Learn how to test ignition coils without Multimeter – Meterreviews

You can certainly test the condition of your vehicle’s ignition coils with just some simple steps we are going to explain below. Yes, you can do it without a digital automotive multimeter also, if you don’t have one right now by luck. Ignition coils are an important part of the engine igniting process, they actually transform battery’s voltage to thousands of volts helping in engine starting.

Symptoms of failed Ignition coils

There are many signs of faulty ignition coils including loss of power when starting the engine, misfiring, poor fuel average, spluttering sounds by engine, vibration or jerks, and error signs on the car screen. You are definitely here because of these issues and want to know how to test ignition coil without multimeter. Follow the instructions given below,

Steps to do before testing ignition coils

1. Firstly you have to confirm the exact location and numbers of ignition coils. Every type of vehicle has its own engine design and location of different parts. You may found it near cdi box and plugs.

2. Most of time there will be no difficulty in finding ignition coils, but if you are facing issues when searching them try to locate them near spark plugs. Because ignition coils are directly connected to spark plugs.

3. Examine the physical condition of coils, there should be no spark, or rusting signs on them. We will also recommend following some safety guidelines before checking ignition coils. Try to wear safety gloves to avoid any shock.

Testing ignition coils without Multimeter

  • If your vehicle’s coil pack is under some plastic or metal cover, open it by removing its bolts.
  • The next step is to turn on engine and keep it on running mode, open bonnet to analyze ignition coils.
  • You may have a four cylinder or 6 cylinders car, six cylinder will have 6 ignition coils. You may also check the vehicle manual to verify it.
  • Now we have to remove each coil one by one to check its performance and effects of its removal on engine rpm.
  • Remove connector of first coil and carefully listen to engine rpm sound. If removal of coil makes some change in engine noise or it started to run roughly, that means the coil is working correctly.
  • Notice when you’ll reconnect the ignition coil to its point, engine rpm and sound will return back to the previous condition.
  • Repeat this process on all coils, in case if removal of a coil put no change on engine rpm replace that coil immediately. It’s the faulty coil.
Ignition coil

Another way to test Ignition coils without Multimeter

This method is actually a double check to assess if there is a problem with the coil or cylinder itself. In this method, we swap any of two coils and check behavior of engine. You may use obd scanner to identify problems, connect the scanner to vehicle’s computer and check error codes in scan results.

You should have an error code book of your vehicle to know which cylinder or coil of the engine is malfunctioning. Once you are done and clear about faulty coils, you can proceed further with this method.

  • First of all check problem code by connecting obd-2 scanner to your car computer system to identify the failed coil.
  • After removing the coil pack cover and wires harness remove that coil from its position.
  • Now for testing purposes swap that coil with another one. For example, swap a faulty coil no.2 with normal coil no.5 .
  • Now scan your car computer system again with scanner, if the problem code shifts from coil no.2 to 5 that means ignition coil is faulty and cylinders are ok.
  • If the coil is faulty you’ll also observe misfiring in the cylinder which is connected to it.
how to test ignition coil without multimeter


We are sure that these two methods have cleared your query about how to test ignition coil without multimeter. These are quite simple procedures that don’t need many skills but you should have some know how about engine sounds and rpm.

We’ll advise you if you can’t differentiate between a misfiring and normal engine cylinder you should not rely on these tests. Rather you should go for an automobile technician for examination of ignition coils.