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trying to test my ignition coil. I got a wire running from both blades on the connecter to the battery. I don't see a spark, plus the coil gets hot. But I hear the spark plug tick when I rub the negative wire on the neg terminal.
 

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Actually only one side is being feed voltage, you just don't have a ground on the other side until the ignition module/computer switches the coil on. I'm sure someone could be more specific on how and what to test if you explained what type of problem you are having. I would try swapping coils to see if the problem follows the coil on a misfire, and I would check the crankshaft sensor if it was a no start.
 

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a coil must go through saturation(powered up), then the current must be broken to produce a spark on dc voltage. that's why you hear it when rubbing on the negative. you are pulsing the connection on/off.
 

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You can use a NOID light to test the pulse! in the harness and PCM
 
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