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Digital ECM to Ignition Amplifier Signal Diagnostics
(Vauxhall ECO TEC 1.6 Lt. Multec)

The double ended coil in this particular case, differs from many other systems as it has the ignition amplifier built into the coil pack. The coil/amplifier pack will have 4 electrical connections. The pack receives a 12 volt supply from the ignition switch, has an independent earth return and the remaining two connections are in the form of a 5 volt 'squarewave' digital signal from the Electronic Control Module (ECM).


The ECM will receive information from the engine's sensors and calculates the point of ignition by the ECM from its internal pre-set parameter. At the designated point, the 5 volt supply drops to zero volts, signalling the amplifier to remove the earth path on the coil primary, firing the coil.

The coil/amplifier pack has two separate sides (one for cylinders 1 + 4 and the other for cylinders 2 + 3).

Technical Information

This particular system is fitted to the 1.6 litre Vauxhall ECO TEC engine and has the ignition amplifier as an integral part of the coil pack.

This particular configuration is a hindrance to those of us who perform diagnostic tuning, as the system does not allow for any connections to the low tension circuit. When the two outer electrical connections are monitored with an oscilloscope a digital square wave is seen and not the expected primary parade picture. The integral coil pack with the built in amplifier will have a voltage supply on the centre terminal at 12 volts with two 5 volt square wave signals to switch the pair of coils.

If the coil's switching is faulty due to a lazy power transistor and the 'normal' induced voltage is reduced, this would, in normal circumstances, be easily seen but with this combination the only clue would be in a reduced spark duration and coil output.