TEST 7: Testing The Igniter's Activation Signal

Testing The Igniter For The Triggering Signal. How To Test The Ignition System (1995, 1996, 1997 2.7L V6 Honda Accord)

The igniter (ignition control module) only activates the ignition coil when it receives its own activation signal from your 2.7L V6 Honda Accord's fuel injection computer.

So in this test, you're gonna' check to see if the fuel injection computer is generating and sending an activation signal to the igniter.

The test you're about to do is accomplished with an LED light. You can not use a 12 Volt test light to verify the presence of the igniter's activation signal.

You can use a multimeter that is able to read Hertz (Hz) frequency, since the signal has to be measured in Hertz. The following test assumes that you're using an LED light.

youtube video You can see this specific test step done here in this YouTube video (although it involves a 2.0L Honda CR-V, the test steps are very similar): How To Test The Ignition Coil (1999-2001 2.0L Honda CR-V).

IMPORTANT: This test must be done with the distributor and the ignition coil connected to their electrical connectors.

Let's get started:

  1. 1

    With an appropriate tool (like a wire-piercing probe) pierce the yellow with green stripe (YEL/GRN) wire of the 3 wire distributor connector.

    NOTE: This test is done with both connectors connected.

  2. 2

    Connect the red lead of the LED to the battery positive (+) terminal.

  3. 3

    Connect the black lead of the LED to the tool that's piercing the YEL/GRN wire.

  4. 4

    Have your assistant crank the engine while you observe the LED light.

  5. 5

    The LED light should flash ON and OFF continuously as long as your assistant cranks the engine.

Let's examine your LED light test result:

CASE 1: The LED light flashed ON and OFF while the engine was cranking. This is the correct test result and it confirms that the fuel injection computer is generating and sending the igniter (ignition control module) an activation signal.

You can correctly conclude that the igniter is bad, and needs to be replaced if you have:

  • Confirmed that none of the spark plug wires are sparking (TEST 1).
  • Confirmed that no spark is coming out of the ignition coil's high tension wire (TEST 3).
  • Confirmed that no spark is coming out of the ignition coil's tower (TEST 4).
  • Confirmed that the ignition coil and igniter are getting power (TEST 5).
  • Confirmed that the ignition coil IS NOT getting its activation signal (TEST 6).
  • Confirmed, in this test section, that the igniter is getting its activation signal.

CASE 2: The LED light DID NOT flash ON and OFF while the engine was cranking. Without an activation signal from the fuel injection computer, the igniter will not activate the ignition coil.

The most likely cause of this missing igniter activation signal is a failure of one of the crankshaft position sensors that the fuel injection computer needs to activate the igniter.

Although testing the crankshaft position sensors is beyond the scope of this tutorial, you have now eliminated the following as the causes of your Honda Accord's 'no-spark no-start' problem:

  1. Igniter (ignition control module).
  2. Ignition coil.
  3. Distributor cap and rotor.
  4. Spark plug wires.
  5. Main relay.

More 2.7L V6 Honda Accord Tutorials

You can find a complete list of 2.7L V6 Honda Accord tutorials in this index:

Here's a small sample of the tutorials you'll find in the index:

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Honda Vehicles:

  • Accord 2.7L V6
    • 1995,