Question about 1996 Nissan Quest

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Distributor Coil Cable Question

I've got what i'm sure is a bad distibutor coil cable (one end is somewhat corroded) and every place I've been to will sell me an entirely new pack of spark plug cables for $40, but I just replaced the rest of my cables with new ones less than six months ago. needless to say, I am unable to afford the expense of replacing it today, but will be able to in a week or so. is there any way I can clean the cable (with baking soda or something) to help it conduct a little better until my next paycheck? if so, any ideas on the mixture and whether I should coat the connector in anything?

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Yes you can!! Carefully remove the cable, clean the connection whith anything abrasive, sandpaper, wire brush, the use a smallamount of grease to coat the connection. do this on both the coil end and the wire. You should be just fine then. the best grease to use is 'dielectric' grease but wheel bearing or white lythium even margerine will work.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009


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1 Answer

1997 C180 no spark on two centre cylinders

I assume you have already checked your spark plugs to make sure they are properly gapped and are not worn or broken.

If your engine has a mechanical distributor, you probably need a new distributor cap and rotor, or at least you need to clean the high-voltage contacts. It's also possible you have bad spark plug cables. If you have an ohmmeter (one of the functions of a digital multimeter), remove one of the cables and check the resistance. If it's a wire cable, it should be no more than a couple of ohms. If it's a resistive (radio interference suppression) cable, it should not be more than a couple of thousand ohms (compare with a known good cable such as one going to another cylinder). If the cable reads very high resistance, is open, or you can't get a consistent reading, I recommend changing the entire set of cables - if two have gone bad, the rest are probably also approaching failure.

If you have separate coils for pairs of cylinders instead of a distributor, the coil feeding those two cylinders may be bad. You can test the coil secondary by reading resistance from the spark plug cable terminal to ground and comparing this to the other coils. If the ohmmeter test doesn't show anything significantly different between the good ignition circuits and the bad ones, or you don't have an ohmmeter, continue to the steps in the next paragraph. Note 1: prolonged engine operation with bad spark plugs can damage the coil. Note 2: on engines with multiple coil packs, an ignition module failure can prevent one of the coils from working, but usually the engine computer diagnostic system can identify this specific problem.

If you don't have an ohmmeter, it's more difficult to identify the problem. Try parking the car in a very dark place, open the hood, then start the engine. Turn off all artificial lights and watch the engine to see if there any visible sparks or corona discharge (the air near the part has a faint purple-blue glow) around the high voltage components. A spark from a cable indicates the cable has bad insulation. A spark or corona around the coil indicates a bad coil (broken-down insulation).

If you still haven't found the bad parts, try swapping spark plugs and cables (be careful not to mix up the firing order!) to see if the problem moves to a different cylinder, or if your time is more valuable than your money, replace the plugs and cables (and distributor cap/rotor, if your engine has them).

May 12, 2014 | 2002 Mercedes-Benz C180

1 Answer

What are the signs of a bad pickup coil?

A bad pickup coil in the distibutor will generally fail at extreme tempuratures(mostly hot).It can cause backfiring,missing, and crank but no start.I have also seen the reluctor(on the distibutor shaft)cause similar issues(but usually not affected by temperature).You might see the same problems from a bad ignition coil as well.Try the cheapest part first,but if you do both and still no change,the reluctor is replaceable by a average mechanically enclined person.Just be sure to mark the rotor position on the distributor,and mark the position of the distributor on a stationary object(like the intake manifold)before you remove it.This will help to get it back in with the timing "in the ballpark".

Jun 02, 2012 | 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity

1 Answer

New spark plugs, new spark plug wires, new distibutor, new distibutor cap, new coil, new coil wire still not getting any spark why?

I know you list a new distributor, but the pick up coil (inside the distributor) is what will trigger the coil for spark. Located under the rotor, it needs to be checked at the harness for voltage (key on) and measure resistance in the PU coil itself using an ohm meter. Check the harness for breaks or damage, there really is nothing else that might cause this unless you have a complete failure in your engine computer (located next to the battery).

Oct 04, 2011 | 1987 Plymouth Sundance

2 Answers

I have a 1998 durango, I have no spark from disturbtor but have spark from coil

Replace the distributor cap and rotor. If you have fire from the coil but not from the distributor cap, you have a bad contact point between the cap and rotor. Replace both and you should be good to go,, if the information that you have supplied is correct.

Aug 21, 2011 | 1998 Dodge Durango

1 Answer

Changing pickup coil

You have to remove the distributor from the engine then remove the distributor shaft from the distibutor housing, then you can remove & replace the pickup coil. Make sure you marke the exact location of the distributor body in relation to the intake manifold and note exactly where the rotor is pointing in relation to the distributor cap. I always set the timing marks on the front pulley at zero and make sure that the rotor is pointing at the #1 plug wire terminal on the cap before removing any distributor as it makes getting it in time easier if you lose your marks. You should reset the ignition timing when you have it all back together again as you'll most likely be off a few degrees. Some of these distributors had problems with the magnets in the distibutor shaft that would mimic a failing pickup coil and they were prone to drive gear wear. If you suspect any of those problems it's often easier to replace the entire distibutor with a reman unit.

Jun 08, 2010 | 1998 Chevrolet C1500

1 Answer

How do i change the distibutor on a 5.0 on a 96 k-1500

Please don't forget to rate....thanks!!

Removal & Installation
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Tag and remove the spark plug wires and the coil leads from the distributor.
  3. Unplug the electrical connector at the base of the distributor.

Mark the distributor and tag the spark plug wires

A distributor wrench can be used to loosen hold-down bolt

  1. Loosen the distributor cap fasteners and remove the cap.
  2. Using a marker, matchmark the rotor-to-housing and housing-to-engine block positions so that they can be matched during installation.
  3. Loosen and remove the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp.
  4. Remove the distributor from the engine.

Remove the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp

Be sure to mark the distributor position before removing it

May 11, 2010 | 1996 Chevrolet K1500

3 Answers

Where is the ignition coil located?

For test:
  1. Follow the coil wire from the center terminal on the distributor cap to the end at the ignition coil. Make sure that the transmission is in Park (AT) or Neutral (MT) and that the ignition is turned OFF .
  2. Separate the wiring harness connector from the ignition module at the distributor. Inspect for dirt, corrosion and/or damage. Reconnect the harness if no problems are found.
  3. Attach a 12 volt DC test light between the coil TACH terminal and an engine ground, then crank the engine. If the light flashes or is continuous:
    1. Turn the ignition switch OFF .
    2. Detach the ignition coil connector on top of the coil and inspect for dirt, corrosion and/or damage.
    3. Using an ohmmeter, measure the ignition coil primary resistance from the BATT to the TACH terminals.
    4. The ohmmeter reading should be 0.8-1.6 ohms. If the reading is less than 0.8 ohms or greater than 1.6 ohms, the ignition coil should be replaced.
    5. Using an ohmmeter, measure the ignition coil secondary resistance from the BATT terminal to the high voltage terminal.
    6. The resistance should be 7,700-10,500 ohms. If the resistance is less that 7,700 ohms or greater than 10,500 ohms, replace the ignition coil.
For Removal:
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Detach the coil electrical connector(s).
  3. Unfasten the retainers, then remove the ignition coil from the vehicle.
  4. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.

Hope helped with this.

Nov 11, 2009 | 1990 Mercury Cougar

1 Answer

Van will not start I have fuel pressure and when cranking it builds oil pressure where do i go from here

Check for spark at the spark plugs. If no spark, remove distributor cap and inspect the inside of the cap and the rotor for obvious signs of wear or damage. Check for spark at the coil wire by removing the coil wire from the center of the distibutor cap, and, holding the end of it close to the engine block, have someone crank the engine. There should be a very strong spark. If there was spark at the coil but not at the plugs, replace the distributor cap and rotor. If there is no spark at the coil, you either have no power or ground at the coil, or the coil is bad. With the ignition ON, there should be 12v at the red wire for the ignition coil. if not, check the fuses. Check for the pulsing ground signal of the ignition coil at the other wire ( I think a white wire) using a test light clipped to battery + while the engine is being cranked. If there is no light, the problem is likely the ignition module or pick-up coil, which is located in the distributor. Make sure that the wiring and connections are in good shape for these items before condemning them.
Pick-up coil should have about 1500 ω of resistance.
Good Luck

Sep 30, 2009 | 2003 GMC Safari

1 Answer

There is no spark. replaced distributor (coil) cap and rotor

You may have to check loose cables or wiring. Inspect the ignition coil, it should be in series with the distributor.

Aug 20, 2009 | 2001 Nissan Altima

1 Answer

Cr anks won't start when wet out

The ignition coil wis defective, possible crack in the coil case. When it is wet, the coil case becomes wet, and the electricity shorts (arcs) to the coil frame. Hence, no electricity will flow into the distributor, or plugs, etc... When it is dry, it is harder for it to short to ground, so the cracked coil will work (somewhat). To check for this, try the following when it won't start. Lift your engine cover off and locate the coil. Make sure the wire (coil to the distributor) is firmly connected at both ends. Turn the key and watch the coil. If you see blue-white electrical arcing, you have a bad coil.

Dec 29, 2008 | 1995 Lincoln Town Car

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