How to Replace an Ignition Coil

Your vehicle’s ignition coil sends an electrical signal from the computer to your spark plugs. A failing coil can result in a number of problems, such a stalled vehicle, rough idling, or vehicle failure just to name a few. Replacing the ignition coil is a relatively simple and inexpensive process.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing an ignition coil

Materials Needed

battery showing the red and black cables

Step 1: Disconnect the battery. Disconnect the negative battery cable to cut power to the vehicle. Use a socket or wrench to disconnect the clamp bolt holding the cable to the terminal.

  • Tip: Always disconnect the battery when working on electrical systems of any kind.

location of the ignition coil in the engine compartment

Step 2: Locate the ignition coils. Locate the ignition coils on top of the engine. They will be attached to the engine block or surrounding components.

retaining bolts or screws holding the ignition coil in place as well as electrical connectors

Step 3: Disconnect and remove the old ignition coil. You will need to disconnect the bolts or screws attaching the coil to the vehicle. You will also need to disconnect the electrical connectors from the coil.

Determine which connection needs to be broken first depending on your particular make and model.

On some vehicles, the electrical connections need to be unscrewed or unplugged first, while on others, you will need to unbolt the unit before you can disconnect the electrical connectors. You can refer to your vehicle’s service manual to determine the proper procedure for your particular car.

  • Tip: Ignition coils which run multiple plugs from one coil will have multiple electrical connections to remove. Be sure to mark or label these connectors for reassembly. You MUST reattach the wires to the correct corresponding connections on the new coil.

Once the old coil has been disconnected, you can remove it from the vehicle.

new ignition coil prepped for installation

Step 4: Install the new ignition coil. Install the new ignition coil in reverse of the order in which you disconnected the old one.

If you previously disconnected the electrical connectors first, reconnect them last after securing the mounting bolts or screws.

  • Tip: If you had to label multiple electrical connections when removing the old coil, make sure you are reconnecting these wires to the proper terminals on the new coil.

Step 5: Reconnect the battery. Reattach the negative battery terminal to the car battery to restore power to the vehicle.

Hand tighten the electrical connection, and then use a socket or wrench to tighten down the terminal bolt.

  • Warning: Never over-tighten the bolts. This could cause damage and replacements are often hard to find. You want to tighten the bolts just enough so that any engine vibration will not loosen them.

Once the replacement is complete, close the hood.

Step 6: Test the new coil. Start the engine with the vehicle in park to test the new ignition coil. If the vehicle starts and idles normally, you can then test drive the vehicle.

Ignition coil failure can cause one or more cylinders to misfire which can result in driveability issues. By following the above guide, the stressful stuttering and sluggish nature of a malfunctioning coil can be resolved with minimal expenses and in a short amount of time. However, if you find yourself in need of assistance, or you would simply prefer that a professional perform this repair, you can always have one of the certified technicians at YourMechanic come to your home or office to replace your ignition coil for you.


Next Step

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Jermaine

24 years of experience
244 reviews
Jermaine
24 years of experience
Lexus RX300 V6-3.0L - Ignition Coil - Washington, District of Columbia
I drove the vehicle this morning and the lights are off and the vibration is no longer a concern. Thank you so much.
Mercedes-Benz E350 - Ignition Coil Replacement - Columbia, Maryland
Excellent experience. Easy to work with... knowledgeable about my concern and did exactly what I needed to be done in the time frame expected. Would recommend and return as needed!

Matthew

33 years of experience
1210 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Ford Mustang L4-2.3L Turbo - Ignition Coil - Norfolk, Virginia
Great customer service. Arrived early so plus. Overall great work with a good individual. Would go with Matthew for future services.

Jim

33 years of experience
185 reviews
Jim
33 years of experience
Honda CR-V L4-2.4L - Ignition Coil - Livermore, California
Jim provided a simplistic overview of the issue with the car with clear cut explanations. I am grateful for the service that Your Mechanic provides with efficient and reliable mechanics like Jim. This is my second experience and, I have rated 5 Stars for each experience.

Keven

7 years of experience
118 reviews
Keven
7 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.8L - Ignition Coil - Auburn, Washington
He’s a hard worker and very knowledgeable. Pride in his work also loves what he does. Thank you for bringing my ride back to life.

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