Mazda 323/MX-3/626/MX-6/Millenia/Protégé 1990-1998 and Ford Probe 1993-1997

Diagnosis and Testing

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Before beginning any diagnosis and testing procedures, visually inspect the components of the ignition system and check for a possible discharged battery, damaged or loose electrical connections, blown fuses or damaged vacuum hoses. Also inspect the rotor and distributor cap for excessive wear, the spark plugs for damage and make sure that the distributor cap, rotor and spark plug wires are properly seated. Check the spark plug wires and boots for signs of poor insulation that could cause cross firing. Turn all accessories off during diagnosis and testing. Make sure the idle speed is within specification.

IGNITION COIL SPARK TEST



See Figure 1

This test is only possible with engines using an external coil.

  1. Disconnect the distributor lead wire from the distributor.
  2.  
  3. Hold the distributor lead wire with insulated pliers approximately 0.20-0.39 in. (5-10mm) from a ground.
  4.  
  5. While holding the wire in position, crank the engine.
  6.  
  7. A strong blue spark should be seen. If there is no spark, the ignition coil or pickup coil may be bad.
  8.  
  9. Replace the pickup coil or the ignition coil and test again.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: To perform a spark test, hold the coil or spark plug wire 0.20-0.39 in. (5-10mm) from a ground and observe the spark

DISTRIBUTOR SPARK TEST



See Figure 1

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wires from each spark plug.
  2.  
  3. Hold the end of the spark plug wire with insulated pliers 0.20-0.39 in. (5-10mm) from a ground. A spark tester may be connected to the plug wire end.
  4.  
  5. While holding the wire in position, crank the engine.
  6.  
  7. A strong blue spark should be seen. If there is no spark, the plug wires (refer to General Information & Maintenance ) and the distributor and/or coil should be checked.
  8.  

 
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