No spark, all 3 coil packs ohm bad - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-07-2007, 12:29 AM   #1
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Default No spark, all 3 coil packs ohm bad

1992 SSEi won't start and it has no spark. All three coil packs' secondary windings don't ohm out at all. I haven't had them off yet to check the primary windings but if the secondaries are bad doesn't seem to be much point in checking the primaries! Seems odd that all three should go bad at once though. Can something cause them to short out like this? In other words, if I buy three new ones will they just short out again?
Ya know it'* amazing how much more interesting and fun working on a car is if you don't have to depend on it for daily transportation.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:58 AM   #2
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How do the plug wires look?
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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Plug wires look good and have good continuity. Coil packs produce no electricity.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:45 AM   #4
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I'm not sure we can say yes or no to the new ones not shorting out. It'* very odd that you had all three go bad at one time. I don't think we've ever seen those odds before.

Did you check the meter on something else known to be good to confirm it'* operation?
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:12 AM   #5
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Yes, I checked the meter. It normally shows "1" when it'* on and in the OHM position but not touching anything. I touched its own contacts together and it went to "0" (no resistance) Tested it against the alternator case, it went to "0" and checked out spark plug wires with it--it gave appropriate readings (don't remember what) based on their length--i.e., some resistance. It'* a good meter. I can't think of anything that would provide a surge strong enough to short out all three coil packs at once, but none of the three show any kind of resistance or flow. The meter just stays on "1" like you're not even touching anything. Break in the wires somewhere inside.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:48 AM   #6
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If they were shorted out, they'd read zero. Not '1'.

Are you checking resistance between the posts? Not from post to ground? Go post to post and make sure your scale is set appropriately, or on 'auto'.

I seriously doubt all three coils are bad. Try another meter.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:23 PM   #7
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Ya know, this is a brand new digital multimeter and I'm not that familiar with it. Maybe I ought to read the instructions... Hmmm.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:53 PM   #8
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Try checking the resistance of a light bulb to see if the meter is set correctly. I just checked a 60 watt bulb & got around 17 ohms.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
If they were shorted out, they'd read zero. Not '1'.
Are you checking resistance between the posts? Not from post to ground? Go post to post and make sure your scale is set appropriately, or on 'auto'.
I seriously doubt all three coils are bad. Try another meter.
I agree with Will on this. If you're using an auto-ranging digital multimeter, a "1" indicates that the coil is open, and it'* very unlikely for all 3 coil packs to fail that way at the same time. If, however, you're using a manual ranging multimeter, a "1" will be displayed if the resistance is too high for the selected range (e.g. the 200 Ohms range). On a manual ranging multimeter, select the range closest to 10KOhms because the secondaries should be several KOhms.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjhansen57
Ya know, this is a brand new digital multimeter and I'm not that familiar with it. Maybe I ought to read the instructions... Hmmm.
FYI: Some digital multimeters have inductance preventative features that keep you from reading the coil packs correctly. Pick up a cheap manual multimeter (ie <20 bucks) and you'll find the right readings. I ran into this. High end multimeters (i.e. pro tool that a serious electrician or electronics engineer would use) are actually not what you want to use here.
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