- Quickly and safely troubleshoots no-starts
- See and hear if spark is present, test intensity or test spark timing with conventional ignition
CAUTION: Mount tester away from areas where gasoline vapors are present.
CONVENTIONAL POINT-TYPE AND ELECTRONIC IGNITION SYSTEMS:
Pull the ignition coil wire from the center cavity of the distributor cap and connect it to the tester’s terminal. Connect the tester to a good engine ground using the alligator clip. Adjust the tester to the proper kilovolt setting for the engine (see chart). Turn the ignition key to the ON position, then crank the engine using a remote starter switch or a helper. Watch the tester.
CAUTION: Do not touch the tester while cranking.
If you see no spark, the ignition system is the source of the no-start condition. Check the resistance of the coil wire first (typically, this should be less than 10,000 ohms), then check the primary ignition system (coil, ballast resistor, electronic module and pickup or breaker points and condenser).
If spark is present and sufficiently strong, the fuel system or internal engine parts are probably the trouble.
INTEGRAL COIL HEI AND DISTRIBUTORLESS IGNITION SYSTEMS:
Remove any spark plug wire from a plug and connect it to the tester’s terminal. Follow steps 2 through 5 above.
TO CHECK SPARK TIMING WITH CONVENTIONAL IGNITION SYTEMS:
Attach tester as above. Turn the ignition key to ON. Using a suitable wrench on the front crankshaft bolt, rotate the crankshaft until the timing marks on the pulley are about to line up. Slowly continue rotating the crankshaft until you see/hear the spark occur. If the timing marks are lined up, ignition timing is close enough to specifications to allow the engine to start.
NOTE: Cylinders fire only every other crankshaft revolution near the top of the compression stroke, so you may have to rotate the crankshaft through two revolutions. Or, remove #1 spark plug and feel for pressure when cranking to identify the compression stroke.
TIPS: Removing all of the spark plugs will make rotating the crankshaft easier.
This Part Fits the Following Vehicles