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This test will aid you to pinpoint the difficulty to the ignition manage module (ICM) or the crankshaft place sensor together the source of her car"s no begin condition. Before starting the tests girlfriend must an initial check and verify the there"s NO SPARK existing at any kind of of the coil towers.

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Why? due to the fact that the clearest indication the the ignition regulate module and also the crankshaft place sensor are great is if there"s spark coming from all of the spark plug wires. So if you haven"t checked, avoid now and also do a spark check on every one of the spark plug wires.

If friend do have to test simply the ignition coil packs sitting on top of the ignition regulate module (ICM), here"s the short article for you:

For a perform of all of the 3.8L articles in this site, examine out the index:

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girlfriend can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar El Módulo de Encendido y Sensor del Cigüeñal GM 3.8L (at: autotecnico-online.com).

How The 3.8L Ignition regulate Module (ICM) Works

Here is a tiny background info to aid you diagnose this no spark condition. In a nutshell, as soon as the system is working properly, in ~ crank-up and also below 400 RPM"s the ignition regulate module controls spark (by activating the 3 ignition coils the sit on peak of it) without help from the fuel injection computer.

More specifically:

When you rotate the vital to begin the engine, the ignition manage module gets strength (12 Volts) and also Ground.Once the ICM gets power, it subsequently supplies power to:The crank sensor.The video camer sensor (if equipped).The 3 ignition coil package sitting on height of it.As the engine cranks, the ignition module receives the crank sensor signal.The crank sensor signal is an On/Off form of signal that can be measured with a multimeter or one LED Light.The crank sensor signal is additionally called the ‘triggering signal’ in this article.As soon as the ICM gets the crank sensor signal, that starts activating the ignition coils sit atop that it.The ignition manage module does this by switching the ignition coils" primary existing On and also Off in a basic timing mode so that they"ll start sparking away.This On/Off signal is referred to as the convert signal thru" out the article.The ICM likewise sends a Fuel manage signal to the PCM (Powertrain control Module = Fuel Injection Computer).The PCM uses this signal to start activating the fuel injectors.Once the engine beginning and/or over 400 RPM"s (anything above this and also the computer considers the engine as having started), the ECM takes over spark Timing and also the activation the the ignition coils (thru" the ignition regulate module of course).

When go the ignition manage module (ICM) create this convert signal? ~ receiving 12 Volts, Ground, and the Triggering signals from the crankshaft place sensor Assembly (which is located behind the crankshaft pulley).


The GM 3.8L 3X CKP and 18X CKP Sensors

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The crankshaft position sensor is 2 hall impact sensors in one. In other words, the assembly is 2 crank sensors in one and in this post I"ll likewise show you exactly how to check it.

One CKP sensor is called the 3X CKP Sensor and also the signal it create is called the Sync 3X CKP Signal and also the various other one is referred to as the 18X CKP and also its signal the Crank 18X CKP Signal. As declared before, both of these signals are critical for the ignition regulate module to begin the vehicle (to begin sparking the ignition coils).

Although an oscilloscope is the best way to check for the pulses from the crankshaft place sensor (3X CKP and also 18X CKP) to the ignition control module, there"s another way that I"ve used successfully for a variety of years. This is making use of an LED Light.

This LED irradiate you have the right to buy from any kind of electronics store ( ns buy mine indigenous my neighborhood Radio Shack store). If you"re curious as to what this LED irradiate looks like and how to make it, click here: The LED Light check Tool and also How To do One.

If girlfriend have accessibility to an oscilloscope, i have had photos the what the waveforms should look like. Even if it is you use the LED Light, or a multimeter, or an oscilloscope, you"ll be able to successfully diagnose this no-start condition! So, read on mine friend.

What will I Test?

The ignition module check is a an extremely straightforward and straightforward test. This is what it"s created of:


The first order of business is come make certain the ICM is getting power and Ground.Then, you"ll make certain that the crank sensor is also getting juice.The following step is to check the crank sensor signals.Remember, there room two signals involved (in beginning the engine) and that are created by the exact same crank sensor.From the results you get you"ll have the ability to pinpoint the trouble toThe ignition control module or...The crank sensor.Or totally eliminate these as the reason of the no start condition.

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As you have the right to see indigenous the over test summary, it"s that simple to test the ignition regulate module!

IMPORTANT- to perform every one of the test the battery should be in a totally charged condition.