Replacement of the ignition coil is not a very hard job. It only involves disconnecting the battery, removing the old ignition coil, installing the new one, reconnecting the battery, and testing the new ignition coil.
Your vehicle's ignition coil is a very small component that has a major role in converting the battery's small voltage into a larger voltage to provide the spark necessary for igniting your vehicle's fuel.
Without a properly working mission coil, your vehicle can easily not start, stall, and you might deal with engine stalling and reduction in fuel economy.
Luckily, the replacement of the ignition coil is not a hard job and can be done if you have a certain level of mechanical skill sets along with the required toolsets.
This article walks you through an overview of the ignition coil's job, symptoms of a bad ignition coil, causes of ignition damages, and a step-by-step process on how to replace your vehicle's ignition coil.
What is the ignition coil, and what does it do?
Your vehicle's ignition coil responsible for transforming your battery's voltage into a much larger voltage that helps create the required spark plug to ignite the fuel.
Every ignition coil is connected with either an internal or external resistor. The ignition coil is also connected with some high voltage wires responsible for distributing the voltage for each spark plug.
In modern vehicles, every engine cylinder has its ignition coil. Sometimes, each cylinders has one ignition coil to eliminate any faults in the spark plug cables or distributors.
What are the symptoms of a bad ignition coil?
Since the ignition coil is one of the most important elements in your vehicle's combustion system, it is very important to answer the question of “How do I know if I need a new ignition coil?”
Luckily, your vehicle's components will tell you if they will be damaged soon before they even do. Thus, there are very common symptoms of a bad ignition coil that you need to keep an eye for, including:
One of the most common and clear symptoms of a bad ignition coil is issues with starting. Without the proper spark from spark plugs, your vehicle won't be able to ignite the fuel and get your car moving.
While there are many reasons causing difficulties starting, ignition coil problems might be the culprit.
Your best option would be to confirm the problem to each other professional mechanic and have him inspect the vehicle to pinpoint the actual cause of the starting problems.
Check engine light illuminating
Your vehicle's check engine light is away from your car to communicate with you. It is never recommended to ignore any light on your vehicle's dashboard, especially the check engine light.
A faulty ignition coil might be one of the causes to trigger the check engine light to illuminate.
Since the check engine light illuminates for multiple reasons, you won't be able to tell if it's the ignition coil unless you have a certain scanner to read the error.
If you have an OBD scanner come, I can insert and connected it to your vehicle; this can be an error. Once you scan the error, the next step for you is the search online for the meaning of this error unless you have a scanner that can provide you with additional explanations. At that point, you can determine for sure whether their check engine light illumination is coming from your ignition coil.
Clear engine stalling
Once your ignition coil goes bad, you will notice a clear reduction in your vehicle's overall performance. Engine stalling would be a common symptom of a bad ignition coil because your vehicle cannot generate the necessary power to get it moving.
Engine stalling due to faulty ignition coil happens only if you have a couple of ignition coils in bad condition. However, if all your ignition coils are damaged, your vehicle will not even start.
Significant reduction in fuel economy
If your vehicle's ignition coils are not all working properly, the engine will be under pressure all the time, and it will ask for more fuel every time the ignition coil is not providing the required spark. Your vehicle will think that the problem is coming from insufficient fuel issues. As a result, you will notice a significant reduction in fuel economy, which will increase as the number of faulty ignition coils increases.
What are the main causes of ignition coil damage?
There are many reasons that might cause your ignition coil to get damaged.
For example, if your ignition coil experienced a lot of vibration and excessive heat, this will cause failure to the internal components.
Also, there any major problems to the components that are attached to the ignition coil, like the spark plug or the wires; this will put a lot of pressure on the ignition coil, which can reduce its lifetime.
Replacement of Ignition Coil
Replacement of ignition coil is not one of the very complicated repairs. Thus, many drivers attempt to replace it on their own instead of spending a lot of money on labor costs.
To replace your vehicle's ignition coil, you need to follow these steps:
Prepare necessary material
Replacement of ignition coil requires specific tools and replacement parts, including a new ignition coil, a couple of screwdrivers, your vehicle's owner's manual, a ratchet Anna socket sets, a couple of wrenches.
Disconnect your vehicle's battery
Once you have all the necessary materials, it is another time to make sure that there is no electrical current in your vehicle, which might cause some safety issues.
Thus, the first step is to use a wrench or a socket to remove the clamps bolts holding your vehicle's battery terminals.
Find your vehicle's ignition coils
Once you have batteries disconnected, it's time to determine the ignition coil setting? To do so, you can easily locate them on top of your vehicle's engine, and they're usually connected to the engine block.
If you are having a hard time finding the ignition coils locations, you can always refer your vehicles owner's manual to tell you exactly where to find the ignition coils.
Remove the old ignition coil
To remove your vehicle's old ignition coil, you need to do two main steps: unscrew the bolts and disconnected the electrical connectors.
Depending on your vehicle's make, model, and year, the order of these two steps might differ. For example, in some vehicles, you might need to unscrew the bolts and remove the whole part before disconnecting the electrical connectors. Another vehicle, the process, goes the other way.
It is important to have one ignition coil feeding multiple sparks plugs to understand and mark the connectors for reassembling. It is crucial to put things back or install the new ignition coil to put it the right way; otherwise, things might not work.
Install the new ignition coil
Once you remove the old ignition coil, it's time now to install the new one. You need to follow the same steps you did to remove the old ignition coil but in reverse order.
For example, if your vehicle type required disconnecting the electrical connectors 1st and then screwing the bolts, you need to screw the bolts 1st and then connect to the electrical connectors.
Reconnect the vehicle's battery
Once you're done installing the new ignition coil, you can reattach your vehicle's battery and connect both terminals. According to the little mode of experts, it's never recommended to overtighten the battery's bolts around the terminals because they can cause significant damages when you want to replace them in the future.
Test the new ignition coil
At this point, you can go ahead and crank the engine to see whether the car starts and idles normally.
Once you confirm that the car is starting normal, it's time to give your vehicle a test drive and see if you see any significant improvements in the car's performance.
How much does it cost to replace an ignition coil?
Replacement of ignition coil should not be super expensive, but it's not cheap as well. It usually costs somewhere between $264 and $376. This price covers both parts and labor costs.
Depending on the shop where you get the job done, labor costs range from $99 to $126.
If you think that you are comfortable enough with replacing your ignition coils, you can save the entire labor cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section will cover some of the most frequent questions about ignition coil issues that we usually receive from multiple customers.
Should I replace all ignition coils at once?
Even if one of your vehicle's ignition coils gets damaged, you might need to replace all coils at once.
When one goes bad, there is a high chance that the other ones will get damaged very soon. Thus, to save on labor costs and save a lot from your time, your mechanical advice you to replace all of them simultaneously.
How often should ignition coils be replaced?
You need to replace your ignition coils once every 100,000 miles. Your vehicle's ignition coils are designed to last for a long time, and it's not very common to replace the ignition coil early in your vehicle's lifetime.
However, if you notice any sign of a bad ignition coil, it's recommended that you go immediately to a professional mechanic and get the problem resolved as fast as possible.
Can I drive with a bad ignition coil?
According to automotive experts, it's never recommended to keep driving with a bad ignition coil. The bad ignition coil will not ignite all fuel, and at some point, all of this added up extra fuel might get burned and probably melt your vehicle's catalytic converter or affected the oxygen sensors.
In other words, driving with a bad ignition coil would only complicate the problem and cost you a lot of money.
What does a bad ignition coil sound like?
A bad engine ignition coil might not make any sounds. However, if it resulted in an engine misfire, you would notice some coughing or sputtering sound immediately after trying to start the engine.
Will changing ignition coil improve performance?
Definitely, Replacing a faulty ignition coil can improve your vehicle's overall performance significantly by providing the required spark at the right time whenever the engine is needing it. Thus, your engine doesn't need to work harder or ask for more fuel to provide the necessary power.
The bottom line
Your vehicle's ignition coil is one of the most important components of your combustion system. Its main role is to convert the battery's small Volt into larger voltage for providing a spark to ignite the fuel in your combustion system.
Without a properly working ignition coil, your vehicle will suffer from many issues, including engine stalling, problems starting, etc.
Replacement of ignition coil is not a hard job, and if you have the required mechanical skill sets, you can save on labor costs and do the job yourself.
If you notice that your vehicle has any other major problems and it might not be worth replacing the ignition coil, we advise you to get in touch with Cash Cars Buyer, who guaranteed your car despite its type or condition.
Our process is very straightforward, and we will ask you to provide additional information about your vehicle type and condition. Once we have this information, we offer you the top dollars for this vehicle that it can make around your area. It's your job to accept the offer ends help us schedule a pickup type and location.
At the pickup time, and the ones fixed your car quickly and remove it safely after handing you the cash payment immediately on the spot!