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Thread: Coilpack Testing

  1. #1
    spoons
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    Default Coilpack Testing

    Does anyone on here know how to test a Coilpack to see if its working correctly?

    Number of guys on VXRonline with Vectra VXRs have had coilpack failures but identifying exactly which one is at fault is difficult.

    Rather than replace all six, does anyone know how to test them?

    Many thanks

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    Asked the exact same question the other day mate... Cant take credit for the answer.. it came from Dez:

    Things You'll Need

    Voltmeter
    1
    Open the bonnet

    2
    Locate the coil pack in your engine by following the spark plug wires from the spark plugs; the wires are connected to the coil pack. Depending on your particular vehicle model, you may find the coil pack mounted on one side or the back of the engine.

    3
    Unplug the spark plug wires from the coil and label the wires if necessary for proper installation.

    4
    Unplug the pack's electrical connector and remove the coil pack from the engine, using a wrench or ratchet and socket if necessary.

    5
    Set your ohmmeter to the 20000 ohms range. Turn on your meter and touch the spark plug wire terminals on one of the coils with the meter leads. You may get a reading between 5000 to 15000 ohms, depending on your particular model. This checks the secondary resistance.

    6
    Set your ohmmeter to the 10 ohms range, and touch the terminal B+ (usually the center prong on the coil pack electrical connector) with one of the meter test leads, and touch the corresponding coil prong on the electrical connector with the other test lead. You may get a reading between 0.3 and 1.0 or more, depending on your particular model. This checks the primary resistance on each coil.

    7
    Repeat steps 6 and 7 for each coil in the pack assembly, and compare your resistance readings to the specifications given on your vehicle service manual
    If your readings are out of range, replace the coil or coils as necessary.


    Rgds
    Aidi

  3. #3
    spoons
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    Default

    Thats great thanks

    Just need to find out what the readings are suppose to be now for the Vectra VXR

  4. #4
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    The question is how do they fail?

    Is it total failure, or is it performance deterioration?

    If it is total failure, then can you get access to the high voltage area, or is it all encapsulated like on other engines?

    If you can get access then a normal plug/lead tester could be used to measure whether there is spark voltage when the engine is running.

  5. #5
    spoons
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ste View Post
    The question is how do they fail?

    Is it total failure, or is it performance deterioration?

    If it is total failure, then can you get access to the high voltage area, or is it all encapsulated like on other engines?

    If you can get access then a normal plug/lead tester could be used to measure whether there is spark voltage when the engine is running.
    I dont know Ste, but I'm pretty sure you cant get access as its all hidden

    The symptoms are juddering when under full accelleration. At which point its suspected the coilpacks are failing.

    People have randomly replaced each one with a new one until the symptom disappears (trial and error), but were trying to find an absolute test to determine exactly which one or which ones are failing.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    If they are individual coil on plug (pencil type), then measuring between a large range of resistance value probably won't identify if one is deteriorating, unless one is significantly different to the others.

    You really should test them underload (ie working), using an oscilliscope. To be fair, it's probably the only way of getting a robust and reliable answer. Have you got a 'scope?

    It is possible to make a 2 channel one, if you really want to, that would be adequate and would probably work.....

    Or, why not buy one coil / get a known good unit and move it from cylinder to cylinder to see if resolves the problem.

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    I went into a local garage today who i know are pretty hot on diagnostics etc. had a long chat with the chap there, and he said much the same.. Difficult to determine if one is failing in particular unless the P codes indicate a misfire on a particular cylinder.

    Suggested finding what state the car is in when symptoms start - RPM/Gear/Speed etc, then get a known working coil pack and swap out one by one and re-test between swaps.

    Said about checking resistiance etc, and he agreed that it might thorw which one might be on its way out, but probably would not be conclusive.

  8. #8
    spoons
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ste View Post
    Have you got a 'scope?.
    Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by Ste View Post
    Or, why not buy one coil / get a known good unit and move it from cylinder to cylinder to see if resolves the problem.
    Thats what people are doing at the moment, but the back 3 coilpacks are buried below a ton of stuff.

    So to keep swapping one out and replacing everything is a nightmare. Its easier just to replace all 3 at the back with new ones.

    But thats still not testing for a problem pack when the other two could be absolutely fine.

    Any other ideas?

  9. #9
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    I'll have a think about it, and maybe suggest something else.

  10. #10
    spoons
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ste View Post
    I'll have a think about it, and maybe suggest something else.
    Thanks Ste,

    I know we've got some very clever people on here so feel positive an answer is out there

    Thanks

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