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So… what is the easiest way to learn how to test coil pack with multimeter? This guide aims to show you the easiest way to test your coil pack with a digital or analog multimeter.
You don’t need an expensive one. You’ll just need one that can measure voltage and resistance.
But before we dive in, we’ll explore some of the most common problems you will run into if there’s a problem with your coil pack.
What is a Coil Pack?
A coil pack or ignition coil is a part of your vehicle used to convert 12 volts from your car’s battery to 40,000 volts to produce spark. That way, the coil pack can ignite your and fuel and air to start up the engine.
As you can imagine, dealing with a bad coil pack is not something drivers want to deal with on the weekend.
It messes up your engine’s performance, and you might not be able to start the vehicle if there’s a problem with it. This is problematic if you’re in the middle of nowhere with no signal.
7 Problems You’re Likely To Experience with Your Coil Pack
Being able to diagnose your vehicle without a multimeter still has a place in today’s age—although this is not the most efficient method out there—it is still good enough to troubleshoot your car’s ignition coils.
Poor Fuel Economy
Noticed that you’re spending more money than you usually do on gas? That means you have a problem with your coil pack.
You see, the ignition coil transmits power to your spark plugs. But if they are not working anymore, your vehicle will be using more fuel than it usually does.
In this scenario, you could be looking at several damaged ignition coils if your car uses more fuel than it usually does.
Problems Starting Up the Engine
If you’re struggling to start your car’s engine and checked the battery to make sure it is not the problem, it might be time to learn how to test small engine ignition coil with multimeter.
Some of the ignition coils might still be in great shape. But if your car takes forever to start up, you might have a couple of bad apples in there. So, take your multimeter and run a simple resistance test.
What if they’re bad? Replace them. There’s no way around that. But be careful if you do this job yourself. If you mess it up, your vehicle won’t start.
- Make sure that that the pins are not bent — we’ve seen drivers complain from time to time about their vehicles not working after replacing ignition coils. Usually, this is caused by faulty replacements.
- Plug everything back in the correct place — this might sound silly, but many drivers mess up the order when replacing ignition coils.
Shotgun Blasting Noise
Uh, now we are getting serious. An engine backfire is not something drivers want to mess with. The noise your car makes when it backfires is terrifying, and you only ask yourself what went wrong with the engine.
So what is wrong with the car? You could either have damaged ignitions coils or a coolant leak. Therefore, consider diagnosing your vehicle as soon as possible.
Typically, when your car backfires, white smoke comes out of the exhaust. So, watch out for those symptoms.
Driving like this could damage your engine, which would result in costly and unnecessary repairs.
Car Randomly Stalls
Damaged ignition coils are another possibility when it comes to problems with the engine. In this case, a faulty ignition coil would cause your vehicle to stall randomly.
So, why are my ignition coils messing up my car? This happens since the faulty ignition coils send irregular power to the spark plugs, causing the engine to stall when going down the road.
Don’t worry, though. Replacing ignition coils is pretty cheap, and you can do this job yourself with a short YouTube video.
Check Engine Light Comes On
It may come on for countless reasons. For example, you could have bad sensors, causing the engine light to come on.
But in this case, you might have a problem with your ignition system. If there’s something wrong with the ignition system needed to spark the air and fuel mixture to start combustion, then the check engine light will pop on.
To make sure the ignition coil went bad, get a scanner. For example, if you’re getting “P0300” and “P0312,” it means that there’s a problem with the ignition coils.
An Ignition coil does not have any moving parts inside. So, it’s not like they’ll wake up your entire neighborhood if they are no longer working.
However, they can make a weird ticking noise when there’s a problem with them. Listen to what your car is trying to say. All vehicles are designed to let drivers know when there’s something fishy going on.
Typically, engine noises mean trouble. So, take some time and diagnose your coil pack to make sure it is your problem.
Hold up. We know what you’re trying — what does an oil leak have anything to do with my coil pack?
Well, if there’s a problem with the ignition coils, they will overheat. This excessive heat will destroy the housing.
When this happens, the housing will leak oil, which is why you saw this massive puddle of oil underneath your vehicle.
How to Test Your Coil Pack With a Multimeter
Before testing your ignition pack, we need to do a little bit of work. Don’t worry, though. There’s not much to it. That said, here’s how to test coil pack with multimeter:
1. Find Your Owner’s Manual
Before getting started, it is crucial to know the recommended resistance for your ignition coils.
Where do you get this information from? First, get your owner’s manual. That’s the easiest way to know when there’s a problem with your car.
If you cannot find it anywhere in your vehicle, we suggest doing a quick google search to find your owner’s manual online.
2. Remove the Ignition Coil From Your Car
Pop the hood of your car and remove the cover from the vehicle. Now mark your wires from 1 to 6. After that, remove the wires from the ignition coil and then the plug. Next up, remove the screws holding the ignition coil. It should come right off now.
You don’t have to pull the ignition coil from your car. But it would make things so much easier if you unplugged it.
3. Look For Any Damage
Always do a close visual inspection of the coil pack. Sure, using a multimeter is the easiest way to check your coil pack. But even then, it wouldn’t hurt to look for any signs of damage on the coil pack.
For example, as time goes by, your coil pack will start developing cracks around the plastic. This is a quick but helpful method that will allow you to find out whether you have a working unit or not.
4. Identify The Common Pin
Get in your car and then turn the key to the on position. Now set the multimeter to volts DC. Next, ground your black lead, and then put the red one on the primary pins.
If your multimeter reads any voltage, that’s your common pin.
5. Set the Multimeter to Ohms
To troubleshoot your ignition coil, set up the multimeter. To do this, insert the black lead where it says “COM” and the red one with this sign: “VΩ.” After that, put the multimeter on resistance.
6. Check the Primary Coil
Here’s how to test ignition coil with multimeter: see those two little terminals coming out of the ignition coil? That’s where you want to put your multimeter leads.
To start, put the red lead on the standard pin, and the black lead on the pin next to the common one. Your multimeter should now display the ohms on the screen.
After that, put the black lead on the remaining pin. Once again, the multimeter will pick up the resistance and show it on the screen.
7. Check Resistance for Your Secondary Coil
First, put the multimeter on 20,000 ohms. Next, grab your multimeter leads and test the ends of your secondary coil.
Now check the remaining coil. Finally, check your manufacturer’s specifications to make sure you’re getting the recommended ohms.
Final Test: How to Test Your Coil Pack
Most people would call it a day after learning how to test ignition coil pack with multimeter. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most of the time, it is good enough. But if you want to be 100% sure, then follow these steps:
1. What You Will Need
To successfully run this test, you will need:
- A small rubber hose — get a rubber hose small enough to fit inside your spark plug
- Jumper cables — to test the coil pack, please get jumper cables.
2. Put the Rubber Hose on the Spark Plug
To start, grab your rubber hose and put it over your spark plug. Next, put it on your coil pack. It doesn’t matter which one you choose.
But if you’re trying to track down a misfire on cylinder number three, that’s where you’d put the rubber hose on.
3. Ground Your Spark Plugs
After setting up the spark plug, grab your jumper cable, and put it on your rubber hose. Next, place the other cable on the negative terminal of your battery.
4. Disable the Fuel Pump
Open your fuse box, and take a look at your diagram. Now find the relay that says “fuel pump relay” on your chart. Once you’ve found it, pull it out.
5. Crank the Engine
To start, have somebody start the engine and then look at your ignition coil. As soon as you crank the engine, you should have a spark. Be careful, though. You don’t want to be too close to the coil pack.
If you’re getting spark, it means that the ignition coil is still in great shape.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Struggling to find more information on how to test ignition control module with multimeter? We got you. Check this section for more info about your ignition system:
Can you drive with a bad ignition coil?
Yes, you can drive with a bad ignition coil. The problem: there is a high chance that it might permanently damage other parts of your vehicle. Instead, please get a new set of ignition coils, and replace them. They are cheap, and you can find new ones for $80.
Can I replace just one ignition coil?
Of course, you can just replace the bad one. You don’t need to replace all your ignition coils. But if you want to be 100% sure that the problem is fixed, feel free to replace them all in one go.
How long do ignition coils last?
On average, you should expect your ignition coils to last up to 100,000 miles. But, of course, this number might change depending on how often you take care of your vehicle and the manufacturer.
Does cold weather affect ignition coils?
Yes, ignition coils have a hard time putting up with cold weather. They’re more likely to go out in the winter. All this extra cold puts so much pressure on them until they fail.
See how easy it is to learn how to test coil pack with multimeter?
First, you just need to figure out which pin is which to test your coil pack properly. With this information, you can test your ignition system at home with a multimeter.
But as we said at the beginning, check your spark plugs and other parts of your vehicle. If you’re having a hard time starting up the engine, check your battery with a multimeter. Your problem could be related to a dead battery, which you can easily swap.