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How do you test a coil?

 
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Old 16 Sep 2009, 08:45 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: SE Iowa
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Default How do you test a coil?

I have another thread on this problem but started this one the title will help me find someone that knows the proper way of testing a coil. Sorry if it causes any problems.

My daughter has a 2000 PT Crusier that just quit all of a sudden on her while driving down the road today. It looks like it's getting fuel but no spark at the plugs. I only used a screwdriver in the boot trying to ground it on something metal. But i didn't see any spark at all on the two outside plugs.

How do you test the coil and the harness going to it?

I did read where often times it is not the coil but it just another thing i want to be sure of before buying a part i don't need.
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 06:50 am
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Default Re: How do you test a coil?

Don't know if this will help but it's something to read.

Ignition coil problem...maybe?
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 09:01 pm
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Location: Mooresville, NC
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Default Re: How do you test a coil?

If the car is running, and you're getting spark to all 4 plugs, your coil is working. These factory coils are one item on the PT's that was over-built. The after market coils are not even close to these. And if one goes out, you'll have noticeable swelling, burn marks or scortching. Some actually pop, as in like a smalll grenade. However, you have to be boosting high and running +15VDC into your system before you even come close to that.

Some parts stores have a unit to test the coil. Most of the time all you need to know are the specfications of the coil and measure the impedance.

Have you looked at the Auto Shutdown Relay (ASR) yet? That provides power to the coil. If the PCM loses contact with either the crankshaft or camshaft position sensors, the PCM will shut down the ASR, removing power from the coil. Since you've already stated that you had a sensor fault listed, have you replaced that yet? Is her's a turbo model, or NA? I have the books on this and would be glad to share the section on the coil, or more, just let me know. It's an easy read, and the troubleshooting steps are about non-exostemt. Oh, if she's got a turbo, there is also an ignition coil capacitor, that would blow way before the coil itself.

If you actually have a bad coil, I'd pay your shipping to send it to me once you replace it, as I've never seen one go bad yet. Would like to test it out and see why it went bad.

The pages I extracted for this are too big, PM me your email address and I'll forward you the ignition section of the service manual.
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File Type: jpg PT Ignition Control_02.jpg (64.2 KB, 30 views)
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 09:42 pm
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Location: SE Iowa
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Default Re: How do you test a coil?

I did quite a bit of research on this last night and found the the ASD would shut down the motor if it lost signal from either the cam sensor or the crankshaft sensor. So i figured it probably wasn't the coil. More likely something telling the ASD to shut down the spark and fuel.

Swapped the ASD relay with the horn relay first of all. That didn't help so i figured the relay was good. Error code told me crank sensor, so i checked it and found a broken wire had rubbed the rack and pinion for too long. So it turned out to be an easy fix.
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: How do you test a coil?

Good stuff. If you could take a photo of where the break occurred and could post it here would be helpful. I need to check mine out just in case...
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Old 18 Sep 2009, 06:38 am
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Default Re: How do you test a coil?

Well, i probably wont get back underneith her car until the next problem. But it was behind the motor, right in the middle down low by the oil filter. The harness just kinda hangs down there. Harness go to the crankshaft position sensor, the alternator, and the starter. The harness was rubbing against the rack and pinion boot.

Obviously the harness wasn't secured by the previous owner. There was already one wire in the same exact place that had a butt connector from the same thing. But they didn't even secure the harness out of the way afterwards. You would think they know better.
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Old 18 Sep 2009, 07:30 am
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Default Re: How do you test a coil?

I had the same thing happen to the wiring harness of the Camshaft Position Sensor years ago. The harness runs behind the engine and it was held on by a $.02 clip which broke and let the harness hang down and hit a moving part ( half shaft) and burn the wires. PT came to a dead stop traveling threw South Carolina on a major highway at 11pm.

Overnight in a motel, next morning towed to a Chrysler dealer and mechanic found the burnt wires when he was about to change out the sensor & whole harness. Fixed the wires instead and only cost 2 hours labor and a day in my life. The estimate was $200.


Blurry picture from my cell phone.
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