There is actually a tool called a spark gap tester that you can set the correct gap and see if it will jump the ap. Also there is another tool that is a light that you put in line with the coil wire and see how bright the light is. Without either of those tools, you will need to use a screwdriver and your judgment The spark is supposed to be 30,000 or more volts(I am not kidding), so it will be a good healthy spark that should be able to jump an 8th of an inch or more. If it is a puny little spark that looks more like a static electricity discharge, it is too weak. If you touch it, it should light you up really good. It wont hurt you if you do, because even though it is tens of thousands of volts, it is at such a low amperage, that it doesn't have any punch. You will just know you have grabbed something that you shouldn't have. I tell you this because I know of guys that have used that method to tell how stron the spark is. Anyway, use a screwdriver against a ground, and see how far the spark jumps.
The spark is always blue. If your coil is bad your engine will misfire.
Disconnect the distributor cap end of the coil wire and attach to an ignition tester. Attach the ignition tester to a good ground, away from any fuel lines. A good spark tester can be made from an old spark plug gapped to 0.200". Crank the engine and observe the tester for spark. If a crisp blue spark is noticed, the ignition coil is working properly. If a pale yellow spark, or no spark, is noticed, the coil is more than likely bad.
try to get a new ignition rotor
is there spark through the wires to the plugs?
TRY IGNITION CONTROL MODUEL. THAT WOULD BE A GOOD GUESS.
I have an 89 Ranger with the 2.9L, was driving on the highway and it just quit. I thought it was probably the timing chain, had it towed to a shop and he checked fuel pressure which was normal, found no spark condition. He tested the ignition coil, pickup coil, module and wiring for faults. Failure traced to the ignition control module. He also replaced the distributor cap, rotor, and coil wire. If you have a no spark condition I would recheck all these because I think if it is a broken timing chain you would still have spark. The ignition control module is at the base of the distributor cap. Assuming your ignition coil and ignition control module are good, try the pickup coil. Stay with the ignition system until you get spark. i have the same problem with my 88 ranger changed distributor, rotor button, ignition coil, and tfi module, still no spark. If it is the timing chain it will not spark.
Check Gas pump and relays
I had similar problem...Ensure that when you replace the Ignition Coil, you also replace the spark plug (might as well do all 4) and the wires. This will prevent further Coil problems. The Coil could blow the plug or wires and when you replace the coil, the plug /wires will blow out the coil again. Also get a full diagnostic...specifically check to ensure the Head Gasket Cover is still good.
I would look first to the rotor, and then maybe at the module check the ignition module
Why start with the module? The coil is is a good place to start. Make sure of course you have voltage at the coil, if not trace it back.
it could be the coil pick up in your distributor
It could be the ICM or the pickup module.
No spark could be caused by several things: no voltage to the coil or ignition system; a bad coil; a bad ignition system; bad pickup coil(s) in the distributor; a bad coil wire; or more serious engine problems such as a broke camshaft or camshaft timing chain. If your distributor is fine and the coil is good as well as the ignition system is in working order, you might check the computer on the side of the air cleaner.
You do not have to but it will be very good if you place a die-electric grease on points where ignition wires contact spark plugs and distributor/coil pack.
The ignition coil is integrated with the distributor cap, they are one unit. On 3.3 Litre at least, probably the other engines too. If there's no coil wire to the distributor (should look the same size as the spark plug wires) then it's a good indication that the distributor is also the coil.
There could be several things to cause no spark, but one I have ran into is the Ignition Control Module inside the distributor or the coil inside is bad. If your plug wires are good and your wiring to the distributor checks out, then it's either the coil or the ignition control module. Both are inside the distributor.
Here is a photo of the ignition coil. It is in the engine compartment against the fire wall. if you find the distributor with 4 wires going to the spark plugs, follow the distributor center wire which plugs into the ignition coil. A new coil is about $150. Good Luck. Sorry, the photo didn't work. Search at "http://www.gprparts.com/OEMParts/vw.asp" for a 1997 Jetta igition coil to see the photo
I think you remove one of the spark plug wires from the coil and hold it far apart from the coil. Have someone turn the key so the car is turning over. Bring the spark plug wire closer to the coil and if there is spark the coil is good. Note: if you hold to close you will get a very good jolt of spark if the coil is good, that is why you start far away and work your way closer.
On the firewall. Upper right, above the exhaust manifold and steering column... Good hunting. PS. you will see a wire very similar to a spark plug wire connecting the ignition coil to the distributor cap... hope this helps..
first check your spark plug then test your ignition coil if these are good then it is probably the cdi but there is no way to test a cdi box.
You probably need either the ignitor or an ignition module. Both are available in the aftermarket industry.
I am not a expert on the subject, but I know that there's one ignition coil for the outer (#1, #4) spark plugs, and another for the inner (#2, #3) spark plugs. If you bought new ones and tested them without them firing I would suspect the ignition coil that fires the inner spark plugs is bad. ..Try changing the plug wires i had the same problem and the plug wires went bad after using the horn (it shorted out) , i found that out after removing everything on the bike and testing it and yes i was mad but relieved it was just the plug wires , good luck
you need to check your plug to make sure it is good. then check your ignition coil make sure that is good, then if none of those work check your cdi and stator plate..
Check that battery has power. Check that coil pack has power and is grounded. Ground out one spark plug and see if there is any spark. If there is no spark, then it is either a fuse or your coil pack is bad. Rule out that the coil pack is good and that your spark plug wires are bad. Test them all individually. Don't get shocked by the 20K volts from the ignition, it really hurts.
To check a coil you just need to take out your spark plug but leave it plugged into the coil and ground the spark plug while trying to turn it over. If it is a good strong spark than your coil is fine. If it doesn't spark than unplug the wire going to it and try it again if it doesn't spark than it is a good chance your coil is bad. if it does spark than it is a wire problem. Also make sure that your spark plug is gaped correctly, usually at about 0.030.