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    Main relay   Spark      

No sparks? Need to find sparks? You've come to the right place.



 Ignition system FINDING SPARKS 

How to check for sparks - In 1 minute
You ride along in your Acura or Honda when suddenly your car cuts out. As you lose momentum your car rolls a few feet to a stop. Friends and strangers help push your car along. Other than a snapped timing belt, you've just experience what most likely is an ignition fault. A simple block diagram shows you why your car may have stopped. The battery takes it's path from the ignition switch to the computer, igniter and coil.
(Point mouse over picture)

Fed by sensors the ECU tells the Igniter when to switch the coil OFF.

The first step is to check for rocker arms movements thru the oil filler. The next step is to check for sparks. Remove one end of the plug wire. Insert a spark plug into the wire. Lay the plug solid end to a suitable ground. E.g. exposed bolt, nut, etc.

Warning: Coil shocks may be hazardous due to an abrupt body movement which causes injury. A practical step is to isolate you from ground - Do not lean on metal body panels, a plastic bumper okay. DO NOT ATTEMPT on a distributerless ignition system or DIS - with lethal voltages up to 70KV.

Next step is to check for sparks at the coil. Run a ground lead (connected securely to negative body ground) to the output port (secondary) of the coil and allow a small gap between the ground wire and the output port.

<------Apply ground wire very close to the secondary port.

My problem sounds like a main relay. Check for fuel. Listen to the low whine of the fuel pump within the rear seats.


Could it be something else? Open the oil cap to see if the rocker arms are moving. This should've been done earlier. If the rocker arms are not moving, you will need to deal with the timing belt first. Could it be the ignition key? Normally you should have 12V on at least one of the coil's terminal. If not it's your ignition key switch, fuse or other connections at fault.

You still don't have spark? You will need to investigate further by using a test light. Post your specific results and questions to a Usenet newsgroup to find out how to use a test light. Please include this link when posting.

CAUTION: Always ground the high-voltage port on the coil when doing electrical crank tests, except for spark testing above. The igniter or coil may destroy itself by finding another short path to ground if cranked for long duration. Shorting the high voltage port out won't harm the coil.

Civic Coil
Related helpful links
 Honda FAQ relay
Rover Ignition
Mark's Site

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