Question about 1995 Cadillac DeVille

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Hi, 94 seville, no spark, how do I check crank and cam sensors? coil pack? ignition control module? I am trying to determine why no spark. Any help in explaining how to check these items would be great. Any ideas as to what else could cause no spark on this car would also be extremly helpful, Thank you

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Crank engine with distributor cap removed, is it turning?
(That is if it has a distributor cap, some newer cars don’t have one)is it turning?
Broken timing belt or chain?

Are you getting power to the + positive side of the coil (small wires) with key on ? Hint; I use a needle pushed into the back of the plug so as not to damage the wiring.
If you have power then wiring from the ignition switch is OK. It usually is.
Hook your test light to the - negative side of the coil (one end on the - terminal and the other end on a ground). You should have power on the - side of the coil with the key on and engine off.
Crank the engine while watching the test light. Get a flashing signal at the test light when cranking?
If so and you have no spark the coil is likely dead.(don’t rely merely on resistance tests for a coil, a weak coil can test ok for resistance but still give no spark.It happens but is unusual. I learned this the hard way!)
No flashing signal?
Check continuity in all primary circuit wiring for opens.
If they are good,
It is time to check the pulse generator in the distributor. (That is if it has a distributor cap, some newer cars don’t have one, if it doesn’t then the ECM or computer sends signal via the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor)
With the engine in non-running condition connect your A/C voltmeter to the pair of wires at the pulse generator and crank the engine. You are looking for an A/C signal that makes 4-6 volts of A/C. Got this? If so the ignition module is dead or has a bad ground. If not (more likely) you have a dead pulse generator in the distributor.
If you have three wires in the distributor signal wire you have a Hall effect sensor. I forget how to test that one. (Chrysler stuff)


If this part of the primary ignition tests ok then check wiring to ECM pinouts for opens.Wiring tests ok.ECM as last resort.
Hope this helps...........

Posted on Oct 03, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Often it is the crank sensor (CKP sensor)-The pcm must have this information from the crank sensor to determine spark timing. If no good signal from the crank sensor, there will be no spark.

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Check gas and spark. Check if fuel pump is still working. Do you have fuel pressure? Or can you check the fuel pressure? With key on, the pump should have put fuel under pressure in the lines and up to the injectors.
Check ignition system by checking for spark at one of the spark plug wires, with the engine cranking over. You need to see a blue, snapping spark to know the ignition system is good. If no spark on one wire, check another or all of them. If no spark, and no trouble codes-could be a bad crank position sensor. This sensor helps the computer calculate the timing of the spark, the main sensor the computer uses to signal for spark. It signals to the ignition control module (which controls the coils and the primary current to the coils ((the coils-where high voltage is created to cause spark at the plug)) ). So no spark? Could be a bad crank sensor...or a bad ignition control module...
If you have a single coil and not a coil pack, you might want to test that coil, but if shut down while driving, sounds like computer related, so check ignition controls: that would be crank sensor or ignition control module, or in worst case a bad PCM.

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  1. Note: Electronic Ignition engine timing is entirely controlled by the PCM. Electronic Ignition engine timing is NOT adjustable. Do not attempt to check base timing. You will receive false readings.

The CKP sensor is used to indicate crankshaft position and speed by sensing a missing tooth on a pulse wheel mounted to the crankshaft. The CMP sensor is used by the COP Integrated EI System to identify top dead center of compression of cylinder 1 to synchronize the firing of the individual coils.
  1. The PCM uses the CKP signal to calculate a spark target and then fires the coil pack(s) to that target shown in Figure 51. The PCM uses the CMP sensor not shown in Figure 51 on COP Integrated EI Systems to identify top dead center of compression of cylinder 1 to synchronize the firing of the individual coils.
  1. The coils and coil packs receive their signal from the PCM to fire at a calculated spark target. Each coil within the pack fires two spark plugs at the same time. The plugs are paired so that as one fires during the compression stroke the other fires during the exhaust stroke. The next time the coil is fired the situation is reversed. The COP system fires only one spark plug per coil and only on the compression stroke.

    The PCM acts as an electronic switch to ground in the coil primary circuit. When the switch is closed, battery positive voltage (B+) applied to the coil primary circuit builds a magnetic field around the primary coil. When the switch opens, the power is interrupted and the primary field collapses inducing the high voltage in the secondary coil windings and the spark plug is fired. A kickback voltage spike occurs when the primary field collapses. The PCM uses this voltage spike to generate an Ignition Diagnostic Monitor (IDM) signal. IDM communicates information by pulsewidth modulation in the PCM.
  1. The PCM processes the CKP signal and uses it to drive the tachometer as the Clean Tach Out (CTO) signal.

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The ignition system consists of an ignition coil, spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The crankshaft position sensor signal is the basis for ignition timing calculations. The alternating voltage signal from the crankshaft position sensor is digitized by a pulse former within the powertrain control module. This digitized signal is then used to position the closing time of the primary circuit of the ignition coil.
Ignition timing is determined by the powertrain control module in response to engine operating conditions based on stored data tables or maps. Once ignition timing has been determined, the powertrain control module interrupts the current to the primary circuit of the ignition coil thus triggering the ignition spark which is supplied to the cylinders through the spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The ignition coils are triggered by the powertrain control module in pairs (cylinders 1 and 5, cylinders 4 and 3 and cylinders 2 and 6) sending one ignition spark to the firing cylinder and one ignition spark to the corresponding cylinder on the exhaust stroke. This ensures that any unburnt fuel residues remaining in the cylinder on the exhaust stroke are re - ignited to provide cleaner exhaust emissions.
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The ignition system consists of an ignition coil, spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The crankshaft position sensor signal is the basis for ignition timing calculations. The alternating voltage signal from the crankshaft position sensor is digitized by the powertrain control module. This digitized signal is then used to position the closing time of the primary circuit of the ignition coil.
Ignition angle is determined by the powertrain control module in response to engine operating conditions. Once ignition angle has been determined, the powertrain control module interrupts the current to the primary circuit of the ignition coil thus triggering the ignition spark which is supplied to the cylinders through the spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The ignition coils are triggered by the powertrain control module in pairs (cylinders 1 and 4 and cylinders 3 and 2) sending one ignition spark to the firing cylinder and one ignition spark to the corresponding cylinder on the exhaust stroke. This make sures that any unburnt fuel residues remaining in the cylinder on the exhaust stroke are re - ignited to provide cleaner exhaust emissions.
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Integrated Electronic Ignition System The Integrated Electronic Ignition (EI) System consists of a crankshaft position (CKP) sensor, coil pack(s), connecting wiring, and PCM. The Coil On Plug (COP) Integrated EI System uses a separate coil for each spark plug and each coil is mounted directly onto the plug. The COP Integrated EI System eliminates the need for spark plug wires but does require input from the camshaft position (CMP) sensor.
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