How to Test a Pickup Coil with a Multimeter

Test a Pickup Coil with Multimeter

When you notice that your pickup coil is damaged, you should test it with the multimeter. Many people are concerned about “how to test a pickup coil with a multimeter,” so this article includes the simple steps for testing the pickup coil with the multimeter that will prove most helpful.

The pickup coil is the most impotent component in the functioning of the engine of the car. But when it becomes faulty or not working correctly, it may result in several problems.

The pickup coil is the coil that gives no response to the magnetic field but the change in the magnetic flux through its ends. This type of coil is known as a pickup coil. The pickup coil must have the resistance of either of the coil ranging from 350 to 700Ω. Testing the pickup coil with the help of a multimeter is a good start.

How to Test a Pickup Coil with a Multimeter

You can perform the incline spark test to ensure that the coil is firing correctly. The primary winding wire is made up of copper wire, which is thick, about 0.6 to 0.9mm. It is wounded over the secondary wire. The ohmic resistance on the primary side is about 0.2 t 0.3 Ω. And the ohmic resistance at the secondary side is about 5-20kΩ.

If the new pickup coil is defective, the primary circuit has a crack sensor and lousy wire. It would help to look for the blue spark within the spark plug gap when the engine is terrible. If you see the blue spark, it simply means that the engine is working correctly, but if you don’t see the blue spark or the orange spark, it is a sign that the ignition coil is faulty.

In the case of a bad pickup coil, the following signs appear:

  • You should check for the illuminated engine light. The damaged engine is enough in modern vehicles to illuminate the engine light.
  • When the ignition coil is not working correctly or is faulty, it will cause the engine to fire
  • The pickup coil is terrible if you face a complex start problem
  • If the power is decreasing
  • Exaggeration of power millage
  • If sudden backfires appear

Importance of the Pickup Coil

in the modern engine system, the pickup coil is one of the most critical components. Every car nowadays includes the ignition coil as part of the ignition secondary ignition system.

The ignition coil is made with electromagnetic induction to provide the twelve volts to the car when a thousand volts are required to generate the spark, so it has enough power to jump through the gap in the spark plug. The number of pickup coils in the vehicle depends upon the manufacturer’s design. Some cars contain an ignition coil, and some include only one.

Test a Pickup Coil with a Multimeter

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to test a pickup coil with a multimeter:

Step 1

First, test the primary ignition coil of the circuit. The ignition coil contains two circuits that must check the primary and secondary ignition circuits.

After observing these two, you should connect the multimeter with the positive and negative sides of the ignition coil. Some of the coils already mark the positive and negative terminals. If it displays the reading zero, it simply means that your ignition has internal defects and requires to be replaced.

Step 2

You should find the appropriate reading of the ignition coil while it is available in the manufacturer’s manual.

Step 3

You should disconnect the wire from the ignition coil using the hand tool. It is relatively easy because it does not need more energy.

Step 4

The pickup is located mainly on the right side of your car’s engine. Often it is locked by using hand tools to spark up the plugs. And it would help if you mounted it up on the top of your engine.

Step 5

It would help if you connected the multimeter probes with the positive terminal of your coil and the high output side, which is in contact with the spark plug.

Step 6 the ignition coil is of the pickup’s resistance ranging from 6000Ω to 10,000Ω. It is suggested to check the same range from the manual when you are not sure about the range of resistance. If the multimeter displays zero reading, the ignition coils are damaged or have a short circuit. And it would help if you had to replace it to function correctly.

Step 6

When you see that the connectors are crusty, you should clean them. You can use a small wire or a brush to clean the connectors carefully. The rusty connector might give you the wrong reading. The connector is the essential component when determining if the ignition coil is in the condition or not.

Step 7

When you have tested the ignition coil, you should replace them which are not functioning correctly and replace them with the others which are working properly. When you have done the replacement process, you should connect all of the electrical sources you removed while testing the ignition coil.


The pickup coil plays an essential role in the functioning of the car’s engine. With the help of a multimeter, you can diagnose the unwanted noise ar for determining the pickup’s performance. Through reading this article, you will be able to know if the pickup coils require any replacement or not.

This knowledge also is helpful for you to avoid accidents while you are driving on the road. After testing, you should recheck to ensure that you have made a good correction. Rechecking will help you in preventing mistakes. It is for your safety and gives you peace of mind.

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