no spark


Asked by Dec 25, 2014 at 02:17 PM about the 1986 Volkswagen Cabriolet

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have replaced the distributor, timing belt, coil, ICM new battery, ignition switch.
I only get one spark at the distributer when I turn the key on and one spark when I tern
the key off. Help !

10 Answers


Sounds like the ignition switch is faulty or out of adjustment. HTH. -Jim

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I replaced it two times.

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Is the ignition switch bolted to the steering column? If so you may have to loosen the bolts and slide the switch up or down to adjust it. HTH. -Jim


could you have wired the ignition switch improperly?

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I have the day off on sat 12/27/14 . I will walk through all ignition wiring one more time and repost my findings. To answer your question, it does bolt to the steering, but how does this effect the distributer and ICM and coil? Not much play there. By the way the bolt was very loose.


If the ignition switch contacts aren't in the correct position you won't have power to the ignition coil when in the run or start postions of the key. The ignition coil is basically a transformer that takes 12 volts and turns it into about 30,000 to fire the spark plugs. HTH. -Jim


I have constant voltage from the coil when the key is in the on position or the start position. All the appropriate wires are in place with good continuity in each. Moving the switch up or down the steering column does not effect the problem. One spark from the coil when first trying to start and at the spark plug that is in the firing position, like #1 at TDC and 1 spark when I turn the key off. Could the Hall Effect sensor and ICU be mismatched?


Since you have constant voltage at the coil the problem is further down. The ignition switch is getting power and sending it to the coil. In my book the next step would be the distributor. HTH. -Jim


It is very expensive. Could I just replace the Hall Effect sender?


You certainly can. That'd probably be less expensive than replacing the distributor assembly. HTH. - Jim

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