How to Test a VW Coil Pack with a Multimeter

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In your car, the VW coil pack converts 12 volts of energy from your battery into a thousand volts required to intensify the cars’ spark plug. It acts as an induction; hence it is appropriate you place a maximum voltage transformer.

Even though they are usually reliable as well as sturdy, as time goes by, they are likely to get damaged due to constant exposure to vibrations, excess heat, and poor insulation. Eventually, this will lead to the coil getting destroyed as time passes.

So, how does a VW coil pack work? Well, the spark plug generates parks enhancing the fire to start from a maximum voltage supply. When the burning process commences, the VW coil pack creates up the power between 50,000-75,000 volts.

Subsequently, the ignition control usually receives its signal from the electronic control module resulting in voltage discharge to your spark plug from the VW coil pack through the cable of the spark plug. However, during the transmission, the spark jumps highly from the gap of the spark plug to its ground. It causes the fuel-air to explode in your cylinder boardroom.

How do you know whether your VW coil pack has a problem or not?

In case your coil pack is in bad shape, it is prone to causing misfiring. This is more evident when you experience loss of sparks or fire in your cylinders. Below are several symptoms of a damaged VW coil pack; it includes:

  • Insufficient power supply.
  • Excess emission of smoke through the exhaust pipe.
  • A noisy engine.
  • A vital drop in RPMs during acceleration.

Therefore, with those particular signs, you need to run a test on your machines VW coil pack to know precisely what is wrong and also for assurance that it is either in good or bad shape. Running this test is not as difficult as you might have thought; and one of the most essential tools you need to have is the multimeter, which guarantees you easy and effective testing.

This is especially when you are running a test to determine continuity. Make sure you set your meter well to meet the reading value of your VW coil pack. To do this appropriately, you can either research online or refer to your manufacturers’ manual script.

Equipment needed for conduction of VW coil pack includes:

Below are several steps that will guide you on how to run a test on your VW coil using a multimeter. 

Step 1: Research

Do specification research to enable you to identify the correct resistance reading value for your vehicle. This particular specification is always indicated on your vehicle’s manufacturer manual script, or you can obtain the resistance value through your multimeter and observe the reading value displayed on its screen.

Step 2: Find the coil pack

Make sure you locate the VW coil pack in your car. It is usually located precisely on the engine, right on your spark plug, or remotely placed on the engine. In case there is any plastic covering on your VW coil pack, it is recommended that you take it out gently to locate it without causing any form of distractions.

Step 3: Disconnect it

Disconnect your VW coil pack wire harness and this you can achieve when you make use of hand tools. However, the VW coil pack is easy to remove since they are always tightened with either 1 or 2 bolts.

Step 4: Test the circuits

Examine your coil packs’ primary circuit ignition. You need to note that the Vcoil pack has two major circuits that need to be examined. This comprise of the;

  • The primary ignition circuit
  • The secondary ignition circuit

Locate the negative as well as the positive terminal of your VW coil pack and connect on both the negative and the positive leads of your multimeter. You might be lucky and find that the negative and positive terminals are placed in symbols on your coil pack but others do not come with the markings but instead have the two pins found on your connector.

The primary coil resistance should range between 0.4-2 ohms, but make sure you refer to your manufacturers’ manual script to confirm this. However, if the reading displayed on your multimeter screen is zero, then consider your VW coil pack electrocuted internally, and the same for the primary windings, meaning you need to replaced them. 

Step 5: Look at the secondary circuit

Examine your coil packs’ secondary ignition circuit. Make sure you connect on the positive terminal of your VW coil pack you connect your meter and also on the maximum output pin that connects to your spark plug. The secondary coils pack resistance should fall in between 6,000-10,000 ohms, and as mentioned earlier, always make sure you refer to your manual script.

If the reading displayed is zero, it also means your VW coil pack is electrocuted and needs to be replaced to function correctly. In case the reading value is exceeded, then it means your coil pack is open, and it also requires a replacement.

Step 6: Repeat steps

Redo the steps as indicated, especially step 4, as well as 5. Examine every coil pack while still in its case with cars usually having a variety of them. As you perform this examination, make sure you do it carefully and accurately to avoid messing up with your coil pack.

Step 7: Reinstall

Ensure you reinstall your VW coil pack properly after doing a replacement. Subsequently, make sure all the electrical connectors are well fixed then finally reinstall any covers that you had removed during the test.


After reading through this article, you now know the steps to follow when testing a VW coil pack witty a multimeter. This is important because the VW coil pack plays a very crucial role in your vehicle’s ignition system, and when they are defective, they affect how the engine functions.

Therefore, thanks to this test, you will be able to tell whether or not the VW coil pack is faulty or not and consequently in a better position to make an informed decision whether you should replace it or not.

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