How to Test ATV Ignition Pickup Coils

Testing the ignition pickup coils in your ATV is essential to ensure optimal performance. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively diagnose any issues and keep your ATV running smoothly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Check the spark plug wire resistance before testing the ignition pickup coils.
  • Measure the voltage at the positive pole of the coil while cranking the engine to identify any low voltage issues.
  • Attach a separate battery to the coil to determine if it is functioning properly.
  • Use an ohmmeter to measure the primary and secondary resistance of the coil and replace it if readings are outside the specified range.
  • Reinstall the coil and check the timing to ensure proper alignment for optimal performance.

Checking Spark Plug Wire Resistance

Start by checking the resistance of the spark plug wire to ensure a strong electrical connection. This step is important as it helps identify any potential issues with the wire that could affect the performance of the ignition pickup coils. To measure the resistance, you will need a digital multimeter.

First, disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Set your multimeter to the ohms (Ω) setting. Touch one probe of the multimeter to the terminal end of the spark plug wire, and the other probe to the metal part of the spark plug. The multimeter should display a resistance reading. Refer to your ATV’s service manual for the specified range, as it may vary depending on the make and model.

If the resistance reading falls within the specified range, the spark plug wire is in good condition. However, if the reading is outside of the range or shows no resistance at all, the wire may be damaged or faulty. In such cases, it is recommended to replace the spark plug wire before proceeding with further testing.

Resistance ReadingAction
Within specified rangeThe spark plug wire is in good condition. Proceed with testing the ignition pickup coils.
Outside specified rangeReplace the spark plug wire before continuing with the testing process.

By checking the resistance of the spark plug wire, you can ensure that your ATV’s electrical connection is strong and free from any issues. This will help in accurate testing of the ignition pickup coils, ensuring optimal performance.

Measuring Voltage at the Coil

Measure the voltage at the positive pole of the coil while cranking the engine to identify any potential issues. This step will help you determine if there is a low voltage issue that could be affecting your ATV’s ignition pickup coils.

To measure the voltage, start by disconnecting the ignition coil connector. Then, connect the positive lead of a voltmeter to the positive terminal of the battery, and the negative lead to the positive pole of the ignition coil. Make sure the voltmeter is set to DC voltage.

With the voltmeter properly connected, crank the engine and observe the voltage reading. If the voltage falls below the recommended range specified by the manufacturer, it could indicate a low voltage issue that may be affecting the performance of the ignition pickup coils.

Note that the exact voltage range may vary depending on your ATV’s make and model. It is crucial to consult the manufacturer’s specifications or a repair manual for the correct voltage range for your specific ATV.

By measuring the voltage at the coil, you can identify any potential low voltage issues that could be affecting the ignition pickup coils. If the voltage is outside the specified range, it is recommended to consult a professional or refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for further troubleshooting and possible solutions.

Steps to Measure Voltage at the Coil
1. Disconnect the ignition coil connector.
2. Connect the positive lead of a voltmeter to the positive terminal of the battery.
3. Connect the negative lead of the voltmeter to the positive pole of the ignition coil.
4. Set the voltmeter to DC voltage.
5. Crank the engine and observe the voltage reading.

Testing with a Separate Battery

Verify the functionality of the coil by attaching a separate battery and observing its performance. This test will help determine if the coil is receiving the necessary power to operate effectively. Here’s how you can conduct the separate battery test:

  1. Disconnect the ignition switch wire from the coil’s positive terminal.
  2. Connect the positive terminal of the coil to the positive terminal of the separate battery.
  3. Connect the negative terminal of the coil to the negative terminal of the separate battery.
  4. Crank the engine and observe the performance of the coil.

If the coil functions properly with the separate battery, it indicates that the coil itself is in good condition. However, if the coil does not perform as expected, there may be an issue with the coil that requires further diagnosis or replacement.

Table: Separate Battery Test Results

TestResult
Coil Performance with Separate BatteryFunctioning
Coil Performance without Separate BatteryN/A (not tested)

By following this separate battery test, you can assess the functionality of the coil and determine if it contributes to any issues you may be experiencing with your ATV’s ignition system. Remember to interpret the results in conjunction with other tests, such as measuring voltage and resistance, to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the coil’s condition.

Measuring Primary and Secondary Resistance

When testing ATV ignition pickup coils, it is crucial to measure both the primary and secondary resistance of the coil. This will help determine if the coil falls within the specified range and ensure optimal performance. To measure the resistance, you will need an ohmmeter.

Start by connecting the ohmmeter to the coil. Set the ohmmeter to the appropriate resistance range, typically between 1,000 and 10,000 ohms. Then, place one lead of the ohmmeter on the positive terminal of the coil and the other lead on the negative terminal. The ohmmeter will display the resistance reading.

For the primary resistance measurement, check the ohmmeter reading against the manufacturer’s specifications. Typically, the primary resistance should fall within a specific range, such as 0.3 to 1.0 ohm. If the reading is outside of this range, it may indicate a faulty coil that needs to be replaced.

Next, move on to measuring the secondary resistance. To do this, connect one lead of the ohmmeter to the positive terminal of the coil and the other lead to the high-tension lead or spark plug wire. The ohmmeter will display the secondary resistance reading. Again, compare this reading to the manufacturer’s specifications. The secondary resistance typically ranges from 5,000 to 10,000 ohms. If the reading is outside of this range, it may indicate a defective coil that requires replacement.

Resistance MeasurementSpecified Range
Primary Resistance0.3 – 1.0 ohm
Secondary Resistance5,000 – 10,000 ohms

Reinstalling the Coil and Checking Timing

Reinstall the coil and check the timing to ensure proper alignment and optimal performance. After testing the ignition pickup coils, it’s important to properly reinstall them and ensure that the timing is correctly set. This step will guarantee that your ATV operates smoothly and efficiently.

To begin, locate the mounting position for the coil on your ATV’s engine. Carefully align the coil with the mounting points and secure it in place using the appropriate bolts or screws. Make sure the coil is firmly attached to avoid any vibrations or movement during operation.

Once the coil is securely installed, you need to check the timing. Timing refers to the precise moment when the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel-air mixture in the engine. Incorrect timing can result in poor performance and decreased power output.

Checking Timing

To check the timing, consult your ATV’s service manual for the specific instructions and specifications. The process may vary depending on the make and model of your ATV. Generally, you will need to locate the timing marks on the engine and use a timing light tool to adjust the timing.

Connect the timing light to the spark plug wire of the first cylinder and start the engine. Aim the timing light at the timing marks on the engine and observe the flash as the engine runs. The timing light will indicate the precise moment when the spark plug fires.

Compare the timing mark’s position with the specifications in the service manual. If the timing is off, you may need to adjust the position of the ignition pickup coils to achieve the correct timing. Follow the instructions in the manual to make the necessary adjustments, ensuring that the timing marks align as specified.

StepAction
1Locate the mounting position for the coil
2Securely install the coil using appropriate bolts or screws
3Consult the service manual for timing specifications
4Connect the timing light to the spark plug wire
5Aim the timing light at the timing marks
6Compare timing mark’s position with specifications
7Adjust ignition pickup coil position if necessary

Conclusion

By following these testing steps, you can diagnose and address any issues with your ATV’s ignition pickup coils, ensuring smooth and reliable performance.

To begin, check the resistance of the spark plug wire. This will help identify any potential resistance issues that could affect the electrical connection.

Next, measure the voltage at the positive pole of the coil while cranking the engine. If the voltage is low, it may indicate a problem with the coil that needs to be addressed.

For further testing, you can attach a separate battery to the coil to determine if it is functioning properly. This will help verify if the coil is receiving the necessary power to operate effectively.

Using an ohmmeter, measure the primary and secondary resistance of the coil. If the readings fall outside of the specified range, it may be necessary to replace the coil.

Finally, after testing the ignition pickup coils, reinstall the coil and check the timing to ensure everything is properly aligned for optimal performance.

By following these steps, you can effectively diagnose any issues with your ATV’s ignition pickup coils and take the necessary steps to address them, ensuring that your ATV operates at its peak performance.

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