Three Common Causes of Calibration Problems
We can’t stress further enough how important calibration is for various measuring instruments. Keeping these digital instruments at their superior quality at all times also ensures accurate results. In order to keep it at its utmost reliability, you must also be aware of the things that can cause it to underperform.
Here are the top three common causes of calibration problems:
First, the major components of test instruments (for example, voltage references, input dividers, current shunts) can simply shift over time. This shifting is minor and usually harmless if you keep a good calibration schedule; this shifting is typically what calibration finds and corrects.
Suppose you drop a current clamp really hard. How would you know that clamps will accurately measure now? You don’t. It may well have gross calibration errors.
Exposing a digital multimeter (DMM) to an overload can throw it off. Some people think this has little effect because the inputs are fused or breaker-protected. But those protection devices may not trip on a transient. Also, a large enough voltage input can jump across the input protection device entirely. (This is far less likely with higher quality DMMs like what Fluke has.)
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Source: Three Common Causes of Calibration Problems