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Old 08-06-2016, 12:15 PM   #1
MikeNW
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1997 SL
Default Coil pack

Is there a way to TEST the coil pack?
2002 L200, 225,000 miles

I am trying to solve an occasional miss, at idle. Replaced plugs and spark plug boots recently. Otherwise, it runs fine. There are no codes.

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Old 08-06-2016, 01:30 PM   #2
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Coil pack

Occasional misfires may be difficult to pinpoint unless you have GM's Tech II scantool to observe misfire counts and other advanced diagnostics to determine how misfiring is occurring. For the rest of us to diagnose problems, bench or alternate testing is performed to isolate components as much as possible. Some alternate methods may help.

Some auto stores can test the ignition control module and ignition coil pack and a great leap of faith is placed on these tests. Starters tested in store bench tests cannot guarantee their GO/NO GO tests tells anyone a starter is near its end of life and may exhibit intermittent starter failure. Understanding how a starter operates and how wear and tear eventually contributes to gradual starter signs of failure isn't revealed with in-store tests. This may apply to ignition system parts where engine temps aren't a factor in store tests when ignitions systems fail when engine heat contributes to random failure. Controlled tests are just that and without a perspective when problems occurs, chasing problems can be frustrating. One way to incorporate store tests that pass and real world failures is to test on the engine.

With a separate ignition control module and ignition coil pack. in situ testing needs both connected to wiring. Live testing would be to remove the icm and coil pack but lay them over the engine (wiring reconnected) with spark plugs attached and plugs removed from the engine but attached to the coil pack, bases grounded by wiring to the engine block. Without compression loading down the battery and starter, cranking the engine allows faster engine cranking while observing for spark. This test isn't fool proof but a very good diy test to observe actual spark to each plug. Any misfiring should show immediately whether performed on a cold or hot engine (all parts are in their operating temperature range). This diy test is just as good as store testing. What isn't revealed is the possibility of mechanical engine problems.

Mechanical problems may be with a well worn engine with 225k miles. Lower compression can have a greater effect at idle compared to higher rpm due to the time each compression stoke and combustion event occurs. Low rpm means more time for a low compression engine to misfire. Higher rpm means less time for low compression to occur (leaking past worn piston rings) so less misfiring chances can occur. If it can be presumed ignition doesn't falter at any rpm, engine mechanical issues must be considered. In addition to worn piston rings, valves may be worn and leaking too.

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Old 08-06-2016, 03:37 PM   #3
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2004 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Coil pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNW View Post
I am trying to solve an occasional miss, at idle. Replaced plugs and spark plug boots recently. Otherwise, it runs fine. There are no codes.
^^^^ Had exactly the same problem No codes. Turned out to be a faulty Ignition Module. Next time you are at the Pull Your Own Part JY. Get a coil pack with the ignition module. This is a great spare part to have on hand just for situations like yours.

I carry a Coil Pack/Ignition Module with me on both my L's as a little peace of mind while on the road. 4-10MM bolts and it's out. Would be easy to replace on the road if the need arises.

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Old 08-06-2016, 04:27 PM   #4
Russet
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Coil pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb6667 View Post
^^^^ Had exactly the same problem No codes. Turned out to be a faulty Ignition Module. Next time you are at the Pull Your Own Part JY. Get a coil pack with the ignition module. This is a great spare part to have on hand just for situations like yours.

I carry a Coil Pack/Ignition Module with me on both my L's as a little peace of mind while on the road. 4-10MM bolts and it's out. Would be easy to replace on the road if the need arises.
Not so easy on a six banger though....

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Old 08-06-2016, 07:44 PM   #5
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Coil pack

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Originally Posted by Russet View Post
Not so easy on a six banger though....
if you bothered to read what the op wrote you will see that it's a 4 cylinder so the six cylinder reference is of no use...

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Old 08-09-2016, 06:27 PM   #6
Russet
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Coil pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurvives View Post
if you bothered to read what the op wrote you will see that it's a 4 cylinder so the six cylinder reference is of no use...
Actually it is you not the OP. Just indicating what is easy on one is not so easy on the other.

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