Every little part of a vehicle plays an important role in keeping it moving. The engine, exhaust, or radiator may be more obvious to the naked eye, but each engineering component works in harmony with each other. For example, when a fault is detected with an ignition coil, it has a knock-on impact that could cause the vehicle to come to a complete stop.
The ignition coil is a small but vital part found under the hood of the car, and problems can’t be underestimated. Luckily, it’s quite a straight-forward fix when you know what you’re doing. So here’s a guide to help you along:
The Ignition Coil Is a Vital Electrical Component in a Vehicle
The positioning of the ignition coil under the hood has changed over time. It now sits directly on top of the spark plug for each cylinder, while a small proportion of vehicles will have just one coil for all cylinders.
It’s also known as the secondary coil, and it’s a transformer which converts low voltage (primary battery voltage) into the high voltage (secondary voltage) which fires the spark plugs and combusts the engine. The coil therefore contains a lot of thick and thin wiring which channels the battery energy, and helps spark plugs ignite the fuel and air mixture in the engine to get the vehicle moving. When learning how to become a mechanic, you’ll notice that much more strain is put on ignition coils which have to fire multiple cylinders. Engineering has changed therefore to split the workload, and more ignition coils are being placed in newer vehicles.
There Are Some Easy Ways to Spot Ignition Coil Faults When You Become a Mechanic
A vehicle may start despite a faulty ignition coil, but the engine could suddenly develop a misfire mid journey. This causes the vehicle to shudder and stall, especially when stationary. In some cases, a coil problem may prevent the vehicle from starting at all.
The vehicle’s computer keeps watch over the health of the ignition coil in addition to many other parts and systems. The engine warning light will therefore appear if there’s a problem. This could of course refer to numerous possible issues, but it’s an important piece of information for an auto service technician to consider.
Faulty coils could also contribute to increased emissions from the vehicle, meaning it may fail an inspection. Fuel economy also suffers because the engine isn’t functioning properly. These are expensive issues to deal with, so it’s best for drivers to get it checked out immediately.
Follow a Straight-forward Process to Fix Faulty Ignition Coils
Replacing faulty coils is often a job which takes a few minutes, but sometimes it requires the removal of the engine mounts first. Because this is an electrical issue, grads from auto mechanic college make sure to wear proper safety equipment. They also make sure to remove the ground or negative terminal cable from the battery, before removing the screws which attach the ignition coil to the electrical connector. It can then be removed by twisting it slightly.
The replacement coil may have to be specific to a particular engine, but universal versions are also commonly available. This is then placed into the slot, and secured using a torque wrench. Once the battery is reconnected, start the engine to make sure the coils are working properly. It’s also important to be aware that faulty ignition coils can cause damage to ignition wiring and spark plugs, so they should also be checked for necessary repairs.
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