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  #11  
Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 AM
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snrusnak snrusnak is offline
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I agree but most don't have a scan tool. Checking spark is free. Pull a plug see if it fires. I'd check fuel, spark, and compression(all free). Then move to electronics(sensors).
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:04 AM
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Checking spark plugs this way can kill the coil or the ecu.
Today's cars having that much electronic in, that a scan tool is as necessary than 50 years ago a simple scrwedriver.
Don't understand me wrong, but somebody who don't know might damage by trying more than is broken anyway. You might be lucky, but I've canged too many ecu's after diy. And not only ecu's.
Sometimes it's cheaper to get some help physically.
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2013, 11:16 AM
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Understood.

Can you explain how this can damage the coil or ecu? This is the way I always check spark.

I am not a service technician pro, but I do have a pretty good understanding of modern fuel injection, obd, etc. Like I said I'm not a pro but messing with vehicles over the years I've really figured them out to a fair degree. I've never done any damage on any obd2 cars by checking spark this way.

Just trying to honestly learn if there is risk here...what's the difference if the spark is inside the combustion chamber or outside?
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Last edited by snrusnak; 05-10-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-10-2013, 12:23 PM
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Sorry...guess that goes now deeper.
I know that you as a professional goes different on some things like somebody at home in his garage.
The ignition works through resistance.
For example- the coil has a certain resistance and indicates through the signal from the ecu the ignition spark. There is a defined voltage indicated by the distance from anode and cathode to make the spark jump over and ignite the gas mix.
we are talking about ~20KV / 1mm distance at the sparkplug.
every 0.1mm indicates 1KV more voltage. You can see this on the oscilloscope. You would have in this case for example 7 x 20KV and one time 40KV. means there is something wrong at this specific cylinder with 40KV. can be the sparkplug, coil, wires..etc.
BUT- and this is the problem- it will spark! but the voltage is so high, that over time, it fries the coil. a short cut in the coil overshoot the signal from the ecu and the ecu burns out on this cylinder.
If you get the spark plug out and lay it on the cylinder or somewhere where you (think) you have good ground, it will spark, but it can be that you have not enough contact, which is the same as you would have 2mm distance from anode to cathode. the voltage will go up to 50-60 KV to indicate the spark. if you do that too long, you kill the coil and/or the ecu.
That's just basic but should explain it good enough.
Means also- just by looking if you have a spark does not help you.
and it also means, that technically you would not see any drivability issues, as long as you have a spark- because it will spar- even if 40KV is needed to make it spark.
the first thing is always to check the CO and the O2 sensors plus all parameters with the oscilloscope or the special program in the test computer if it has it.
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  #15  
Old 05-10-2013, 12:34 PM
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Wow, I guess I'll take your word for it lol. I vaguely understand most of what you're saying, just surprised it's that complicated. Wouldn't this mean that as the spark plug electrode wears with time/miles and the gap increase there wouldn't really be a reduction in performance(since the pcm detects this through resistance and will provide more power)?

Sorry to get so off topic, you just really caught my attention with this.

So, theoretically, if you do the old school method, and have solid contact with a ground, you will do no damage, correct?

Are you a tech or something?
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  #16  
Old 05-10-2013, 12:50 PM
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If you have 100% contact, it should not damage anything. The only problem is, that you have, if the spark plug is in contact around the whole plug. if you hold the spark plug on ground, you have because of the roundness maybe just 1/2mm contact.

the performance will be effected, because more distance and higher voltage also means a weaker spark- not so significant like with old distributor systems, but you have it. but all you notice is a slight increase of fuel consuption.
Normally it does not hurt the system, and if you have twice as much voltage one spark plug, there is something serious wrong.

and yes, I'm tech.
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  #17  
Old 05-10-2013, 12:51 PM
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Thanks for the info.

Hopefully the OP will figure out his issue.
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  #18  
Old 05-10-2013, 06:24 PM
mbennett mbennett is offline
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well guys thanks for all the advice and help turned out after all the time and money and research it was just the map sensor. never threw a code but sure cost me a lot of money in gas and parts. the parts doesnt really bother its getting into high miles so putting new parts on cant hurt anything. thanks again everyone
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