that’s basically what happens when you plug in an OBD unit like the 3110 CANOBD2 from Equus — it hooks in and reads the trouble codes in the vehicle computer.  Think Star Trek, except it won’t be fixed in 45 minutes, plus commercials.

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Building or working on your old “Detroit iron” hot rod requires the acquisition of a few basic diagnostic tools, and the first tool you should shell out some green for is a timing light — like the 3551 from Equus.  You’ll never get it running smooth without one. 

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