Using an Oscilloscope for Ignition Diagnosis

Using an Oscilloscope for Ignition Diagnosis

Use an oscilloscope for an efficient diagnosis.

CC:

If you’re not using an oscilloscope for ignition diagnosis, you’re missing out on something that is just really cool.

You can follow the entire ignition waveform from where the current begins to flow on the primary side and saturates the coil, all the way through the secondary to after the spark when the remaining energy in the coil dissipates and the entire ignition cycle starts all over again.

The best part is what you can see in these waveforms. The ignition system of course, is just electricity, so when you think about it, it’s really just about voltage, resistance and current flow.

Resistance can be caused by the same things we are used to in any electrical circuit such as corrosion or a broken wire, but inside the cylinder, the factors that affect resistance are spark plug gap, compression, ignition timing, a fouled spark plug and even air/fuel mixture.

By analyzing these waveforms, you will get a ton of information about the ignition system outside the cylinder, and the combustion process inside.

The more you use an oscilloscope for this purpose, the more efficient you will get at diagnosis.

It’s just good stuff. That’s all there is to it.

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