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transman, automotive instructor
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4078
Experience:  28 years exp,complete autmotive diagnostics and repair
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Olds: Ciera..leaking..has power to the coil,but no fire at dist

Customer Question

I have a Olds Ciera 2.8 ['86] that had leaking intake gasket,had water in oil. I run it in the shop and replaced the intake gaskets now it won't start.It has power to the coil,but no fire at dist. Replaced dist. with used one still no fire.What makes coil fire?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.

is this a carburetor engine or fuel injected?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Fuel injection
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
ok, this engine has a cam and a crank sensor that controls the negative side (trigger side) of the coil and fuel injectors. if no spark from the coil it may be an indication of cam signal sensor failure, looking at this picture to identify location of the sensors see if you can check them and make sure they are connected good.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What picture? Where is cam sensor? Where is crank sensor? Are they in dist.?I looked for them today and could't find them.
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.

LH Side Of VIN B Engine

LH Side Of Engine, Below Water Pump


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My motor must be older,I don't think there are any sensors located there, is it possible that my car is older?
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.

the production may be older let me look. gibe me 3 minutes.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have 4 wires going into coil ,2 blacks that go to temp. sender . one power and white one hooked to tack filter.
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
ok, is the coil in the top of the distribuitor or is it in the side away from the distribuitor.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Side away from dist.
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
ok, this vehicle came with a electronic spark module only, no cam and no cranck to simplify the system they install a distribuitor , the ESM, or electronic spark control module gets the signal from the pick up coil inside the distribuitorand the esm amplify the spark for the spark plugs to fire at a very hi voltage but the est module you have is shorted and its preventing spark delivery, check all the conectors from the distribuitor, because this will causea problem like this .and if ok then replace the spark control module , there are 2 posible causes the distribuitor or the spark module but the distribuitor was allready replace ,so that leaves the module.
transman and 7 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.


I;m still the same problem with the '86 Olds Ciera 2.8. I changed dist. again today, no difference.With ign on i only have power to the ,i think, black & pink wire at coil.No power at any wires on dist.If I probe white wire at coil i get reading .If car has theft deterant, could that be problem ? Are there any hidden fuses?

Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
hi, can you check for power to the distribuitor but with a voltmeter a test light can damage the computer this wires carry low voltage, look for 5volts powers let me know?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No power at dist. power at coil is battery voltage
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Back online
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
ok the power to the distribuitor comes from the ecm and is 5 volts, check the conectors at the ecm and make sure they are good.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I will check tomorrow, may be getting back to you .

Gary Dexter Winfield, ks


Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
here is the wire schematic of the engi ignition system and if you see the ecm controls the spark module or electronic est distribuitor . the coil is fead battery power from the ignition and the ground side is control by the computer also
Computer Command Control Wiring Circuit (Service Engine Soon Lamp & Ignition System) VIN X


Customer: replied 6 years ago.


Still haven't got the Olds to start, but I think the tach filter, what ever they call it, is the problem.I disconected the coil and left power hooked up and strike the - side to ground and coil will fire. If I ground coil with tach filter connected to coil, no fire. I ordered a new part[12048976 wire]. Do you think it will start with the new part?

Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
the ground comes from the computer and i suspect the computer is the problem you are going to need one go ahaead and order thaat part you mension that is the noise supresor only what happins is that you ground the negative side of the coil and the coil will relis its hi stored voltage ye that is what the computer is supost to do but it will pulse the ground a little faster then you are doing, and its source of the signal is the distribuito , but the distribuitor is working sending the signal to the computer but the computer is not transelating the message back to the coil because the computer is at fault. you are going to need a computer. sorry.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I installed a different computer today and didn't change anything.

Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.
was this a remanufactured computer and was it reprogram or was it a junk yard computer?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It came from a salvage yard,very same numbers.
Expert:  transman replied 6 years ago.

ok, then let get your self a voltmeter lest check the wires from the computer to the coil as shown on this schematic they are 4 wires ,if you look at the electronic spark module (this is the distribuito) there are 4 wires coming out of the distribuitor and the colors are #1 purple with a white line, #2black and red tracer,#3white,#4tan and black. can you mach this colors to the distribuitor wires?

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