Information - Ignition Coil

The ignition system is a complex of devices and appliances; each of them performs its nominal function in order to ensure normal operation of the engine. The coil has the function of a transformer, converting the high voltage into low. The basic components of the ignition coil are considered the primary, secondary winding, and the electrical connectors. The thin secondary winding is located around a metallic rod, and is an isolated wire, covered with 1 millimeter thick copper. On top of it, the primary winding is wound with a copper coating, from 0.6 to 0.9 millimeters thick. There are two basic types of coils: one- and two-spark ignition coil.

One of the main requirements is: the ignition coil must charge quickly in order to return voltage to the spark plugs. If the ignition coil is faulty, the engine will not start, respectively. The major sign of malfunction of the ignition coil is the high temperature while it is off.

This is easy to determine, by touching it with your hand. In order to ensure that the coil is in working condition, you need to get out of the distributor cap clip the main high tension wire and set a gap of 6 mm between the tip of the wire and the car "mass". If the coil is working, a strong blue spark will appear in this gap when cranking the engine and opening the contacts. If the spark is weak or absent, it indicates a malfunction of the ignition coil.

If you have discovered an ignition coil malfunction, contact our online shop. We offer various types of ignition coils for all types of vehicle. You will also enjoy low prices directly from the manufacturers, as well as fast delivery to any convenient place. Apart from ignition coil, you can purchase other automotive parts, such as ignition module, ignition system and spark plugs.

What is necessary to know about ignition coil replacement: lifetime limits, common defects and their signs, tips and recommendations

Average operational lifetime of the ignition coil is 110 000 – 140 000 operational kilometers.

The part is to be replaced in case of corrosion, thermal damages, insulation fault, and subsequent short circuit.

The fact that the ignition coil requires diagnostics is indicated by unstable engine operation, especially at high humidity and low temperature of air. Moreover, component defect can be detected by activation of the “Check Engine” indicator on the dashboard, failures in engine operation after sharp pressing onto the accelerator pedal.

Check of ignition coil condition should be entrusted to specialists of a car service station. They will perform computer diagnostics. Also diagnostics may include demounting the part, its condition check and winding resistance measuring. Values are measured with the help of a multimeter, by connecting winding positive contact with outlet of the high-voltage wire. In case of inter-turn short circuit or coil winding burning-out, values on the multimeter will be different from the allowable ones, indicated by the manufacturer. Another method implies alternatively turning off cylinders and control voltage, and analysing oscilloscope curves. Such diagnostics is performed at a service station only.

Ignition coil replacement includes handling high-voltage wiring, that is why it should be performed in service station conditions. After the engine cools down, specialists will remove the negative terminal from the battery, disconnect high-voltage wires from the coil, move aside protective caps and disconnect wires from low-voltage outlets of the coil. Then unscrew nuts fastening the defective coil, remove it and install a new one.

Our customers ask

How to check an ignition coil by yourself?

  1. Inspect the component surface. Black dots or cracks indicate a rupture of coil.
  2. Check validity of wires and sockets connection. To do so, use an ignition coil connection scheme, noted in technical documentation of the vehicle.
  3. Check of ignition coil can be performed by yourself with the help of the multimeter. Separate ignition coils are usually installed in modern cars with the injector.To make sure that they are operable, perform the next actions:
    • Using a tester, check resistance of a primary winding by connecting device probes to negative and positive terminals of the part. It should be 0.4–2.0kOhm according to the brand and model of the vehicle.
    • Measure resistance of a secondary winding, by connecting probes of multimeter on the following principle: one – to the positive contact of coil, second – to the high-voltage wire terminal. Values of 6–15kOhm indicate component operability.
  4. More thorough diagnostics is performed with the help of the oscilloscope. It can be performed by your own only if you have corresponding equipment, software, experience and knowledge. If you don’t have them, apply to a service station.

Which signs indicate ignition coil failure?

The next signs indicate failure of the ignition coil:

  • engine operates unstably, especially at low temperature and in conditions of high humidity;
  • engine can instantly lose its torque, power and rpm increase rate at pressing on the accelerator pedal;
  • “check engine” indicator is activated on the dashboard;
  • there is black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, pops and backfires are heard.

If you noticed some of these signs, it is necessary to measure the resistance of primary and secondary circuits of the coil with the help of the multimeter. If received data do not correspond with nominal, most likely you will need to replace the unit. Then, you need to make sure that there is a spark discharge in high-voltage wires.

It is necessary to use special discharger, because spark check by drawing the high-voltage wire to the car body can cause breakdown of electronic equipment. To avoid failures of the ignition system in future you need not only to replace damaged components, but also to remove their defects cause. Thorough diagnostics will be required for this; it should be performed at a service station.

How to replace an ignition coil?

It is easy to replace an ignition coil by your own efforts. To install the ignition coil pack, you need to disconnect the negative battery terminal, remove wiring from it, unscrew fastenings and demount the component. It is important not to misarrange wires connection, when reassembling the unit. Mark wires for it, or use the ignition coils connection scheme for your vehicle. It is important to connect spark plugs properly for dual spark ignition coils: one should be directly connected to the components and the other – with the help of a high-voltage wire. In case of single coils, pay great attention to proper connection of control wires sockets.

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