Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Re: Elictrical problem? Is this normal?
If you are reading current with the meter I think this is normal. Current flows into the black lead and out of the red lead. When you think about it, it isn't possible to get current flow into the battery unless something is able to charge it to a higher voltage.
I'm not sure what you are attempting to measure if you are reading current. Chances are, what your are reading are leakage currents bypassing the car wiring and flowing through your meter.
The ignition switch cuts of positive power to most circuits in the car. As a result, most of those circuits will still be connected to ground. Your meter is bypassing the ignition switch. It is unpredictable what you will see using a meter in this way. A volt meter has something like 10,000 ohms of input resistance. So anything connected to the circuit you are measuring which has a much lower resistance (say light bulbs for example - 100 ohms or so), your meter will show full system voltage with the ignition switch off.
You should probably be measuring voltage instead of current (perhaps you are). For example, if you measure the voltage between the battery (+) and a fuse, you should see nearly zero volts (or a few hundredths of a volt). If you see something in the thenth of a volt range or more, you will be observing voltage drops from potentially bad connections. This is a good way to track down a bad connection.
68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI