Ignition Coil Repair – An ignition coil, or spark coil, is simply an induction coil, part of your car’s ignition system which transforms your battery’s low voltage into the thousands of volts needed to create a spark in your spark plugs. Without the ignition coil, your battery would not put out enough voltage to generate the spark needed to ignite gasoline inside of your engine. Ignition coils contain a few components, including an internal or external resistor or resistor wire, high voltage wires, and in most cases, a power transistor which provides pulses to the ignition coil. Most cars also have a distributor, which splits current from the ignition coil to each of the spark plugs, but many modern cars use one ignition coil for each cylinder or pair of cylinders, and do not require a distributor.
In modern ignition systems, ignition is electronically controlled. Modern ignition coils that do not have to power every spark plug are much smaller, and can be mounted either remotely or directly on top of the spark plug – called direct ignition. Modern cars may have all of their ignition coils contained inside of a single molded block, commonly called a coil pack. Diesel powered vehicles do not have ignition coils, because they rely on compression to ignite the air/fuel mixture.
Some of the symptoms of a failing ignition coil include trouble starting your engine, stalling, misfires, backfiring, a decrease in gas mileage, and your engine dying abruptly after running for a while. Higher fuel consumption is caused by your engine using more fuel in order to make up for the lack of power. If you continue to drive your car with a bad misfire, it may lead to more extensive and expensive damage, so you should get it taken of as soon as possible.
In most cars, a failing ignition coil or coil pack will also cause a check engine light. This is caused either by your car’s computer detecting misfires, or detecting an issue with the ignition coil signal or circuit, such as when a coil shorts or burns out. However, keep in mind that a check engine light may be caused by a wide variety of other issues, so having the computer trouble codes read by a professional is highly recommended. A failing ignition coil, in most cases, will also cause your check engine light to illuminate.
If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect that your ignition coil is failing, give our ASE certified mechanics a call today. Orozco’s Auto Service is Long Beach’s number one car repair shop!