How to Test Distributor With Multimeter

A distributor is an important part of a vehicle’s ignition system. It helps to distribute the high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct order. A bad or failing distributor can cause engine misfires, a loss of power, and stalling.

Testing the distributor with a multimeter is a relatively simple and straightforward process.

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  • Find the positive and negative terminals on the distributor
  • Set your multimeter to the ohms setting
  • Touch the positive lead of the multimeter to the positive terminal on the distributor, and touch the negative lead of the multimeter to the negative terminal on the distributor
  • If you get a reading of infinity, then there is an open circuit and the distributor needs to be replaced
  • If you get a reading of zero, then there is a short circuit and the distributor also needs to be replaced
  • If you get a reading within the specified range for your particular model of vehicle, thenthe distributor is working properly

How to Bench Test a Distributor

There are a few different ways that you can bench test a distributor. The first way is to check for spark. To do this, you will need to remove the distributor cap and hold it close to the engine block while someone cranks the engine over.

If there is spark coming from the distributor, you should see it jumping from the terminal to the block. If there is no spark, the next thing you will want to check is the rotor. If the rotor is not spinning, then it will need to be replaced.

However, if it is spinning but there is still no spark, then there may be an issue with the ignition coil or ignition module. Once you have determined that there is indeed spark coming from the distributor, you will want to check the timing. This can be done by disconnecting the vacuum advance and connecting a timing light to the #1 cylinder firing point.

With the engine running at idle, you should see the timing mark on the harmonic balancer lined up with 0 degrees on your timing light.

How to Test Electronic Distributor

If your car has an electronic distributor, you may be wondering how to test it. Here are some steps to help you test your distributor: 1. First, check the fuses.

If any of the fuses are blown, this could be the reason why your distributor isn’t working. 2. Next, check all of the connections to make sure they are tight and secure. 3. Finally, use a multimeter to test the resistance of the coil.

If the reading is infinite, then there is a break in the coil and it needs to be replaced.

How to Test a Distributor for Spark

If your vehicle is having trouble starting, it may be due to a problem with the distributor. Testing the distributor is a relatively easy process that can be done at home with a few tools. To test the distributor, you will need a spark tester and a 12 volt test light.

First, remove the distributor cap and rotor. With the engine off, disconnect the battery ground cable from the negative terminal. Next, locate the primary coil wire on the distributor.

This wire should have continuity to ground when testing with a spark tester or 12 volt test light. If there is no continuity to ground, replace the coil wire. Once you have verified that there is continuity to ground, reconnect the battery ground cable and start the engine.

If the engine starts and runs without hesitation, then your distributor is most likely fine. However, if you still experience starting problems, it’s possible that your distributor needs to be replaced.

How to Test Distributor With Test Light

If you need to test your distributor, you can do so with a test light. First, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery. Then, locate the distributor cap and remove it.

Once the distributor cap is off, you should see the rotor. The rotor is what turns and sends spark to the spark plugs. With the test light, touch one end to the ground and then touch the other end to each terminal on the rotor in turn.

You should see the light come on when you touch it to a good terminal. If not, then that particular terminal is bad and will need to be replaced.

How to Test Distributor Rotor

If you’re having trouble starting your car or it’s running rough, one possible issue is a bad distributor rotor. The distributor rotor is an important part of the ignition system, and if it’s not working properly, it can cause all sorts of problems. Fortunately, testing the distributor rotor is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes.

To test the distributor rotor, you’ll need a multimeter. First, disconnect the negative battery cable. Then remove the distributor cap and hold it so that you can see inside thedistributor.

Locate the terminal that goes to the spark plug on the number one cylinder and place your multimeter lead on that terminal. Now turn on your multimeter and set it to read ohms. With your other hand, rotate the engine at about 200rpm with a wrench or socket onthe crankshaft bolt.

You should see the reading on your multimeter change asyou rotate the engine – this is normal. If you see no change in readings ordropouts in readings (where the meter suddenly jumps to zero), then youprobably have a bad distributor rotor. Replace it and re-test – you shouldsee normal readings now.

How to Test Ignition Module on a Hei Distributor

If your car isn’t starting, it may be the ignition module. To test if this is the problem, you’ll need to check the voltage at the distributor. Disconnect the negative battery cable, then remove the distributor cap.

With a digital voltmeter, touch one lead to ground and the other to the terminal on the ignition module. The reading should be around 12 volts. If it’s lower than that, replace the module.

How to Test a Distributor Coil

One of the most important parts of your car’s ignition system is the distributor coil. This component helps to distribute spark to the plugs in order to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the cylinders. Without a properly functioning coil, your car will not run correctly.

There are a few ways that you can test your distributor coil to see if it is working properly. One way is to use an ohmmeter. Simply remove the coil from the distributor and attach the meter’s leads to the terminals on the coil.

The meter should read between 0.5 and 1.5 ohms if the coil is good. Another way to test the coil is by using a test light. With the engine off, disconnect one of the wires going to the coil and touch it to ground.

Then have someone turn on the ignition switch (but don’t start the engine). If there is power flowing through, then you’ll see the test light come on briefly. If there’s no power or if it stays on constantly, then there may be an issue with your coil or other components in your ignition system.

If you suspect that your distributor coil may be failing, it’s best to take it to a mechanic or auto parts store for further testing and diagnosis before replacing it outright – that way you can be sure that it’s really necessary and save yourself some money if it turns out not to be faulty after all!

How to Test Distributor Cap

If your car is having trouble starting, it may be time to test the distributor cap. The distributor cap is responsible for distributing the spark to each of the cylinders in the engine. Over time, the distributor cap can become worn out or cracked, which can cause problems with starting the engine.

Here’s how to test a distributor cap: 1. Remove the distributor cap from the engine. You’ll need to unscrew it or pull it off, depending on your car model.

2. Inspect the inside of the distributor cap for any cracks or damage. If you see any, replace the distributor cap with a new one. 3. Check that all of the terminals on the distributor cap are clean and free of corrosion.

If they’re not, clean them off with a wire brush or sandpaper before proceeding. 4. Put some distilled water on a rag and wipe down all of the terminals on the outside of the distributor cap. This will help remove any dirt or debris that could prevent proper electrical contact when you put everything back together again.

5 . Reattach the distributor cap to its rightful place on top of the engine (make sure it’s tight!) and start up your car to see if that did the trick in solving your starting issue!

How to Test Distributor With Multimeter


How Do I Test My Distributor?

If you have a distributor in your vehicle, it’s important to test it periodically to ensure that it’s working correctly. There are a few ways that you can test your distributor: 1. Check the rotor.

The rotor is the part of the distributor that spins and distributes the spark to each cylinder. To check the rotor, remove the distributor cap and look at the rotor underneath. If it’s damaged or worn, it will need to be replaced.

2. Check the ignition coil. The ignition coil provides power to the spark plugs. To test it, remove the distributor cap and disconnect the wire from the coil.

Then, use an ohmmeter to measure resistance between the terminal on the coil and ground. If there is no resistance or infinite resistance, then the coil needs to be replaced. 3. Check for vacuum leaks.

A vacuum leak can cause problems with engine performance and fuel economy. To check for leaks, start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes. Then, use a vacuum gauge to measure vacuum at various points in the engine (intake manifold, carburetor, etc.).

How Do You Test a Distributor Coil With a Multimeter?

If you suspect that your distributor coil may be failing, you can test it with a multimeter. First, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery to prevent any electrical shorts. Next, remove the distributor cap and rotor.

Locate the primary winding terminals on the coil, and use your multimeter to test for continuity between these terminals. If there is no continuity, this indicates that the coil is faulty and needs to be replaced.

How Can You Tell If Your Distributor is Bad?

If your distributor is bad, you’ll likely notice one or more of the following symptoms: -The engine will run rough and may misfire. -You may see a decrease in fuel economy.

-The engine may stall or refuse to start. -There may be an unusual smell coming from the engine compartment.

How Do You Check a Coil from Distributor to Spark?

Assuming you want to test whether the coil is sending a spark to the distributor: 1. Remove the coil wire from the distributor. 2. Insert one end of a spark tester into the end of the coil wire that was connected to the distributor.

3. Ground the other end of the spark tester to a metal ground on the engine. 4. Have someone crank over the engine while you observe the spark tester. If there is a spark present, then chances are good that your coil is fine and firing correctly.


If you’re having trouble with your car’s ignition system, one of the first things you should check is the distributor. You can test it using a multimeter to see if it’s sending the correct amount of current to the spark plugs. First, disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.

Then, remove the distributor cap and rotor. Place the multimeter probes on the terminals of the coil, and set it to read ohms. The reading should be between 0.5 and 2 ohms.

If it’s not, then there’s a problem with the coil and you’ll need to replace it. Finally, test the resistance between each terminal on the distributor cap and ground. The reading should be around 10 kilohms.

Owner at Autopartslife
Hello, I am Michael Smith, founder of Autopartslife blog, which teaches automotive techniques, solutions, tips, tool reviews, and more.

Michael Smith is a professional automotive technician who has been diagnosing and repairing vehicles in Alaska County for more than 15 years. As founder and CEO of Autopartslife, Michael is dedicated to sharing his vast array of knowledge and experience to help make your automotive journey a much smoother, faster, and more enjoyable ride.
Michael Smith
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