How Long Does a Ballast Resistor Last?

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A ballast resistor is a component in the ignition system of older vehicles. If you drive a classic, you are familiar with coils and points. You don’t have an onboard computer, and obviously you don’t have circuit boards that can control the voltage when you start up your engine. This is where the ballast resistor comes in. It is actually something like a huge fuse that is located between the positive battery cable and the ignition switch, and it works to lower the voltage that is delivered to the coil so that it doesn’t burn out. When you crank your engine, the ballast resistor ensures that the normal battery voltage is delivered to the coil in order to start the engine.

If the original ballast resistor is still working in your classic car, then you are a very lucky driver. Because the ballast resistor takes so much heat during normal operation, it is vulnerable to damage and will eventually wear out. How often you drive could be a factor, but there is no specific “best before” date. The ballast resistor could last for many years, but it does take a lot of wear and tear, and it could fail suddenly. Your ballast receiver needs to be replaced if the engine cranks but stalls as soon as key is returned to the “run” position

If your ballast resistor fails, you will have to have it replaced. Resist the temptation to listen to well-meaning classic car fellows, who may suggest jumping the resistor. If you do, your points will ultimately burn out, and you will require expensive repairs. A professional mechanic can replace the ballast resistor and have your beloved classic running properly again.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
652 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.
Chevrolet Camaro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Great knowledgeable mechanic and fast great work. I will use Pardeep and your services again. Thank you

Theodore

15 years of experience
1137 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Everett, Washington
Theodore arrived on time, he did a great job replacing my brakes on my Camry, I will definitely work with him again.
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

Matthew

32 years of experience
734 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Yorktown, Virginia
We've been using Your Mechanic services for a few years, for a few reasons. The convenience of having an expert mechanic "on-call," the great pricing and transparency for services (saving 10% - 25% at times), most of all Matt is our go-to guy who is highly qualified, knowledgeable in the work and knows how to explain it to us in detail.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport News, Virginia
Matt's technical knowledge of his profession is incredible! He is prompt, thorough, friendly, professional, engaging, and completes the job to 100% perfection! Thank you, Matt for the most outstanding auto repair service in all my many years!!!

Jason

31 years of experience
162 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

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