How to Check If You Have a Bad Ignition Coil in a Maxima

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A bad ignition coil in your Nissan Maxima will lead to the car struggling to start, poor engine performance and the car possibly shutting down. In order to see if you have a bad ignition coil, you need to test the coil's primary and secondary resistance, which is measured in ohms. The exact method of measuring depends on whether the car was made before or since 1995. You will need to check each ignition coil one at a time and replace any that don't meet the required resistance.

Things You'll Need

  • Ohmmeter

Recent Models (Since 1995)

  • Open the hood and remove the coil cover, removing its screws with a Torx wrench.

  • Disconnect the electrical connector for the individual ignition coil.

  • Connect an ohmmeter's positive probe to the number one terminal on the ignition coil connector and the negative probe to the number two terminal to measure the coil's primary resistance. The ohmmeter needs to show infinite resistance.

  • Switch the probes' positions on the connector terminals to measure the secondary resistance. The meter should indicate continuity but not at zero ohms.

  • Connect the ohmmeter to the secondary terminal that the spark plug connects to and the number one terminal and look for infinite resistance on the ohmmeter.

Older Models (Before 1995)

  • Disconnect the electrical connector for the ignition coil.

  • Connect an ohmmeter to the two terminals on the ignition coil connector to measure the coil's primary resistance. There should be a reading of one ohm.

  • Attach the ohmmeter to the secondary terminal, which the coil-to-cap wire connects to, and the positive primary terminal to measure the secondary resistance. This should be between 8,000 and 12,000 ohms.

References

  • "Chilton Nissan Maxima Repair Manual;" Bob Henderson; Haynes North America; 2004
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