What is the Ignition Coil all about?
Ignition coils transform low voltage electrical power 12 volts D.C. to high voltage current 50,000 volts D.C. or higher. The spark generated by the ignition coil ignites the fuel and air mixture in the engine that enables the car to start and run smoothly. If an ignition coil is not working properly, no spark will ignite the air fuel mixture, causing a misfire. A bad ignition coil can severely damage the engine or catalytic converter.
If your car is equipped with “coil over plugs,” then it is recommended that you replace the spark plugs. If your car uses a single coil for the ignition system, it is not necessary to change the spark plugs.
Keep in mind:
- A malfunctioning ignition coil can cause damage to the ignition wires and spark plugs; these components should always be checked when the ignition coil is replaced.
- Ignition coils are often damaged by other parts that leak hot oil onto the coils. If this is the case, the leaking part should be identified and replaced.
How it's done:
- Test the ignition coil(s)
- Remove and replace the faulty coil.
- Inspect spark plugs and electrical connectors.
To keep the car’s ignition system in good condition, you should keep up with the regular maintenance of the car as suggested by the manufacturer. Your mechanic should measure the resistance in the spark plug wires. The wires with too much resistance can cause an ignition coil to fail prematurely. The Check Engine light will come on if the engine is misfiring (the ignition coil may be faulty). To avoid costly future repairs, do not drive the car for too long with a bad ignition system.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Ignition Coil?
- Car may not start.
- Car may not run smoothly (engine misfires).
- Check Engine light is on.
How important is this service?
An ignition coil turns low voltage into high voltage, which is then used to ignite your vehicle. After the ignition coil has converted the low voltage into high voltage, it creates a spark, which lights the fuel, and powers the engine. This small explosion is responsible for turning on your engine, and for keeping the engine running. When the ignition coil is damaged, it is unable to create this high voltage spark, and your engine will have a hard time running, or may not run at all.