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Thread: Ignition coil test with multimeter

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    Patronist esandes's Avatar

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    Ignition coil test with multimeter

    Is it possible to test ignition coils with a multimeter to see if they are ok? If so, where do you probe and what should the multimeter be set at? What reading is ok?

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    Registered Member zo6pilot's Avatar

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    Nope

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    Patronist esandes's Avatar

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    Really? I guess I will just switch them around and follow the codes to find the dud.

    A bad plug messes up the coil pack. I need to nip the plugs in the bud next time rather than let them fry the coil packs.

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    Registered Member Mr. Negative's Avatar

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    The cheapest way to test ign coils is with an HEI test plug. You can get them at any parts store. Pull coil, insert test plug, plug coil in, start engine, watch spark. You can unplug the injector for the cyl you're testing if you want. The HEI test plug will put a heavy load on the coil.

    The only problem is the clip that you attach to ground on the test plug. They break off almost immediately. I use a jumper wire with two alligator clips to ground it. Click image for larger version. 

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    Registered Member NHRATA01's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by esandes View Post
    Really? I guess I will just switch them around and follow the codes to find the dud.

    A bad plug messes up the coil pack. I need to nip the plugs in the bud next time rather than let them fry the coil packs.
    It's not as simple as just ohming the ends of the coil like the old days. I'm decent enough with a meter but a mechE not EE, tried looking up how to do it on a GM 3.6. You need a pinout of the wiring harness for the coil, and IIRC there's a primary and secondary and I think it has to have test voltage applied to trigger the coil. Whatever it was I concluded it'd be easier to 1) pull each plug and find a fouled one or 2) buy a coil and swap it in til the missfire stopped.

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