How to Test the Coil on Plug Ignition Coil (Honda 3.0L)

If you've been wondering how to test the Coil-on-Plug ignition coils on your Honda Accord or Honda Odyssey (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 -3.0L V6) to see if one or several are BAD and are causing a misfire... this is the article for you.

As is the custom here at, the tests steps are explained in detail and the diagnostic/troubleshooting is accomplish in several easy steps.

This info applies to the 00-03 Honda Accord or Honda Odyssey with the 3.0L 6 cylinder engine. There are other Honda ignition system test articles that you can peruse by clicking here: Index of Honda Ignition Control Module Tests. If you need to read a primer on how to test Coil-on-Plug ignition coils that are not covered by this article, read: Testing and Troubleshooting 3 Wire COP ignition coils.

Common Symptoms of a BAD Coil-on-Plug Ignition Coil

This is not the most definitive list on the subject, but does cover the majority of symptoms I've seen on this type of ignition system:

  1. Misfire codes that light up the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT (CEL) on your instrument cluster.
  2. Engine misfire that DOES NOT light up the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT (CEL).
  3. Smell of unburned gasoline coming out of the tailpipe.
  4. Rotten egg smell coming out of the tailpipe. This is due to the unburned gasoline from the misfiring cylinder over loading the catalytic converter.
  5. Really BAD gas mileage.
  6. Lack of power as you accelerate the vehicle down the road.

What Tools Do I Need?

A Scan Tool (Automotive Diagnostics Scanner) is not needed. Even if you suspect a misfire, you don't need a scan tool to find out which cylinder is the one that is misfiring. You can perform the cylinder balance test yourself on your Honda Accord or Honda Odyssey, Test 1 will help you with this. You'll need:

  1. An HEI spark tester.
  2. Battery jump start cables.
  3. A digital multimeter.
    1. This multimeter must be able to read Hertz frequency.
  4. A helper.
    1. You'll need someone to help you crank the engine while you perform the tests in the engine compartment.
  5. A repair manual.
    1. For whatever remove and replace info you'll need that is not covered by this article.

Circuit Descriptions of the C-O-P Ignition Coil Connector

How to Test the Coil on Plug Ignition Coil (Honda 3.0L)

OK, to test the Coil-on-Plug ignition coils on your Honda Accord (Odyssey), you need to know what each wire (circuit) does in the connector. Here are the Circuit descriptions:

  1. Circuit labeled 1:
    1. Power (12 V) Circuit.
  2. Circuit labeled 2:
    1. Ground Circuit.
  3. Circuit labeled 3:
    1. Trigger Signal Circuit.

The above circuit descriptions are shared by all of the six Coil-on-Plug ignition coils on your Honda Accord (or Odyssey). So, whether you're testing the number 1 cylinder ignition coil or the number 4 cylinder ignition coil (or whichever ignition coil)... the above info applies.

To test these circuits, it's not necessary to unplug the ignition coil's connector therefore, I recommend testing for each Signal with the connector connected. Also, using a wire-piercing probe is the most effective and easy way of getting to the signal. If you need to see what this tool looks like, click here: Wire-Piercing Probe.