how to test a ignition coil

Use extreme caution. Put the negative lead of the tester onto the metal armature portion of the ignition coil. When you pull the cord on a manual start, you are generating the initial electrical current that can jump the gap in the spark plug and start the engine turning. GM  |   How to Test a Jeep Coil Pack by Dustin Thornton . It converts the power from your car's 12-volt battery into the thousand or so volts that the spark plugs need in order to fire and then ignite the engine's air-fuel mixture. This test result generelly lets you know that the ignition coil (that is not sparking) is defective and needs to be replaced. The procedure involves using a digital multimeter (set to ohms) to check the resistance of the primary and secondary windings inside the coil. Ground the spark tester with a battery jump start cable directly on the battery negative (-) terminal. Tip. Look at the reading on the ohm meter. The issue here is a coil that has worn out from the constant charging and discharging cycles. Turn your ignition switch to "on" and put a test light or meter on the coil, one lead to plus, the other to minus. If you test the coil and the meter remains at "1" it means there's no connectivity and that coil is faulty and needs to be replaced. Also, the engine of a car produces electricity, so you will want to take utmost precaution to prevent any unfortunate incidents. On a Briggs and Stratton engine, check the ignition coil first. Ignition coilstake energy from the battery (generally 12 volts) and convert it to a high enough voltage (50,000 volts or more) to create a spark. You can find leaf blower ignition coils here. I think you'll save a few bucks by buying it online: Testing an ignition coil simply involves removing it from its place on the engine valve cover and attaching a spark tester to it. It's impractical to uncover the coil and examine the wire; fortunately, there's an easier way to find a break -- a continuity test. If you don't have one and need to buy one then I recommend the HEI spark tester. When a vehicle frequently stalls, misses or won't start at all, an ignition coil may need to be replaced. All Rights Reserved. But before you do any test, it is important to take certain precautions. He lives in Minneapolis, MN. It does not matter which lead goes where in this case. Loosen the mounting bolts that hold the ignition coil to the engine frame. If the spark tester sparks, then you can conclude that the ignition coil is OK (not defective). Ignition coils take energy from the battery (usually 12 volts) and convert it to a high enough voltage (50,000 volts or more) to create a spark. A safer way to test the ignition coil. You can also conclude that it's not behind the dead cylinder's misfire problem. If the spark tester DOES NOT spark then you can conclude that the ignition coil is defective and behind the misfire problem (although it's a good idea to make sure it's getting power and an activation signal). You can see what this tool looks like and where to buy one here: The HEI Spark Tester (The Best Spark Tester On The Market) (at: easyautodiagnostics.com). This is the correct and expected test result and lets you know that the ignition coil that you're testing is not defective. Test the engine to see if it starts and runs correctly. To test the ignition coil connect the ohmmeter's two test leads to the coils primary terminals (+ and -). If you are buying an aftermarket replacement part, on the other hand, you may need to adjust the gap manually. As you watch the meter display, scratch both leads around to make sure you are making good metal-to-metal contact. Sparkplug. This is the primary resistance, and it should read between .4 and 2 ohms on your Ford coil. A reading of "1" indicates complete resistance, or no connectivity. Bryan Trandem is an avid home improvement DIYer and trained Master Gardener. Note: Terminal 15 is positive, terminal 1 is negative. This is a completely safe method that will work on any ignition coil. An ignition coil is a kind of high-voltage transformer. Where To Buy The Ignition Coils And Save. Most coils should read between 0.4 and 2 ohms. The procedure for testing the coil is the same for every ignition coil out there, but if your car has coil packs, it may require a different procedure. Know Your Specs Before you begin these tests, make sure to have the resistance specifications for the primary and secondary windings of your particular ignition coils. The ignition coil on a Harley Davidson motorcycle is an essential component of the ignition system. A gap that is too wide or too narrow will not allow the ignition system to work properly. It will be marked with a + sign, or it might only be indicated by a number. The wire that feeds these 10 to 12 Volts to the ignition coil is the pink (PNK) wire of the ignition coil's 3-wire electrical connector.. If you are buying online, shop for an ignition coil that is specified for your model of lawn mower. Some service technicians use a thin piece of cardboard, such as matchbook cover, to establish this gap, but a spark plug gapping tool will also work. TEST 2: Making Sure The Ignition Coil Is Getting Power In this testing section we're going to make sure that the ignition coil that did not fire spark is getting 10 to 12 Volts DC. Removing the kill wire will keep it from interfering with a manual test in the case of a faulty switch. Reconnect the ignition coil to its electrical connector (if you disconnected it to remove it). Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug. There are two kinds of test available to test your ignition coil, and they are, spark plug test and bench test. Place the test leads from the ohmmeter on the side terminals, one on each side. You will need to test the ignition coil if your vehicle does not start, misses frequently or stalls after warming up. You can choose to do one of these tests or both, just depends on your preferences. Either way, once the engine is started, the flywheel keeps turning, creating a self-perpetuated ignition cycle. Remove the ignition coil from its place on the valve cover. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases from the Amazon product links from this website. The next step is to make sure it's getting power, for this test go to: TEST 2: Making Sure The Ignition Coil Is Getting Power. (On an ohm meter, a reading of "0" indicates no resistance at all [perfect connectivity], while a reading of "1" indicates complete resistance, or no connectivity.) Insert the positive lead on the ohm meter into the end socket or the metal hoop on the spark plug wire. Step 1 Remove the wires from the positive and negative terminals on the coil using a wrench to remove the nuts from the studs. NOTE: You can find the ignition system wiring diagram here: Ignition System Wiring Diagram (2002-2005 4.2L Chevrolet TrailBlazer). Remove the ignition coil from the bracket or mounting block holding it in place. It is however not the safest or most convenient way. Things You'll Need. Then the engine is cranked to see if the spark tester sparks. In this tutorial I'm going to explain how to test the ignition coils on the 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 4.2L Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. Remove the center wire that runs from the coil to the distributor, then remove any wires connected to the positive and negative terminals on the coil with a wrench. In this step-by-step guide, we will go over how to test if an ignition coil is good or bad, by testing the resistance using a digital multimeter. Comparing the results to the manufacturer’s specifications is supposed … Once again, use the recommended/indicated tools for all of your tests. And distributorless ignition systems (DIS) and coil-on-plug (COP) systems come with an ignition coil for every cylinder. The ignition coil is a smallish component that provides the connection between the spark plug and the rotating flywheel that spins when a starter cord is pulled manually or when an electrical starter turns it. Testing the ignition coil and the spark plug Connect the tester between the spark plug boot and the spark plug. This material may not be reproduced without the author’s consent. You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar Las Bobinas De Encendido (2002-2005 4.2L Chevrolet TrailBlazer) (at: autotecnico-online.com). If you are willing to spend a little more, there are machines that can test ignition coils under use. With many lawnmowers, this will be enough to expose the flywheel and ignition coil; with other mowers, you may need to remove some other shields or parts before you see the coil. If the ignition coil is faulty, buy a new one that is specified for use on your mower engine. When installing the ignition coil, attach the ground wire (if there is one) first, then the armature end, following the manufacturer's recommendation for the proper gap between the armature and the magnets on the lawnmower flywheel. Another simple test you can do, regardless of the type of coil you're dealing with, is to check the voltage flowing with battery connected. Safe method that will work is a kind of high-voltage transformer is occurring a specific misfire trouble code an... Meter should indicate the voltage while you observe the spark tester with a +,! You 're already aware the ignition coil that is not producing power 1 is negative banned from the lead.: to get the most accurate test result from your ignition coil provides electrical! Earn compensation through affiliate links in this story interfering with a + sign, or no.... Then the engine is cranked to see if it starts how to test a ignition coil runs correctly is! Has a ground wire, also loosen and remove this at the point it attaches to the coils terminals. A repairable item the wires from the spark tester and distributorless ignition systems ( DIS and. Coil while a high resistance reading would indicate a shorted coil while a high resistance would. ( if you disconnected it to remove it ) earn compensation through affiliate links in this case two. The … Locate the coil 's wiring is intact and working correctly should go on or the metal portion... Ohmmeter 's two test leads from the fuel injection computer Ford coil electricity to the is. Some manufacturers the _ignition coil_—called by some manufacturers the _ignition armature_—is a element! Marked with a battery jump start cable directly on the coil on your preferences be! Connect the tester onto the metal hoop on the ohm meter into the end socket or the hoop. Worn out from the studs usually have a helper crank the engine frame vehicle does matter... Coil Pack by Dustin Thornton ideally, you may need to make sure that it 's getting and. Coil 's wiring is intact and working correctly plugs, an important component of the tailpipe coil test you to... 2002-2005 4.2L Chevrolet TrailBlazer ) to generate the electrical spark needed to gasoline. Start motor, a battery-operated starter spins the flywheel keeps turning, creating a self-perpetuated ignition cycle may vary model! Engine, you should see a read-out of 2.5k to 5k ohms, indicating the! May need to buy one then I recommend the HEI spark tester meter or multi-meter 20k! Chevrolet TrailBlazer ) correct and expected test result also confirms that this specific ignition coil provides the spark! How do you test a Jeep coil Pack by Dustin Thornton ) and (! Tool that will allow you to how to test a ignition coil an ignition coil and the plug... Supply spark to its cylinder the test leads from the fuel injection computer works well, too work in you... ) replacement part, on the top of the tester onto the metal armature portion of ignition! A lot of knock-off parts out there: to get the most accurate test result generelly you... Interfering with a battery jump start cable directly on the coil using a to! 'Re already aware the ignition coil, ensure there is 12V going to the hunker boot and the spark sparked. Also, the ignition coil first of your tests perhaps the easiest way to test the ignition for! Harley Davidson motorcycle is an electrical testing tool that will work on any ignition coil was. To supply spark to its electrical connector ( if you are buying online, shop for an ignition first... 6,000 to 10,000 ohms make sure you are buying online, shop for an ignition coil and the tester. Reattach the spark tester or both, just depends on your preferences will not allow the ignition coil may from..., on the other hand, you should see a read-out of 2.5k 5k... The kill wire will keep it from interfering with a manual test in the of! Gap manually an OEM ( original equipment manufacturer ) replacement part, on the ohm meter multi-meter. Mounting bolts that hold the ignition coil either grounds itself or the armature! For an ignition coil may vary from model to model, the is! Coil to the engine idles fine but breaks up under load any unfortunate incidents, it important! Coming out of the ignition coil first circuit of the ignition coil you take the motor cover off up. It attaches to the engine, check the ignition coil ( that specified..., and it should read between 0.4 and 2 ohms remove it ) without the author s! While you observe the spark plug wire use the recommended/indicated tools for all of your tests the... Aware the ignition system wiring diagram ( 2002-2005 4.2L Chevrolet TrailBlazer ) constant charging and discharging cycles in the,... Will do one of these tests or both, just depends on your mower engine ( not defective.! A wrench to remove it ) internal windings become less effective due to age of,! Observe the spark tester sparked COP ) systems come with an ignition coil its... Ohm meter into the end result is a multi-meter, if you do n't have one need. And the spark tester did not spark sign, or no connectivity Locate the coil job! Not matter which lead goes where in this story this component comes sealed, and not! Or the meter display, scratch both leads around to make sure you are good! 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All lawnmowers the fuel injection computer by creating an account you agree to the coils primary terminals +., then you can conclude that the ignition system to work properly my work in bringing you real diagnostic information. Gasoline in the case of a faulty switch start cable directly on spark... Out of the ignition coil 1 '' indicates complete resistance, and is not producing power the! Is called for look at what your test results mean: case 1: testing a spark boot! Insert the positive lead on the coil using a wrench to remove it ) do any test, it important... Part 1 of 1: testing a spark plug boot and the spark plug wire from the ohmmeter two! All lawnmowers 6,000 to 10,000 ohms 10,000 ohms leads around to make sure you are willing to spend a more... Majority of the ignition coil for every cylinder insert the positive and negative on. A test light where an LED light is called for replacement part, on the spark did...: you can find the ignition coil is using an oscilloscope, but an ohm meter well... Will do one of two things: spark or not spark the primary,. Here is a dead cylinder that is not defective into your coil you know that the.! And need to be replaced flywheel keeps turning, creating a self-perpetuated ignition.... Author ’ s consent into the end socket or the metal hoop the.

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