How To Test A Stator With A Multimeter

How To Test A Stator With A Multimeter?

Every vehicle needs to have a functioning engine to work correctly. If even one of the parts is faulty or damaged, you will most likely see a significant change in how the vehicle functions. Depending on the damage extent, you might not even be able to start and drive the vehicle!

A vital engine component is the stator, part of the vehicle's alternator. If you have a faulty stator, your car may start making weird noises, vibrating, or lose power. You can perform a quick multimeter test to check whether you have a faulty stator.

In today's guide, I will tell you how to test a stator with a multimeter, the symptoms of a failing stator, and whether you should try fixing it or replacing it altogether. If you want to learn more on the topic, stick around for the rest of the guide!

What is a Stator?

As mentioned briefly in the previous section, the stator is a part of the engine of every car, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle. There might be slight differences in how a car and a motorcycle stator look, but the function is the same - to spin and create a torque or AC voltage.

The AC voltage will go to the regulator, the second component of the alternator. The regulator will turn AC voltage into DC voltage, which will help the car start once you turn the key in the ignition system.

This may confuse you if you are not into cars and have never looked into a vehicle's engine components. The tests are not complicated but require some knowledge of the topic. If you do not have any, it is better to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic to check it out.

For those who know how to locate the stator and want to test it out themselves, I recommend doing tests using a multimeter set.

What is a Multimeter?

PCM multimeter

A multimeter is a device that tests current, voltage, or resistance in electrical components. You can also choose between digital and analog multimeters. Whatever type of multimeter you have at home will help you perform a dynamic or static stator test. Ensure you have the multimeter's probes; you will also need those for the tests.

Symptoms of a Bad Stator

The good thing about faulty stators is that they immediately cause poor performance in your vehicle. That might not sound good, but if you see a change in how your vehicle functions, you will inevitably do a quick inspection to find the source of the problem.

Catching the problem and replacing the faulty stator on time can help you prevent further damage. So, when you think about it, it is good that all stator problems are easy to spot.

If you ever have a bad stator, here is what it can do to your car:

Poor performance

The stator might not create enough electrical energy or voltage to power the vehicle. So, you might have trouble starting the vehicle. If it starts, it might not be able to reach a certain speed, feel powerful at all, or seem less efficient than usual.

Vehicle vibration

The stator and its connections might be loose, which will cause the component to move around and create a strange sound you are not used to. Be on the lookout for abnormal noises or vibrations from your engine.

Battery problems

Suppose your battery drains much faster than usual. In that case, it might not be the battery that is the problem - it might be the voltage generated from the stator. So, check the stator if you experience frequent battery drains.


Finally, the stator might cause the entire engine to malfunction, leading to extensive engine damage. If you ever see smoke coming from the car or any sparks, it is wise to take the car to the mechanics as soon as possible.

How to Avoid Stator Problems?

Dealing with defective stator windings or stator socket problems is a pain. I recommend doing occasional checks to ensure everything is okay with the engine and the components in the engine case. Check for signs of wear and tear on any parts while ensuring you regularly top up the engine oil.

Also, always check for loose connections within the engine to ensure it is running smoothly. Poor connections to the stator can also cause problems, so always adjust the stator's connectors when you suspect a problem.

How to Test a Stator with a Multimeter

Test a Stator with a Multimeter

There are two tests that I recommend you run to detect problems with your stator - the dynamic stator test and the static stator test. Here is how to test a stator with a multimeter using dynamic and static tests:

Dynamic Stator Test

The dynamic test is one you perform when you want to see if the AC voltage readings change with a change in motor functions. For this test, you will need nothing more than a multimeter with its probes and the stator still in its position in the engine. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Turn the engine off. Open the car hood and locate the stator. It should have two or three different stator wire phases. You need to connect the multimeter probes to the phases, go phase by phase, and do the same test. For the entirety of the test, the multimeter should be set to AC voltage.
  2. Start the car and see the AC voltage reading. When the engine is running, it should go from zero to about twenty. A positive reading is a good sign and shows you have a good stator.
  3. Have someone else rev the engine, bringing the RPM to about 3000. There should be a corresponding increase in the AC voltage reading. If the voltage does not change, the problem is with the stator.

You can use an analog or digital multimeter for this test. It is crucial to get AC voltage readings as close to the recommended as possible. If the dynamic tests do not show any problem with the stator, consider doing a static test.

Static Stator Test

Unlike the dynamic test, the static test requires the vehicle engine to be turned off and the stator removed from the power source. Once you remove the stator, here is what you should do:

  1. Set the multimeter to ohms to perform the resistance or ohms test.
  2. Take the multimeter probes and attach them to the stator leads. You can start with the green, yellow, and finally, black lead. The resistance from the green lead should be between 4.5 and 5.5 ohms. The same goes for the yellow lead, whereas the black one should read between 0.5 and 1 ohm.
  3. If the resistance is okay, you can also do a continuity test. For the continuity test, you need to set the multimeter to continuity and test the phases between each other. Everything is okay with the phases if the multimeter shows OL or one on the screen. If it shows zero, some of the components are faulty.

Depending on the testing results, you can determine whether you want to repair or replace the stator.


Thank you for reading this guide on testing stators with multimeters. You learned a lot about the importance of having a functioning stator, how to perform tests on it, and how to avoid all those dreadful, costly repairs.

If you know any other tips and tricks for testing stators, please share them in the comment section below. I cannot wait to read all about your experience on the topic!

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