The 1998 Honda CRV LX two-wheel drive, LX four-wheel drive and EX four-wheel drive were all equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC in-line four-cylinder engine. The ignition system on the 1998 CRV was a distributor-type ignition, with an ignition coil built into the distributor. Testing the distributor requires disassembling the distributor housing. Two types of tests should be done to make sure both elements of the ignition coil are within specifications.
Open the CRV's hood and set the hood prop. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery with a ratchet and socket. Locate the distributor at the top of the engine, directly next to the oil fill cap.2
Remove the two distributor mounting screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the distributor cap off the distributor housing, with the ignition wires still attached. Set the cap below the distributor housing out of the way. Inspect the distributor internal components.3
Make a small mark with a white crayon between the rotor and the distributor housing, if the ignition coil is covered by a plastic moisture cover. Remove the small screw from the rotor, then pull the rotor off the shaft. Remove the moisture cover by hand, if equipped. If no moisture cover is present, proceed to Step 4.4
Remove the two small wires from the bottom posts of the ignition coil, marked "+" and "-". These are the A+ and B- posts. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the wire screws, then remove the wires by hand.5
Turn the dial indicator on your multimeter to the ohms setting. Place the multimeter's red probe on the post of the ignition coil marked with a "+" symbol. Place the second probe from the meter on the post marked with a "-" symbol. The primary winding measurement between the A+ and B- posts should be between 0.063 and 0.77 ohms. If the measurement is not within these specifications, the ignition coil needs to be replaced. Proceed to the secondary winding test if the results of this first test are positive.6
Place the red probe on the A+ wire post and the second probe on the ignition coil tower, protruding outward from the coil body. The secondary winding measurement should be between 12,800 and 19,200 ohms. If the measurement is not within these specifications, the coil is bad and needs to be replaced.7
Install the distributor moisture cover over the ignition coil, if equipped. Make sure that no part of the moisture cover gasket is protruding between the moisture cap and the distributor housing.8
Install the distributor rotor, aligning the marks between the rotor and the distributor housing. Tighten the small rotor mounting screw snug with a Phillips screwdriver. Install the distributor cap onto the housing and tighten the screws snug with a screwdriver.9
Install the negative battery cable when you are finished testing or replacing the ignition coil and distributor parts. Tighten the battery cable snug with a ratchet and socket.