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How to Troubleshoot the Ignition System in a Mitsubishi Eclipse

by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Insulated pliers

  • Ohmmeter

How to Troubleshoot the Ignition System in a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Checking a Mitsubishi Eclipse for ignition system problems mainly involves testing the resistance on the ignition coils (although there are other tests you can perform first if it's a distributor system). The way in which you test these coils varies depending on the type of ignition system and the size of the engine.

Primary Tests in a Distributor System

Secure the Eclipse by putting the gear shift in "Park" and applying the emergency brake.

Perform the cylinder drop test with the engine idling. Remove a spark plug with insulated pliers for a few seconds. Inspect the plug and wire if the removal doesn't cause a drop in engine performance. Shut off the engine after all plugs are tested.

Test the spark plug wires with the secondary spark test. Connect a spark tester to the disconnected wire, ground the tester to something metal and crank the engine. The wire is good if a strong blue spark appears.

Distributor Coil Test

Unplug the electrical connector and measure the resistance between the two terminals with an ohmmeter. For 2.0L and 3.0L engines this is done at the coil. Probe the terminals at the distributor for other engines.

Measure the resistance between the secondary ignition coil terminal on the distributor cap and terminal 1 or 2 of the distributor connector.

Compare the measured resistance to the required specifications for your Eclipse's engine (refer to the Tips for the list). Replace any coils that don't meet the requirements.

Distributorless Coil Test

Unplug the Eclipse's negative battery cable. Disconnect the electrical connector from the coil pack.

Use an ohmmeter to check the resistance between the coil pack's terminals. On a 3.0L engine, measure between terminals 2-3 on Coil A, 1-3 on Coil B and 4-3 on Coil C.

Check the measured resistance with the required primary resistance. It should be between 0.74 to 0.90 ohms on a 2.4L engine and 0.67 to 0.81 ohms on a 3.0L engine.

Disconnect the spark plug wires from the coil on a 2.4L engine. Tag the wire so you'll know where to reconnect them. Measure the secondary resistance between each individual coil's towers, which should be 20.1 to 27.3 kilo-ohms.

Probe the following coil pack cylinder terminals on a 3.0L engine: Terminals 1-4 for Coil A, 2-5 on Coil B and 3-6 for Coil C. The secondary resistance on each should be 11.3 to 15.3 kilo-ohms.

Tips

The desired primary resistance is 0.5 to 0.7 ohms on a 3.5L engine, 0.72 to 0.88 ohms on a 3.0L and 0.9 to 1.2 ohms on the others. Secondary resistance should be 9 to 13 kilo-ohms on the 3.5L, 10.29 to 13.92 kilo-ohms on a 3.0L and 20 to 29 kilo-ohms on the rest. A 3.5L engine has more than two terminals at the distributor. Use terminals 1 and 2 when measuring.

Warnings

Don't touch any metal part of the vehicle while testing the spark plugs and wires. The secondary voltage can shock you.

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