Accident hazards on electronic ignition systems

Increased demands on the ignition systems made by modern engines and the desire for maintenance-free components have led to electronic ignition systems being used in series vehicles for some time now. As a rule, the ignition performance of electronic systems is higher than that of conventional systems and further increases in the performance are forecast for the future. This means that electronic ignition systems are entering into an area where contact with current-carrying parts or terminals can be fatal (on both primary and secondary sides).

In this respect we must draw your attention to the fact that the VDE regulations, particularly VDE 0104/7.67 and respective national regulations must be observed when checking or working on the ignition system.

The ignition must always be switched off before working on the ignition system (deactivate the ignition or voltage source). This type of work includes:

- Connecting engine testers (timing lights, dwell-angle speed testers, ignition oscilloscopes, etc.)

- Replacing ignition system components (spark plugs, ignition coils, distributors, ignition cables, etc.)

If it is necessary to switch on the ignition when checking the ignition system or for measuring adjustments to the engine, then the above-mentioned dangerous voltages will be present throughout the entire system.

The accident hazard is therefore not just restricted to the individual assemblies in the ignition system (e.g. distributor, Ignition coil, switchgear, Ignition wiring) but also in the cable harness (e.g. rev. counter connector, diagnosis connector), at plug connections and testers.

Accident hazards on electronic ignition systems

Printed in Germany - 1988

Transmission Line Wire Pulling Accident

86/746 B


USA, Rest of world with catalytic converter

California, Japan


Rest of world without catalytic converter


DEE control-unit coding

86/746 B


1 - Connector for performance data switch

2 - Connector for variant switchr


Perf. data switch Term. 54

Variant switch Term. 39

28 - 2 DEE control-unit coding

Printed in Germany - 1988

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