How To Troubleshoot Faulty Ignition System of a Truck Easily

In this comprehensive guide, we will go through how to troubleshoot faulty ignition system of a truck. The ignition system can be a source of headache in the garage. Especially when your truck runs perfectly, it starts to shake or won’t run in seconds. In such a situation, there must be something seriously wrong with your ignition system, and you must check as soon as possible. This guide focuses on ignition troubleshooting safety and how to troubleshoot the ignition system of your truck.

Ignition System Troubleshooting Safety

Before opening the hood of your truck, ensure you wear safety glasses and gloves, which will protect the soft tissues of your body. When handling the ignition system, you must come into contact with other engine parts and keep off the hot surfaces within your engine.

After opening the hood, locate your battery and disconnect it. Doing this will protect you from electrical shock.

How To Troubleshoot Faulty Ignition System

The ignition system is a chain composed of the battery, the spark plug, the ignition module, the distributor, and the coil. Like the chain, the entire ignition system will not work if any parts fail. Troubleshooting the ignition system will enable you to know the exact part that is not functioning.

Probe for Power

You will do this using the multimeter to check whether the ignition is supplied with adequate voltage. If it is not getting the required voltage, you will have to check if your battery is losing power and correct the issue. 

Sometimes, your ignition might be receiving high voltage. In such a condition, check if your resistor is functioning. In such a scenario, double-check the voltage using a multimeter before checking the resistor. 

Counter-Check Firing Order

If your truck misfires, you should verify the order and check it against your set-up on the distributing cap. Things might be jumbled up as soon as you install the distributor or the plug wires. 

Counter-Check the Initial Timing

Verifying the initial timing is necessary when working with the distributor. It involves breaking out the breaker bar and lining up the timing marks. When performing this procedure, you might be at 180 degrees, or the distributor might come out of the alignment, which can be caused by the loose bolt holding the clamp in place.

Test the Spark Plugs

 Suppose your engine misfires. Focus on the spark plug. Check for physical damages on the spark plug itself. If you can’t notice anything, consider using a multimeter. If the spark plugs are okay, consider using the multimeter to troubleshoot the spark plug wires. 

Test the Distributor

Testing the distributor varies depending on the application you have. To test the distributor, you will check the resistance in the entire system at specific points within the distributor circle. 

Test the Ignition Module

Testing the ignition module is the last step after troubleshooting everything. Testing your module relies on the model your truck has. Do some thorough homework before you test the ignition module.


Hopefully, you now know how to troubleshoot faulty ignition system of your truck, just in case you find yourself having to deal with it. It is necessary to know some of the symptoms of a faulty ignition system, which will help you troubleshoot and identify which part of the system is defective.

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