Checking Ignition Coil Polarity

You can test for correct polarity of the ignition coil by using a voltmeter. Connect the negative lead to the (-) negative terminal and the positive lead to the engine block.


Volt MeterSet the meter on the highest volt range (these connections are the same whether you have a positive ground or negative ground electrical system). The secondary winding's polarity, which you are testing, is determined by the combined hookup of the battery and primary windings.


Crank the engine over (do not start it) and the needle of the voltmeter should show an upward swing to the plus or positive side (do not worry about taking a reading). If volt the needle swings down to the negative side and gives a negative reading, your coil is hooked up backwards. To correct the polarity, simply reverse coil primary leads.


A coil with reversed polarity will have about a twenty percent lower output which may not show up at idle and low rpms, but can cause an engine to miss or stumble under load and at higher engine rpms.

Fifth Avenue Facts

  37 miles per hour is the speed at which bugs begin sticking to the windshield instead of glancing off.