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How To Test Ford Coil Pack With Multimeter?

How To Test Ford Coil Pack With Multimeter
A coil pack is something that takes energy from a car battery and converts it to a high voltage. This is used to create a spark that starts up the car. A general problem that peoples face is when a coil pack is weak or faulty, it causes problems like poor performance, low fuel economy, and engine misfires.

Therefore, the best prevention is to know how to test the ignition coil pack with a Multimeter so you will be able to avoid all problems related to the car ignition coils. In general, to check the coil pack with a Multimeter check the default resistance for the primary and secondary windings. Connect the multimeter’s negative and positive leads to the correct terminals to test these.

After comparing the resistance with the default resistance in the vehicle manual you will see whether your ignition coil pack needs replacement. We will go through more detail in our article below.
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Can you test a coil pack with a multimeter?

How To Test Coil Pack With Multimeter – To diagnose a coil pack, set the multimeter to the 200 Ohms range, place the positive and negative probes on the identical terminals of a coil, and check the multimeter for a reading. A value between 0.3 ohms and 1.0 ohms means the coil is good, depending on the model.

Locate The Coil Pack

With your car engine powered off, you want to find where the ignition coil pack is located within your engine and take it out to comfortably run tests on it. Referring to your engine manual is the easiest way of spotting where the pack is situated. However, if you don’t have a manual with you, you may simply trace where the engine spark plug wires lead to, The spark plug is located on the top or side of the main engine, so you follow where the wires lead to. The coil pack is typically located on the back or side of the engine.

Take Out The Coil Pack

To take the unit out, you remove the spark plug wires from the coil terminals. Remember that there are multiple coils on a coil pack. You detach spark plug wires from the output tower terminal of each of these coils on the pack. While disconnecting the wires, we advise that you label each so they are easier to identify and map out when you are reconnecting them.

Set The multimeter To 200 Ohms Range

To measure the resistance of the primary input windings of each coil in the pack, you set the multimeter to the 200 Ohms range. The Ohms setting is represented by the omega symbol (Ω) on the meter.

Place Multimeter Probes On Primary Terminals

The input terminals are the two identical tabs that either look like bolts or bolt threads. They connect to the primary windings within the coil. Each coil in the pack has these terminals and you want to make this placement to test each of them.

Check Multimeter

Once the multimeter leads make proper contact with these terminals, the meter presents a reading. Generally, a good ignition coil is expected to present a value between 0.3 Ohms and 1.0 Ohms. However, your engine model specifications determine what the right resistance measurement is.

  • If you get an appropriate value, then the coil is good and you move to test each of the other coils.
  • A value outside the appropriate range means that the coil is bad and you may need to replace the whole pack.You may also get an “O.L” reading, which means there is short within the coil and it should be replaced.

Now, we move to steps for testing the secondary resistance.

Set The Multimeter To 20kOhms Range

To measure the ignition coil’s secondary resistance, you set the multimeter to the 20kOhms range (20,000 Ohms). As mentioned before, the ohms setting is represented by the Omega symbol (Ω) on the meter.

Place The Probes On Coil Terminals

The output terminal is a single and distinct protruding tower that connects to the secondary winding within the ignition coil. It is the terminal to which your spark plug wires were connected before you detached them. You will be testing each of the input terminals against the output terminal.

Look At Multimeter

At this point, the multimeter presents you with a resistance value. A good ignition coil is expected to present you with a general value between 5,000 Ohms and 12,000 Ohms. Since the multimeter is set to the 20kOhms range, these values are between 5.0 and 12.0.

The appropriate value depends on the specifications of your ignition coil model. If you get a value in the appropriate range, the terminals of the coil are in good condition and you move to other coils. If you got a value outside this range, then one of the terminals is bad and you may need to replace the whole coil pack.

An “O.L” reading means there is a short within the coil. Remember that you test each primary coil against the output coil.
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How many ohms Should a coil pack read?

How is it measured? – Resistance can be measured with a,

Set the multimeter to measure resistance (ohms). Connect the positive lead to the positive terminal of the coil. Connect the negative lead to the negative terminal. A typical value would read 0.4 – 2 ohms.

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How do you check a coil with a bad multimeter?

How To Test An Ignition Coil With A Digital Multimeter – Via: Unsplash Another way to test a car’s ignition coil is by using a digital multimeter. Before lifting the hood of your car, it’s best to consult your manual which should indicate the correct resistance reading of the coil. Locate the coil under the hood and disconnect its wiring harness; typically one or bolts hold it in place.

Ignition coils have two circuits that require checking; primary and secondary circuits. Connect the multimeter to the negative and positive terminals of the ignition coil to get a primary circuit reading. If the multimeter shows a reading of 0 ohms, the ignition coil has shorted and needs replacing. If the multimeter’s reading is above the range stated in the car’s manual, the ignition coil is not complete and it also requires replacing.

To test the secondary circuit of the ignition coil connect the positive pin of the multimeter to the positive terminal. Also, attach the multimeter to the high output terminal that connects to the spark plug. Once again, refer to the car manual for the expected electrical output from the spark plugs but a base range is between 6,000 and 10,000 ohms.
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How many ohms should a 12 volt coil have?

How to test a 12v coil To check your coil, ensure you have 12V going to the positive terminal. Once you confirm that is the case pull the wire out of the centre of the distributor and hold it a cm away from the distributor centre terminal. Have someone crank over the engine, and there should be a nice blue spark. Voltmeter settings :

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With a volt meter Plug the black probe into the COM port on your multi meter, Plug the red probe into the VΩmA port. Switch on your multi meter, and set the dial to resistance mode.Resistance is measured in ohms, indicated by the Ω symbol. Most multi meters are not autoranging, meaning you will need to set the correct range for the resistance you expect to measure. If you’re not sure, start with the highest setting.

With all the wires taken off the terminals of the coil attach the positive and negative probes of the meter to first the negative terminal then the positive terminal on the coil. You should have a resistance reading of at least 3-4.5 ohms. A bad coil will show a higher reading then 3-4.5.

Next, place the red or black lead from the meter to the centre of the coil, and to either one of the terminals positive or negative. You want 9500-10000 Ohms, a little less is ok but no more. If it shows 10500 +, the coil needs to be replaced. Repeat this test when the coil is both cold and worm from running as sometimes coils fail to work properly only when they are hot.

: How to test a 12v coil
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What is the easiest way to check coils?

Download Article Download Article The ignition coil, a vital component of any vehicle’s ignition system, is responsible for providing electricity to the spark plugs. When a vehicle will not start, misses often or stalls frequently, its ignition coil may need replacement.

  1. 1 Turn the vehicle off and open the hood. As with most types of vehicular maintenance, you’ll want to begin the test with the vehicle in park and with the engine off. Open the hood to locate the ignition coil. Though its precise location may vary from vehicle to vehicle, generally, it is located near the fender or bolted to a bracket fairly close to the distributor.
    • One sure-fire way to find the ignition coil is to locate the distributor and follow the wire that does not connect to any spark plug.
    • Before beginning, it’s very wise to ensure you’re wearing safety goggles or other eye protection and that you have access to insulated tools (especially pliers) to protect from electric shock.
  2. 2 Remove one spark plug wire from its plug. Next, remove one of the spark plugs’ wires from the plug itself. Usually, these wires run from the distributor cap to each of the spark plugs individually. To prevent injury, be very careful when working with your vehicle’s electrical system – use gloves and insulated tools at all times.
    • If your vehicle has been running for a while, its internal components are likely to be very hot. A car that has been driven for as little as 15 minutes can heat the engine to around 200 degrees. Allow the car to sit and cool for an hour to prevent significant injury.
    • To save time and avoid potentially damaging your spark plug, consider using a spark plug tester instead. Instead of attaching the spark plug back to the wire, attach the spark plug tester to the wire. Ground the alligator clip. Then skip ahead and have your friend crank the engine, watching for sparks in the tester’s gap.
    • Using a spark plug tester also means you won’t expose your combustion chamber to debris.


  3. 3 Remove the spark plug using a spark plug socket. Once you’ve removed the spark plug wire, remove the spark plug itself. This is easiest with a specialized socket wrench called a spark plug socket.
    • From this point forward, be careful not to let anything drop into the empty hole left where your spark plug was. Leaving debris in this hole can cause damage to the engine as the vehicle runs and, since removing anything from this hole can be a big pain, it’s best to take preventative care to ensure nothing of the sort happens.
    • Cover the cavity with a clean rag or towel to prevent debris from entering the combustion chamber.
  4. 4 Attach the spark plug back to the spark plug wire. Now, carefully reattach the spark plug to its wire. You should be left with a spark plug that’s connected to the distributor but not seated in its “hole.” Handle the spark plug with insulated pliers to avoid the possibility of electric shock.
  5. 5 Touch the threaded portion of the spark plug to any exposed metal in the engine. Next, maneuver your spark plug (wire still attached) so that the threaded “head” of the plug is touching some metal part of the engine. This can be virtually any sturdy metal part of the engine block – even the engine itself.
    • Again, hold the spark plug carefully with insulated pliers (and, if possible, gloves). Don’t risk electric shock in the next few steps by neglecting this simple safety measure.
  6. 6 Remove the fuel pump relay or fuse. Before you crank the engine to test the spark plug, you must disable the fuel pump. When this is done, the engine will not start, allowing you to test the coil for spark.
    • Failing to remove the fuel pump relay means cylinder being tested will not fire because there is no spark plug. It will, however, still be flooded with fuel, which may cause serious damage.
    • Check your manual to locate the fuel pump relay.
  7. 7 Have a friend “crank” the engine. Get a friend or assistant to turn the key in the vehicle’s ignition. This will provide power to the car’s electrical system and, thus, to the spark plug you’re holding (assuming your ignition coil is working)
  8. 8 Look for blue sparks. If your ignition coil is working properly, when your friend cranks the engine, you should see a bright blue spark jump across the spark plug gap. This spark will be clearly visible in the daylight. If you don’t see a blue spark, your ignition coil is probably malfunctioning and needs replacement.
    • Orange sparks are a bad sign. These mean that the ignition coil is supplying insufficient electricity to the spark plug (this can be for any number of reasons, including cracked coil casings, “weak” current, faulty connections, etc.).
    • The final possibility you may observe is that no spark occurs. This is usually a sign that either the ignition coil is completely “dead,” that one or more electrical connections are faulty, or that you’ve done something wrong in your test.
  9. 9 Carefully re-install the spark plug and re-connect its wire. When you’ve concluded your test, ensure the vehicle is turned off before essentially repeating the preparatory steps above in reverse order. Disconnect the spark plug from its wire, re-insert it into its hole, and re-connect the wire.
    • Congratulations! You’ve completed your ignition coil test!
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  1. 1 Remove the ignition coil from the vehicle. The test above isn’t the only way to determine whether the ignition coil in your vehicle is functioning as it should. If you have access to a piece of electrical equipment called an ohmmeter, which measures electrical resistance, you can measure the effectiveness of your ignition coil in a definitive, quantifiable way, rather than in the somewhat subjective way described above.
    • Refer to your service manual for precise instructions on removing your ignition coil. Usually, you’ll need to disconnect it from the distributor wire, then unscrew it from its mounting with a wrench. Ensure your vehicle is turned off and has had a chance to cool before beginning this process.
  2. 2 Find the resistance specifications for your ignition coil. Every vehicle’s ignition coil has its own unique specifications in terms of the electrical resistance within the coil. If your coil’s actual resistance levels fall outside of these specifications, you’ll know that your coil is damaged.
    • Generally speaking, most automotive coils will have a resistance reading of about,7 – 1.7 ohms for the primary winding and 7,500 – 10,500 ohms for the secondary winding.
  3. 3 Position the leads of the ohmmeter on the poles of the primary coil. The distributor will have three electrical contacts – two on either side and one in the middle. These may be either external (jutting out) or internal (sunken in) – it makes no difference.
    • Note that some newer models of ignition coil have contact configurations that differ from this traditional arrangement. Consult your vehicle’s manual for information if you are unsure which contacts correspond to the primary winding.
  4. 4 Position the leads of the ohmmeter on the poles of the secondary coil. Next, keep one lead on one of the outer contacts and touch the other to the central, inner contact of the ignition coil (where the main wire to the distributor connects). Record the resistance reading – this is the resistance of the coil’s secondary winding,
  5. 5 Determine whether the readings you recorded fall within your vehicle’s specifications. Ignition coils are delicate components of a vehicle’s electrical system. If either the primary or secondary windings are even a little outside of your vehicle’s specifications, you’ll want to replace your ignition coil, as your current one is likely damaged or malfunctioning.
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  • Aftermarket ignition coils are built to different specifications and tolerances that can affect the performance of the ignition system. Always choose high quality replacement parts. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • If you do not see sparks, check the output on a voltage/ohm meter. The primary coil should produce readings between 0.7 and 1.7 ohms. As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!


  • Wrenches (including spark plug socket)
  • Screwdriver
  • Insulated pliers
  • Spark plug
  • Wire
  • Ignition key
  • Ohmmeter or multimeter with resistance function (for resistance test)

Article Summary X The ignition coil in your vehicle sends electricity to the spark plugs, and you might need to test the coil if your vehicle isn’t starting or frequently stalls. You can usually test your ignition coils by plugging a diagnostic machine, like an ODB2 scanner, into the port underneath the dashboard and turning it on.

  • On most scanners, a code P0352 indicates that your coils aren’t working correctly.
  • If you don’t have a diagnostic tool, you can remove the coils to test them instead.
  • The ignition coils in your vehicle should be located on the right side of the engine, next to the spark plugs.
  • Remove the cables from each spark plug, then unscrew the first ignition coil carefully and lift it out of the engine block.

To test the primary resistance on the coil, grab a multimeter and attach the positive probe to the positive terminal on the coil. Then, attach the negative probe to the negative terminal. Set the multimeter to 200 ohms in the resistance category and take the reading.

  • Typically, the primary resistance should be somewhere between 0.4-2 ohms.
  • Next, check the secondary resistance by moving the negative probe to the metal piece that connects the coil to the spark plug.
  • Generally, the secondary resistance should be between 6,000-8,000 ohms.
  • If either reading is off, that means your coils likely aren’t working properly.

Look up your vehicle’s ignition coil requirements online since the ideal level of resistance for each reading can vary by vehicle. For tips from our mechanic reviewer on performing a resistance test, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 708,831 times.
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How do you check an ignition coil to see if it’s good?

If you suspect the coil is dead, you can also remove the coil, plug it back in, and use an ignition spark tester like OEM 25069 to determine if the coil is firing. You can also use a multimeter to test resistance.
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How does a car act when the coil pack is bad?

5. Diminished Power – Vehicles with bad ignition coils often run roughly. This means, when your vehicle is idling, you may notice a rough feel or sound. Your vehicle may also experience a drop in power. As a result, a bad ignition coil can make it acceleration more sluggish. The vehicle may even stall.
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How long do Ford coil packs last?

How long do coil packs usually last? I know spark plugs usually need to be replaced after a certain mileage point, but what about your coil packs? How long do coil packs last in a car? Generally speaking, coil packs last up to 5 years or 120,000 miles before they require replacement.

  1. Coil packs will last a long time but their continued exposure to heat and friction can naturally wear them down.
  2. The coil pack can also become damaged by carbon accumulation.
  3. When the time comes, replacing your car’s coil pack typically doesn’t cost more than $300,
  4. Now that you are ready to protect your car and keep an eye on your coil pack, why not learn how you can save on your insurance with ! As a licensed insurance broker and comparison app, Jerry takes the hard work out of shopping for quotes.

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What is the best resistance for a coil?

What are ohms? – Your atomizer coil will have an ‘ohm’ specification on it, which is a measure of electrical resistance of the coil wire that is being used. Vape coils generally have an ohm range of 2.4-2.8 ohms, with lots of people enjoying a resistance of 2.5ohms.

  1. Low ohm vape coils produce more vapour and flavour and case use more e-liquid and take more battery power than high ohms.
  2. High ohm e-cig coils produce less vapour and use less e-liquid and battery.
  3. Sub-ohm vaping is when vapers use a coil with less than 1 ohm resistance, to produce huge vape clouds and intense flavour hits.

You need a specific mod or battery that is compatible with low ohm coils – in other words, sub-ohm vape mods and tanks. Sub-ohm vaping is generally enjoyed by experienced vapers. It’s a good idea to start vaping with an atomizer and coil in the 2.4-2.8ohm range and take it from there.
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What Should the resistance be on a ignition coil?

Testing a Spark Plug Ignition Coil in 7 Steps – Materials Needed:

Basic set of hand tools (for removal of ignition coil) such as safety goggles and insulated pliers. Owner’s service manual. Digital multimeter,

Step 1: Research the specifications, Find out what the correct resistance reading of the ignition coils should be for your vehicle. 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). Step 2: Locate the ignition coil, or coils, on your vehicle, These are usually located right on the engine, either bolted directly to the spark plugs or mounted remotely somewhere on top of the engine. If necessary, remove any plastic covers that may be covering the ignition coils. Step 3: Disconnect the wiring harness for the ignition coils, Remove them using your hand tools. Ignition coils are usually very simple to remove, often times only held in by one or two bolts. Step 4: Test the ignition coil’s primary ignition circuit, Ignition coils have two circuits that need to be checked: the primary and secondary ignition circuit. Connect the positive and negative leads of your multimeter to the positive and negative terminals of your ignition coil.

On some coils, the terminals will be explicitly marked positive and negative; others will simply have the two pins or terminals that are located at the connector. 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.

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. A reading over the specification signals that the ignition coil is open, which would also indicate a need to replace the coil. Step 5: Test the secondary circuit of the ignition coil, Connect your multimeter to the positive terminal or pin of your coil, and to the high output terminal that goes to the spark plug. Most ignition coils should have a secondary resistance falling somewhere between 6,000 to 10,000 ohms; however, refer to manufacturer specifications for the correct range.

  • If a reading of zero is displayed, that signifies that the coil has short-circuited and needs to be replaced, while an excessive reading signifies that the coil is open, and also needs to be replaced.
  • Step 6: Repeat the procedure as needed,
  • Follow Step 4 and Step 5 for testing each individual coil if your vehicle has more than one.

Ensure that all of the ignition coils are operating correctly. Step 7: Reinstall the ignition coils, after replacing them as needed, Once all of the ignition coils have been tested, replace any faulty coils, and reinstall the rest of them on the vehicle. Make sure to reconnect all of the electrical connectors, and reinstall any engine covers or other trim pieces that may have been removed.

Ignition coils are a very important part of the ignition system, and can dramatically affect the engine’s performance when not functioning correctly. A failed coil can cause all sorts of problems, and testing them will ensure that your vehicle stays running in top condition. 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,

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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What indicates a dead ignition coil?

How to Test an Ignition Coil – Testing an ignition coil can be dangerous if done incorrectly. This blog is for informational purposes only. If you do not know how to safely test an ignition coil, you should get help from a qualified specialist. As noted in the “check engine light” section, you can check for ignition coil problems by running an OBD-II check, which will require an OBD-II scanner.

  • Codes P0300 to P0312 indicate engine misfires, while codes P0350 to P0362 are for ignition coil issues.
  • For most other kinds of ignition coil test, you’re going to have to take a look.
  • The location of the ignition coil varies from vehicle to vehicle, so check your vehicle’s user manual or use a search engine to find where your car’s ignition coil is located.

Again, take suitable precautions to make sure you don’t electrocute yourself. Once you’ve found your ignition coil, you can take a look for any obvious signs of damage. The easiest part is checking the ignition coil wiring. If any of the wires are damaged or deteriorated, this could be the source of your ignition coil problems.

  • You should also take a look at the coil harness and connector for faults, especially bent terminal pins and loose connections.
  • If you still can’t find a problem, you can remove each ignition coil from the engine and take a close look for signs of damage.
  • Liquids can damage ignition coils, so pay close attention for signs of moisture.

If you have a CNP ignition coil, there’s another test that you can run. You should always use insulated tools and wear thick rubber gloves for this kind of test.

  1. Turn off your car’s engine.
  2. Remove the spark plug wire.
  3. Attach a new spark plug to the spark plug wire.
  4. Using insulated tools, hold the spark plug’s threaded portion to some metal part of the engine.
  5. Using appropriate tools, remove the fuse from the fuel pump.
  6. Crank the engine.

Once the engine is cranked, you should look for blue sparks along the spark plug gap. If you can see blue sparks, this proves your ignition coil is working correctly. If you don’t see blue sparks or you see orange sparks, this is a sign that there’s a problem with your ignition coil.
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What is the output voltage of an ignition coil?

Modern ignition systems – Coil-pack of an Opel engine In modern systems, the distributor is omitted and ignition is instead electronically controlled. Much smaller coils are used with one coil for each spark plug or one coil serving two spark plugs (for example two coils in a four-cylinder engine, or three coils in a six-cylinder engine).

A large ignition coil puts out about 40 kV, and a small one such as from a lawn mower puts out about 15 kV. These coils may be remotely mounted or they may be placed on top of the spark plug, known as direct ignition (DI) or coil-on-plug. Where one coil serves two spark plugs (in two cylinders), it is through the wasted spark system.

In this arrangement, the coil generates two sparks per cycle to both cylinders. The fuel in the cylinder that is nearing the end of its compression stroke is ignited, whereas the spark in its companion that is nearing the end of its exhaust stroke has no effect.
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How do I know if my coils are failing?

Hard Starts and Stalling – The ignition needs to spark at just the right time for the engine to start and a vehicle to run. If an ignition coil is malfunctioning and not delivering the required voltage to the spark plugs, you will find it hard to start the engine.
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How do you check if a coil is firing?

If you suspect the coil is dead, you can also remove the coil, plug it back in, and use an ignition spark tester like OEM 25069 to determine if the coil is firing. You can also use a multimeter to test resistance.
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