And we have a winner!

March 30, 2018
Congratulations to Chris Short, of Cedar Bluff, Virginia! He’s our March “ASE Question of the Month” winner!

Congratulations to Chris Short, of Cedar Bluff, Virginia! He’s our March “ASE Question of the Month” winner!

The March question was:

Technician A and Technician B are carrying on a spirited debate regarding a voltage drop test reading Technician A just obtained. With his DVOM negative meter lead attached to the battery’s negative terminal and his positive meter lead attached to the engine block, Technician A’s meter reading is 12.6 volts (the same as he measured directly at the battery). Technician A says the reading indicates an open ground path. Technician B says the reading is inconclusive for voltage drop, since it indicates no current is flowing.

Who is correct?

A.  Technician A
B.  Technician B

C.  Neither A nor B
D.  Both A and B

Did you answer D?

This was a tough one!

With the positive meter lead placed on engine ground, we are testing the ground path from the engine block back to the battery. Several components use that path to complete their individual circuits. Technician A is correct in thinking that there is an open circuit between the two. But an open circuit would also mean no current flow – a requirement for voltage to “drop” across the sources of resistance in a circuit and explaining why the reading is the same as that taken at the battery.

Chris will be receiving a collectible diecast from our longtime sponsor, Federated Auto Parts, just for trying the March question and taking the extra minute to register for this monthly random drawing. You can, too, by trying out our April question HERE and entering the drawing!

About the Author

Pete Meier | Creative Director, Technical | Vehicle Repair Group

Pete Meier is the former creative director, technical, for the Vehicle Repair Group with Endeavor Business Media. He is an ASE certified Master Technician with over 35 years of practical experience as a technician and educator, covering a wide variety of makes and models. He began writing for Motor Age as a contributor in 2006 and joined the magazine full-time as technical editor in 2010. Pete grew the Motor Age YouTube channel to more than 100,000 subscribers by delivering essential training videos for technicians at all levels. 

Connect with Pete on LinkedIn.

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