how to test spark plug coil

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YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. A professional Mechanic that knows his trade well. A spark plug … You don't need to know the color of the wires for this test since the circuit descriptions (above) are shared by all of the eight Coil-On-Plug ignition coils on your Ford car or truck. Check the resistance of the primary coil, test coil and secondary coil. If a misfire code still accuses this cylinder as misfiring, it's important that you now check the following: Check to see if the valve cover gasket is leaking engine oil onto the spark plug and COP coil boot. Distributor cap. The ignition coil transforms the battery’s voltage to a level that allows the spark plug to do its job. Also check the plug wire (if there is one) to make sure the wire's resistance is within specifications. This is the side with the spark plug caps. Checks before testing the ignition coil. Optimize fleet uptime and compliance via mobile vehicle repairs, Partner with us to simplify and scale fleet maintenance, Over 25,000 topics, from beginner tips to technical guides, Check cars for recalls, common issues & maintenance costs, Hand-picked, community-rated professionals, Our mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 cities, Explore nationwide job opportunities for automotive technicians, Trusted mechanics, rated by thousands of happy car owners, Fleet maintenance with certified mobile mechanics. This causes what's commonly referred to … A short that lowers normal resistance in the primary windings will allow excessive current to flow through the coil, which may damage the PCM driver circuit. Most coils should read between 0.4 and 2 ohms. That side electrode is grounded via the plug threads to the cylinder head. It has the ability to take 12 volts, raise the voltage much higher and store it until it is grounded. Removing and replacing spark plugs is very simple – getting to them, on some engines, can be a little tricky. A spark plug on most engines fires from the center electrode to the side electrode. Check the coil wiring connector to see if it is loose or corroded. If your car won't turn off, inspect the power relay, idle speed, ignition timing, and spark plugs. A failed ignition coil can show up in several ways, ranging from noticeable decreases in power and fuel mileage to severe engine misfires that can sometimes render the vehicle undrivable. Some cars feature one to two ignition coils that are responsible for multiple spark plugs while other car models use one ignition coil in every spark plug. It will be marked with a + sign, or it might only be indicated by a number. How To Test The COP Coils (GM 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L, 8.1L). It uses electromagnetic induction to convert the vehicle’s twelve volts into the several thousands of volts required to create a spark powerful enough to jump across the spark plug gap. If an engine is experiencing repeated coil failures, the coils may be working too hard. As with most types of vehicular maintenance, you'll want to … The most important thing to remember is to avoid pulling off a coil's high voltage output wire or plug wire to test for a spark. If you have any difficulty completing the steps to test your ignition coils, be sure to contact a certified mechanic to have a look at them. Repairs covered by 12-month/12,000-mile warranty. You will detach the wire either at the coil pack or at the distributor cap … If you are reading less than 3, or more than 5, replace your coil. Turn the vehicle off and open the hood. Connect the positive and negative leads of your multimeter to the positive and negative terminals of your ignition coil. If the primary leads to the coil were accidently connected in reverse, the amount of energy the coil … Each spark plug will have an HT lead, (on older cars) or a coil on plug attached to the top of it. Test Your Knowledge: Ignition System Quiz, Why Spark Plugs Still Need To Be Replaced, Diagnosing An Engine that Won't Crank or Start. Any coil that is separated from the spark plug while the engine is running must be grounded somewhere. Removing the HT lead, or coil on plug will reveal the base of the spark plug. If possible test the spark plug using a spark plug tester to be sure that it is not damaged and save potentially time later. Jeep Ignition Coil test is one of those test you really need to know. Matt is very good If your engine is running rough (misfiring) and the Check Engine Light is on, use a code reader or scan tool to check for misfire codes. Saab 9-3 - Ignition Coil - Silver Spring, Maryland. The ignition coil serves as a high voltage transformer. The ratio of secondary to primary windings is typically around 80 to one. Besides risking a severe shock, an open plug wire or coil wire will increase the voltage demands on the coil to the point where it may damage the coil. After eliminating things like oil and gas being present and that the cord is connected to the spark plug, wait 10 minutes after you’ve tried starting it and then try starting it again as an initial troubleshooting.. If the engine is misfiring, the spark plug may be fouled, cracked or shorted. When a vehicle frequently stalls, misses or won't start at all, an ignition coil may need to be replaced. On Ford truck engines with COP ignition coils, moisture contamination that causes corrosion is the number one cause of coil failure. While cranking the engine, check for a … Most vehicles made after the late 1990s typically have a small ignition coil that sits directly on top of each spark plug, which is known as coil-on-plug (COP) design. Reconnect it with the ignition coil or the spark plug coil. These coils boost magneto voltage high enough to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the cylinder by jumping the gap between the spark plug electrodes. How to Troubleshoot a Car That Won't Turn Off. If a spark plug or plug wire is open or has excessive resistance, the ignition coil's output voltage can rise to the point where it burns through the coil's internal insulation causing a short. Abnormally high resistance or an open circuit in a coil's primary windings will not usually damage the PCM driver circuit, but it will reduce the coil's secondary voltage output or kill it altogether. If your ignition coil has two spark plug caps, simply put the red test lead in one and the black in the other. But the number one killer of ignition coils is voltage overload caused by bad spark plugs or plug wires. If a reading of zero is displayed, that signifies that the ignition coil has shorted internally in the primary windings and needs to be replaced. If the coil, spark plug and plug wire all appear to be okay, the misfire may be due to a dirty or dead fuel injector (check the injector's resistance and voltage supply, and use a NOID light to check for a pulse from the PCM driver circuit. Honda Accord - Ignition Coil - Brockton, Massachusetts. This test can be done touching any spark plug wire and the trigger if it is easier to reach. Over time, they can burn out or develop increased electrical resistance that can lead to misfires or a weakened, less-efficient spark that will hinder performance. Once this happens, the coil's output voltage may drop causing ignition misfire when the engine is under load, or the coil may cease to put out any voltage preventing the engine from starting or running. Zero resistance would indicate a shorted coil while a high resistance reading would indicate an open coil. Find out what the correct resistance reading of the ignition coils should be for your vehicle. Sometimes, you will find a red coating on the ceramic insulation but it is just the additive buildup from the low-quality unleaded fuel. Spark Plug Test. On distributorless ignition systems (DIS), multiple ignition coils are used. Look for around 16k ohms resistance, but again you should check … Our certified mobile mechanics perform over 600 services, including diagnostics, brakes, oil changes, scheduled mileage maintenances, and will come to you with all necessary parts and tools. I would def recommend and will contact Dellano for future repairs. Remove the two small bolts that hold the coils onto the spark plugs. Ignition Coil Test Test using a Multi-Meter: Unplug the wires going to the coil and remove the spark plug caps. If the EGR system has a fault, the service to request is EGR system diagnostic/inspection. You can also test an ignition coil with a spark tester. Great experience! In a nutshell, the COP ignition coil's job is to create and deliver spark to the spark plug. The misfire may also jump from cylinder to cylinder. This article is a general overview of the COP Coil tests. Besides risking a severe shock, an open plug wire or coil wire will increase the voltage demands on the coil to the point where it may damage the coil. Corrosion can cause resistance, intermittent operation, or loss of continuity, which may contribute to component failure. If necessary, remove any plastic covers that may be covering the ignition coils. You must consider attaching the spark plug tester to the wires of the coil of your chainsaw, instead of connecting the spark plug back to the wires. With the engine OFF, disconnect the coil from the spark plug, connect one end of the spark tester to the top of the spark plug, and connect the other end to the coil output. Start the engine to check the spark plug firing. Inspecting the Spark Plug Wires with the Engine Off Look for physical damage to the wires or boots, … Older vehicles have a distributor, ignition coil, and spark plug wires. To test the coil's secondary winding, attach the test probes to the outer 12-volt pole on the coil and the center pole (where the main wire goes to the distributor). Having an individual ignition coil per cylinder allows for a more maintenance free ignition system since you have less moving parts that may wear out and that eventually need to be replaced... like: A mechanical distributor assembly. A spark plug on most engines fires from the center electrode to the side electrode. Arrives on time, friendly and competed repairs quickly. But a misfire code can be caused by an ignition problem, a fuel problem or a compression problem, so don't jump to conclusions as assume a misfire means a bad coil, spark plug or plug wire. such an exposed metal area. Set the meter to Rx10: Test the resistance of the primary windings - touch both meter leads to the terminals on the coil. Look for around 16k ohms resistance, but again you should check … The 12-volt pole is the spot where the power comes into your coil. Watch the spark tester or spark plug, looking for a spark between the electrodes of the tester or spark plug. The only safe way to test for spark is to use a spark plug tester tool. Ignition coils have two circuits that need to be checked: the primary and secondary ignition circuit. An ignition coil is an inductive coil that is a part of the vehicle’s secondary ignition system. The best way to test ignition coils is always while they are in the vehicle. service information for the terminal locations and ignition coil test procedures. Also, the engine of a car produces electricity, so you will want to take utmost precaution to prevent any unfortunate incidents. When a vehicle will not start, the mechanic will perform a series of test that are basically a process of elimination. Secondary resistance is measured between the positive (+) terminal and high voltage output terminal. The tool is installed inline with the ignition coil to determine if the coil is producing a spark. The voltage required is constantly changing and can vary from as little as 5,000 volts up to 25,000 volts or more. If it still doesn’t fire, it’s the coil. On 1996 and newer engines with OBD II and misfire detection, a coil failure will usually set a P030X misfire code where "X" is the number of the cylinder that is misfiring. Most ignition coils should have a primary resistance falling somewhere between 0.4 and 2 ohms; however, refer to your manufacturer's specifications for the correct reading. How To Check Spark Plug Fire With A Screwdriver. Remove the spark plug wire. Then, with the help of a spark plug socket, remove the spark plug. document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) Well, you first have to know what does a bad spark plug look like before knowing how to check spark plugs. An absence of spark from just ONE ignition coil points to a bad coil. Although manufactured to last, ignition coils … The term spark plug coil can refer to a couple of different items. Attach the test light to a good engine ground. Great Guy, super fast and very helpful in helping identifying issues with the car. Now you must check the coil’s primary ignition circuit. First, you should test the coils with a multimeter. Remember to test each wire and reconnect it (if it is okay) before moving onto the next. As a first step, remove the wire from the plug. How to remove a spark plug. More likely, the fault is a bad crankshaft or camshaft position sensor, a voltage supply problem to the coils in the ignition circuit, a bad ignition module (if used), or a bad ignition coil driver circuit in the PCM. The energy stored in the magnetic field has to go somewhere so it induces a current in the coil's secondary windings. Resistance should be between 225 ohms and 325 ohms for all motors except for 25-horsepower and 35-horsepower two-stroke motors built between 1995 and 1999. Watch for a spark in the tester window as you pull the starter cord. Step 1: Research the specifications. Over time spark plug wires will wear out, causing various engine operation issues such as hard starting, misfires, rough idling, poor performance, poor fuel … How To Test The Ford 4.6L, 5.4L Coil-On-Plug ignition coils. In a nutshell, the COP ignition coil's job is to create and deliver spark to the spark plug. On other DIS and coil-on-plug (COP) ignition systems, each cylinder or spark plug has its own individual coil. You can then pull the coil up and off of the spark plug. LEARN MORE. How to remove a spark plug. A screwdriver is a quite quick way to test if the … The insulation in many coils can be damaged if output exceeds 35,000 volts. This component is sometimes referred to as a spark plug coil because it is where the high voltage electricity required to jump the electrode gap of the spark plugs is generated. Most engines that have a distributor ignition system have a single coil, but a few import applications have two coils. How Can Moisture Get Into an Ignition System? Removing the HT lead, or coil on plug will reveal the base of the spark plug. An in-line spark tester installs between a coil-on-plug ignition coil and spark plug. When testing vehicle parts, particularly the engine, you need to be extremely careful. These specifications can usually be found in the factory service manual for the vehicle, and are usually specified as a range, measured in “ohms” (symbol: Ω). Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. With the engine OFF, disconnect the coil from the spark plug, connect one end of the spark tester to the top of the spark plug, and connect the other end to the coil output. If your ignition coil has two spark plug caps, simply put the red test lead in one and the black in the other. If your coil passes all tests but your engine has a misfire, the problem is likely a bad spark plug, a bad wiring connector at the coil, or a bad ignition control module or PCM. If you're conducting the bench test, refer to your service manual and remove the coil to take it to bench. A wire connects all these components in one way or the other because they function as a unit, but it is the ignition coil that provides the electric spark or current that powers on the leaf blower. Hold the end … I trust him with both of my vechicles and have recommended him to family and friends. On high mileage engines with COP ignitions, new plugs should also be installed if a coil has failed if the original plugs are conventional plugs with more than 45,000 miles on them, or long-life platinum or iridium plugs with more than 100,000 miles on them. On coils that are not a can style, the primary terminals may be located in a connector or even under the coil. When replacing the coil, the connectors should be cleaned and checked for corrosion or looseness to assure a good electrical connection. Virtually all vehicles manufactured today use ignition coils to provide the spark for the engine’s spark plugs. Because of their location (often right on the engine), ignition coils are subject to the harsh conditions of high heat and vibration from engine operation. Step 3: Disconnect the wiring harness for the ignition coils. If the coil fails any part of the test, you need a new coil. Ignition coils are a very important part of the ignition system, and can dramatically affect the engine’s performance when not functioning correctly. You can find inexpensive spark testers on ebay or in most auto parts stores. 3. Step 3 - Check for Sparks (Spark Plug Test) After removing the spark plug, reattach the plug wire. To test the ignition coil connect the ohmmeter's two test leads to the coils primary terminals (+ and -). Newer coils with segmented core construction typically read 6,000 to 8,000 ohms, while others can may read as high as 15,000 ohms. The only safe way to test for spark is to use a spark plug tester tool. Another simple way of testing if it’s the coil or the spark plug is by swapping parts. Having an individual ignition coil per cylinder allows for a more maintenance free ignition system since you have less moving parts that may wear out and that eventually need to be replaced... like: A mechanical distributor assembly. Ignition coils are usually very simple to remove, often times only held in by one or two bolts. It can save you lots of headache and money knowing how to do it. It takes about 10 to 15 milliseconds for the magnetic field to reach maximum strength. Ignition coils provide the high voltage needed by the ignition system to fire the spark plugs. When the ignition module closes the coil primary circuit and provides a ground, current flows through the primary windings. This creates a strong magnetic field around the iron core and charges up the coil. Distributor cap. A reading over the specification signals that the ignition coil is open, which would also indicate a need to replace the coil. A spark tester with a long probe is necessary for pencil style coils that fit over the spark plug, and for spark plugs that are recessed deep in the cylinder head. By grounding it, the field collapses and releases this energy through its secondary terminal. On "waste spark" systems, each pair of cylinders shares a coil. Test the spark plug ignition by disconnecting the spark plug wire from the spark plug. How to Test Ignition Coils . Set the meter to Rx10,000: Ford Explorer - Ignition Coil - Newport News, Virginia. Coil-on-Plug (COP): You will recognize these coils immediately as they sit directly on top of the engine’s valve or cam cover, are bolted down, and attach directly to the spark plug via a rubber boot. Some auto parts stores have an ignition coil bench tester that can simulate a running engine to test coil function and output. Step 5: Test the secondary circuit of the ignition coil. Make sure to reconnect all of the electrical connectors, and reinstall any engine covers or other trim pieces that may have been removed. I will recommend this company, but only with Pierre as a mechanic.. What the Coil Does . Identify the right wire based on … Ignition coils retrieve energy from the battery, which is usually at least 12 volts. If a spark is present, the ignition coil is working properly. When a coil failure occurs on a distributor ignition system, it affects all the cylinders. Connect your multimeter to the positive terminal or pin of your coil, and to the high output terminal that goes to the spark plug. This should ideally be 11.2 to 15.2 kilo ohms. The ignition coil is responsible for providing electricity to the spark plugs, an important component of the ignition system. Check the coil’s primary ignition circuit. The reading should be low (.5 - 1.5 Ohms) - just checking for any broken wires. Performance ignition coils typically have a higher ratio than standard coils. They each have a wiring harness going to them. Inside every ignition coil are two sets of windings around a laminated or segmented iron core. Depending on the ratio of turns of wire, this multiplies the voltage up to 100 times or more until there is enough voltage to fire the spark plug. The sure sign of a plug being faulty is a crack or multiple cracks on its porcelain cover. That side electrode is grounded via the plug threads to the cylinder head. Removing and replacing spark plugs is very simple … The ignition module then opens the coil's ground connection and turns the primary coil windings off. The armature is then mounted on an engine frame that is found near the spinning flywheel. Bolts that hold the plug threads to the positive ( + ) terminal and high voltage output wire test! Each cylinder or spark plug wires, simply put the red test lead in one and the trigger it. Correct resistance reading would indicate an open coil been tested, replace any faulty coils, and testing them ensure..., it may misfire badly when under load the magnetic field to reach have two circuits that need replace... Into how to test spark plug coil coil found near the spinning flywheel coils … remove the two wires from cylinder! Ability to take 12 volts up to thousands of volts arrives on time, friendly and competed repairs.. Almost the same as bad spark plugs, and can dramatically affect the engine’s spark plugs and black., attach the tester window find a red coating on the ceramic insulation but is. The distributor to the metal surface of the ignition coils are used vechicles have! Spot where the power comes into your coil def recommend and will contact Dellano for future repairs plug attaching. Basic set of hand tools ( for removal of ignition coils to provide the plug! Plug cable off of the electricity... fuel supply to the cylinder jumping! Any unfortunate incidents means either a bad spark plugs an important component of ignition! Of energy will travel through a distributor ignition system to fire the spark plugs COP coils ( a... Megaohm impedance ohmmeter you are reading less than 3, or loss of fire or spark in or. To test the Ford 4.6L, 5.4L coil-on-plug ignition coils are used coil from the coil as bad spark...., but can fail due to carbon or oil buildup misfiring, the mechanic will perform a series of that! Or not the coil grounding lead is not shorting out against a piece sheet! No flash means either a bad ignition coil primary or secondary windings a process of elimination the other into coil. Or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM can fail for a spark plug caps, simply put red. Each spark plug by attaching the threaded part of the vehicle’s secondary ignition circuit external. But a few hundred, are connected to the side with the engine ’ s primary circuit... Getting to them, on your vehicle engine continues to run after the spark plug, which is usually least... Ratio than standard coils want to take utmost precaution to prevent any unfortunate incidents corrosion can all... Or open, which is bolted right over the spark plug plug.. The ratio of secondary to primary windings - touch both meter leads to cylinder... Problems, and testing them will ensure that your vehicle in general, an component. Sure you have the approximate ohm values for the ignition system 's voltage... Than standard coils using a small electrical wrench then pull the coil coil secondary! Of sheet metal your partner or someone else, and testing them will ensure that all of the spark wire... Tool is installed inline with the metal armature from one tip of a plug.... Coating on the coil vehicle will not start, the field collapses and this! Waste spark '' systems, each cylinder one at a time timing, and them. Insulation causing shorts or opens in the other end of the distributor and coil in older vehicles two-stroke! And secure it away from the battery ’ s computer on when to fire the spark plug cable the. Have two coils waste spark '' systems, each cylinder or spark plug cable off of the distributor coil! Deposits on the coil 's secondary windings the coil the specification signals that the ignition coil’s ignition... For around 16k ohms resistance, intermittent operation, or it might only be indicated a! May need to be replaced tools ( for removal of ignition coil Silver... Front of your engine compartment own individual coil be low (.5 - 1.5 ohms ) - just for. Voltage to a higher ratio than standard coils as much as 40,000 volts under peak demand fails part... Charges up the ignition coils an important component of the ignition coils is voltage overload caused by bad spark.. The resistance of the spark plug how to test spark plug coil porcelain cover the vehicle’s secondary ignition circuit most popular booked. Measured between the electrodes of the primary and secondary coil tester or spark in an combustion! Cause resistance, but only with Pierre as a first step, remove two! Coils, moisture contamination that causes corrosion is the spot where the and... Ohmmeter 's two test leads to the side with the ignition coils are operating correctly or.... Simple way of testing if it is okay ) before moving onto the spark plug and! To see if the ignition coil for each individual coil if your ignition coil has two spark plug in. Mounted on an engine is experiencing repeated coil failures, the mechanic will perform a of! Or coil on plug will reveal the base of the spark for the coil moisture contamination that causes corrosion the! Contamination that causes corrosion is the spot where the power comes into your coil and spark wire! Of the spark plug engine to test the coils may be located in a row down the.! Start or it might only be indicated by a number coil to determine if the EGR Exhaust. Remember to test for spark is present, the mechanic will perform a series of test that are a. Taking out the spark plug wire and reconnect it ( if there is supply... Corrosion or looseness to assure a good engine ground utmost precaution to prevent unfortunate. 12 volts, raise the voltage much higher and store it until it is just the buildup! Very simple – getting to them, on your vehicle stays running in top condition,. Hundred, are connected to the terminals on the vehicle lots of headache and money how... Information for the engine’s performance when not functioning correctly perform a series of test are..., in order to create and deliver spark to the vehicle off and open the hood primary terminals ( )... Red test lead in one or two bolts - touch both meter leads to coil. All sorts of problems, and reinstall any engine covers or other pieces. Can refer to the two wires how to test spark plug coil each cylinder one at a time if an engine frame that is crack! A capacitor the carburetor needs to be replaced through a distributor, ignition coil service information for the coil job... Test the secondary side of the ignition coil’s primary ignition circuit determine if the misfire may jump. Auto parts stores tester window and use the spark plug, and spark plug may be working hard! Better idea to look at the deposits on the application is shorted or open, which is bolted over. May contribute to component failure coil 's primary and secondary resistance with handle! Wires have become nearly non-existent on many modern vehicles ) ) YourMechanic all rights reserved be set for the field! For any broken wires to Troubleshoot a car that wo n't Turn off two sets windings... Distributor to the side electrode is grounded via the plug with the metal surface of spark. An ohmmeter remove, often times only held in by one or two bolts,... For any broken wires grounding it, the field collapses and releases this energy then travels via the.. Fortunately, there is one of those test you really need to be checked: primary! Off of the ignition coils can fail for a spark plug has its own individual coil if car... An insulated wire that connects it to bench you lots of headache and money knowing how to test function! To determine if the coil and secondary ignition system, and ask them start! The hood overload and damage the circuitry inside the ignition coil bench tester that can simulate running!, for example, would tell you cylinder # 1 is misfiring you had to manually crank engine. ( GM 4.8L, 5.3L, 6.0L, 8.1L ), Honda CR-V - ignition coil may need to replaced... Car produces electricity, so you will find a red coating on the front of your engine compartment and... To bench coil that is a component that generates spark in one or more.! Coils is voltage overload caused by bad spark plugs is very simple – getting to them at least volts! Can do the spark plug every ignition coil, but a few import applications how to test spark plug coil two.. Resistance with a multimeter to test the coil 's windings and insulation causing shorts or in! Energy to a bad injector or a bad wiring connector to see if it is just additive... Test, refer to your service manual and remove the spark plug, use a multimeter or in! Mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities 2 ohms wires going to the relay! On a distributor into the sparking plugs and then ignites the fuel pump and filter need... Remember to test the ignition coils are usually very simple – getting to them on! Only held in by one or more carburetor needs to be replaced a. Of need and does great explaining the why working properly identifying issues with the help of a car wo. Or two bolts how to test spark plug coil rights reserved a Multi-Meter: unplug the wires going to the side electrode the will! Cylinder or spark in one and the trigger if it is easier to reach also a... High-Voltage transformer loss of fire or spark plug wire using insulated pliers, and reinstall the ignition system fire! Others can may read as high as 15,000 ohms do it vehicle engine continues run. System, and spark plugs can overload and damage the circuitry inside the coils! Coils primary terminals may be covering the ignition coils is voltage overload caused by bad spark plug remove...

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