Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ignition Ignitor

ignition ignitor

Bad or Failing Ignition Ignitor Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

The ignition igniter, also commonly known as the ignition module, is an engine management component found on many road going cars and trucks. It is an ignition system component that is responsible for providing the signal for the ignition coils to fire, so that the spark can be produced for cylinder combustion to occur. In some systems the igniter is also responsible for advancing and retarding the engine’s timing.

As the igniter provides a signal that is vital to the operation of the ignition system, and engine, when it fails it can cause issues that can dramatically affect engine performance. Usually a bad or failing igniter will produce a few symptom that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. Engine misfires and decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency

One of the first symptoms of an issue with the vehicle’s igniter is engine performance issues. If the igniter fails or has any problems it can compromise the engine spark. This can in turn lead to performance issues such as misfires, a loss in power and acceleration, a decrease in fuel efficiency, and in more serious cases engine stalling.

2. Check Engine Light comes on

An illuminated Check Engine Light is another symptom of a potential issue with the vehicle’s igniter. If the computer picks up any problems with the igniter signal or circuit, it will set off the Check Engine Light to alert the driver of an issue. The Check Engine Light can also be set off by performance issues possibly related to the igniter, such as the misfires, so it is best to have the computer scanned for trouble codes to help determine what the exact issue may be.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Car is not starting

Another symptom of a faulty igniter is a no start condition. The igniter is responsible for providing the signal for the ignition system to fire, if it fails it can disable the entire ignition system. A vehicle without a functional ignition system will not have spark, and as a result will not be able to start. A no start condition can also be caused by a wide variety of other issues, so a proper diagnosis is highly recommended.

As they are an electrical component, igniters may eventually wear out and need to be replaced, especially in high mileage vehicles. If you suspect that your igniter may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the igniter should be replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: My 96 Jeep Cherokee Classic does not start up when it has been sitting for hours or overnight

Hello. The symptoms you describe can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Issues with the fuel and engine management systems can often produce these symptoms. A few things I would look at are the fuel pressure, fuel pump,...

Q: Car won't start, makes single "clunk" noise when key is turned.

It looks like the engine oil was contaminated with coolant and since the number 4 cylinder has a problem then you most likely blew a head gasket by that cylinder. The starter may also be bad if you cranked it...

Q: My impala will start but it will not run.

Hey there: Anytime you remove cylinder heads, intake manifold or disconnect the fuel system, it's important to clear any OBD-II error codes that may have been triggered either prior to the removal or after you started the vehicle. The issue...