The points and condenser system is normally found on older model vehicles, such as classic cars. The points and condenser system works with an electrical charge that is sent to an ignition coil, which was connected to the distributor cap. The condenser is attached to the system by breaker points. The condenser and distributor rotate so that the points open and close continuously. The current from the ignition flows through the contacts and sends the voltage to the spark plugs, which ignite the fuel.
The condensers last around 20, miles, so they do need to be replaced from time to time as a normal service item. Here are some common symptoms that hint towards having failing points and condenser:.
If your vehicle will not startit is possible there is a problem somewhere within the points and condenser. The ignition system can be a complicated system, especially to someone who has never worked with them before, so it is best to contact professional mechanic to diagnose and repair the problem.
From there, the mechanics can replace the points and condenser system if needed, so you can have your vehicle up and running in no time. When you try starting your vehicle, if the engine turns over but does not catch, this is a potential points and condenser problem. It is a good idea to check the battery and other common starting faults to rule out any obvious causes of your engine not firing.
If the battery is fine, contact the professionals at YourMechanic to have them look at the points and condenser and diagnose the issue. A failing points and condenser system can cause rough running, misfireslean and rich conditions. If the engine is difficult to startand runs rough once it does start, then it is time to contact a mechanic to have a look at the system and find out exactly what the problem is. It is better to have it replaced now than when you are in an emergency situation and your vehicle will not start.
If your vehicle runs rough, the engine will not fire, or the vehicle will not start at all, it may the points and condenser system that is the issue. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your points and condenser easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Starting And Charging Inspection. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2, U. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair. Schedule Starting And Charging Inspection.
Service Area. Average rating fromcustomers who received a Starting And Charging Inspection.Your Chevy Silverado truck will experience major problems starting up if even one of its ignition coils is not working properly.
Do not, however, automatically assume an ignition coil is the problem. Inspect and test all other components of the battery and ignition system before going to the coils. Once there, you must test each coil individually for its proper resistance to determine whether replacement is necessary. Look over the clamps on the battery cables and make sure they are clean and tight around the terminals.
It's likely that a loose or corroded clamp is causing the problem, rather than an ignition coil. Disconnect the battery cables and connect a load tester to the battery. Using the tester as per its instructions, maintain a load on the battery for 15 minutes; if the voltage drops below 9.
Open the fuse box and inspect all of the fuses related to the ignition system. If they are all in good condition, remove the fuel pump relay to disable the fuel system before proceeding. Disconnect a spark plug wire from its plug after reconnecting the battery and connect a spark tester to the plug wire's boot. Connect the tester's clip to a metal ground on the truck, such as a metal bracket or bolt.
Crank the engine with the ignition key and observe the spark tester; it may be easier to have another person crank the engine. The coil is good if the tester produces a bright blue spark. Repeat the previous two steps for each of the ignition coils and spark plug wires. Disconnect the spark plug wire if no spark appears and connect an ohmmeter to both ends of the wire. The wire is bad if the resistance exceeds 30, ohms.
Disconnect the electrical connector from the ignition coil and connect a voltmeter to the two primary terminals at the coil's electrical connector. This primary resistance must be approximately. Connect the voltmeter to a primary terminal and the secondary terminal on the coil's other side to measure the secondary resistance, which should be between 5, and 25, ohms. This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.
To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Works, contact us. Step 1 Look over the clamps on the battery cables and make sure they are clean and tight around the terminals. Step 2 Disconnect the battery cables and connect a load tester to the battery.
Step 3 Open the fuse box and inspect all of the fuses related to the ignition system. Step 4 Disconnect a spark plug wire from its plug after reconnecting the battery and connect a spark tester to the plug wire's boot. Step 5 Crank the engine with the ignition key and observe the spark tester; it may be easier to have another person crank the engine. Step 6 Repeat the previous two steps for each of the ignition coils and spark plug wires.
Step 7 Disconnect the spark plug wire if no spark appears and connect an ohmmeter to both ends of the wire. Step 8 Disconnect the electrical connector from the ignition coil and connect a voltmeter to the two primary terminals at the coil's electrical connector.The high energy ignition HEI ignition system has been a vast improvement over the old standard cap, rotor and point ignition system used in the past.
The HEI design incorporates the vacuum advance mechanism, the ignition coil and a permanent magnet assembly that has a pole lined with teeth and a pick-up coil. Only a few models have the external coil, but most today have the coil combined with the cap.
Bad HEI ignition distributors give off some warning signs that can be diagnosed by the vehicle owner. If the positive hot wire from the battery that feeds the distributor has no voltage to it, the HEI distributor will not function. The starter will crank the engine but there will be no fire coming from any of the spark plug wires or spark plugs. With the ignition key on, grounding the lead of a test light against a metal source and placing the test light probe on the "BAT" side of the distributor pole will determine voltage to the distributor.
If the test light does not illuminate, the battery voltage is absent. Check the battery charge. Any type of constant engine miss that resembles a dead cylinder, can point to a faulty HEI plug wire that has a corroded connection or too much resistance. Plug wires that measure 15 to 25 inches in length, normally carry ohm resistance at low engine rpm, and 15, ohms resistance at high engine rpm.
The resistance of each plug wire can be measured by hooking up the leads of an ohm meter to each free end of the plug wire. Plug wires that measure "infinity" have broken connections. The HEI system controls the spark timing changes for the engine, which regulates emissions, engine performance and fuel economy. This system works in conjunction with the vehicle's computer, and will announce a failure via a trouble code light on the dashboard.
An HEI distributor that has a worn pick-up coil or corroded magnetic poles will produce a weak spark, with insufficient voltage to ignite the combustion gases. This can be seen by a sporadic miss when the engine pulls under a heavy load or the vehicle has to climb a hill or steep mountain pass. Testing for a weak spark requires pulling the plug from the engine and grounding it against a metal source while the engine runs.
A yellow or intermittent spark indicates weak HEI coil output. Examining the HEI distributor at night with the hood up can pinpoint any stray electrical arcing from the cap, wire connections, distributor cap retainer and connector terminals. Cracks in the cap will be evident at the top spark plug wire poles, where the pole necks have the least material insulation.This page is for personal, non-commercial use. Electronic ignition pickups are a component found on traditional electronic distributor ignition systems.
They are located inside the distributor and function as the trigger for the ignition system to produce spark. The pickup coil monitors the rotation of the distributor and triggers the ignition system at the optimal moment to produce the best timed spark for best engine performance.
As the ignition pickup essentially functions as the activation switch for the entire ignition system, when it failsit can greatly affect the operation of the vehicle. Usually a problematic ignition pickup will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue that should be serviced.
One of the first symptoms of a bad ignition pickup is an engine that stalls. An old or failing ignition pickup may cut out signal intermittently, which may cause the engine to stall.
The engine may suddenly just shut off, almost as if the key had been turned off. Depending on the nature of the issue, sometimes the vehicle can be restarted and driven again after a brief period of time.
However, this problem will persist and worsen until it is taken care of. Another common symptom of a bad or failing ignition pickup is a vehicle that does not start. While distributors have been mostly replaced with coil on plug and ignition systems on newer vehicles, they are still commonly found on many road going cars and trucks. If you suspect that your ignition pickup may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car needs a replacement electronic ignition pickup.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic. Autoblog is partnering with YourMechanic to bring many of the repair and maintenance services you need right to you. Get service at your home or office 7 days a week with fair and transparent pricing. We get it. Ads can be annoying.
But ads are also how we keep the garage doors open and the lights on here at Autoblog - and keep our stories free for you and for everyone.A bad coil can cause the engine to idle and run rough. It might feel weak with a tendency to stall, and may start to backfire. When the coil fails completely it will cause a non-running condition, or in the case of a coil-over-plug application, a dead miss in that particular cylinder. Bucking may accompany backfiring when the car's in gear, similar to the symptoms produced by bad timing.
Some intermittent problems are heat related, and aren't apparent until the engine and coil are at operating temperature. Remove the coil wires. Check continuity using an ohmmeter or a multimeter set to measure resistance. You should have continuity between the two primary-side terminals on the coil.
You should not have continuity between either primary-side terminal and the secondary terminal or between either primary terminal and the case. If any of these checks fail, replace the ignition coil. Loose wires at the coil, distributor or spark plugs can cause similar symptoms, so check the connections for damage, cleanliness and tightness. Incorrectly gapped or damaged spark plugs can also mimic a bad distributor.
Be sure to check the plugs and gap or replace as needed. Low power due to a weak battery or failing alternator can also cause similar symptoms. Ideally, you should make sure that your battery and charging system is up to specs before beginning to troubleshoot any electrical problems.
This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.
Bad Ignition Coil Symptoms
To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Works, contact us. About the Author This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.A bad oil pack can make your Cruze almost un-drivable.
Coil Packs take the place of the distributor and coil in older vehicles.Misfiring Engines With P0301 Code
The symptoms of bad coil packs are almost the same as bad spark plugs. If you do need to replace them all, they can be somewhat pricey. It is possible to isolate which coil pack is bad by using a multimeter.
This can save you a lot of money over just replacing the whole set at one time. There are a lot of potential symptoms related to bad coil packs in your Cruze.
We always recommend using an OBDII scanner to pull your trouble codes if the service engine soon light is on. It can really narrow your search down. The check engine light is one of the most common symptoms of bad Coil Packs. More often than not, your engines computer will be able to detect bad Coil Packs in your Cruze.
If acceleration has diminished, it should be felt. The less cylinders that your engine has, the more that one cylinder not firing properly will have an effect on engine performance. The less efficient the combustion of your engine, the more fuel is going to be wasted. This leads to a decrease in fuel economy. When you take your vehicle in for a tune up due to decreased fuel economy, checking the ignition system in general including the coil packs is going to be one of the very first places that a mechanic is going to look at.
Misfiring is the most common symptom of bad Coil Packs. Anything else that you may feel is a result of the misfiring itself. The real question is, what is causing the misfire? There are also non ignition related circumstances that can cause a misfire. That would include lack of fuel pressure, bad fuel injectors, or even a timing chain or belt that has jumped. Since there are so many reasons that a vehicle can misfire, we recommend testing for trouble codes first.
When a Spark Plug is misfiring, it is often most pronounced at idle speed. This is because when the engine turns slower, it is easier to detect. Be aware that almost all symptoms of a bad coil pack in your Cruze could also be other issues with the ignition system as well. Good luck diagnosing the problem! Feel free to leave a comment below if there is anything that you would like to add. There are several misfire related trouble codes. A random misfire means is that a misfire is detected, but the ECM is not able to determine which one it is coming from, or the misfire is occurring randomly.
For example, P is for a misfire in cylinder 4 in the firing order. This makes diagnosing the misfire a bit more straightforward.
2 Symptoms of a Deteriorating Ignition Module
There are other misfire related codes as well. Fuel Economy The less efficient the combustion of your engine, the more fuel is going to be wasted.
Misfire Misfiring is the most common symptom of bad Coil Packs. Rough Idling When a Spark Plug is misfiring, it is often most pronounced at idle speed.In this tutorial I'm going to explain how to test the ignition coils on the,and 4. Testing the ignition coils, to find out if you have a defective one, isn't hard and I'll explain how to test them to find out in a step-by-step manner.
As you're already aware the ignition coil's job is to supply spark to its cylinder. This spark then ignites the air-fuel mixture within the cylinder. So when an ignition coil fails the very first thing that you're going to notice is a misfire problem when the engine is running. You're also going to see the check engine light lit up by a specific misfire trouble code. You'll see one or more of the following:.
Besides a misfire trouble code stored in your Chevrolet Trailblazer or GMC Envoy's fuel injection computer you're going to see one or more of the following symptoms:. Testing an ignition coil simply involves removing it from its place on the engine valve cover and attaching a spark tester to it.
Then the engine is cranked to see if the spark tester sparks. If the spark tester sparks, then you can conclude that the ignition coil is OK not defective. You can also conclude that it's not behind the dead cylinder's misfire problem. If the spark tester DOES NOT spark then you can conclude that the ignition coil is defective and behind the misfire problem although it's a good idea to make sure it's getting power and an activation signal.
If you don't have one and need to buy one then I recommend the HEI spark tester. Connect a spark tester to the ignition coil. Reconnect the ignition coil to its electrical connector if you disconnected it to remove it. Ground the spark tester with a battery jump start cable directly on the battery negative terminal. CASE 1: The spark tester sparked. This is the correct and expected test result and lets you know that the ignition coil that you're testing is not defective.
This is a test result also confirms that this specific ignition coil is getting power and an activation signal from the fuel injection computer. CASE 2: The spark tester did not spark.