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Ford Escape Ignition Coil

Problems Associated with Your Ford Escape Ignition Coil and How to Troubleshoot Them

Your Ford Escape ignition coil is the main power source for the engine and the ignition system, so any problem with the coil can lead to poor engine performance. You'll also notice a big drop in the vehicle's gas mileage. Here are some of the problems related to ignition coils and the steps in diagnosing them:

Loose coil wire connections

If your Ford Escape's engine is showing occasional misfires, or if it's bogging down and starting up again, that means you have a faulty ignition coil. Once the coil wire connections have been loosened from their connection points, the engine can temporarily cut out as the vehicle hits road bumps or passes over rough roads. If this is the case with your ride, open the hood and locate the ignition coil. There should be a thin positive wire and a thin negative wire hooked up to the face of the coil. The negative wire is connected to ground while the other wire accepts battery voltage. Inspect both connections and make sure they're clean and tight.

Problems with high-tension wire

A high-tension wire that has corroded or has developed high resistance at the connection points can cause a weak or intermittent spark while a wire that has shorted out can lead to a no-start condition. An ohmmeter can be used to check the high-tension wire for high resistance; any resistance detected indicates a bad wire.

Overheating coil

An overheating coil can cause the ignition cooling oil to boil and burst through the outer coil casing, causing it to leak. This kind of defect is easy to identify because all you need to do is to look for a wet, oil-soaked coil with melted casing. There are also times when an overheating coil doesn't burst the casing but is extremely hot to touch. You can determine it by simply touching the ignition coil.

Shorted ignition coil

No spark or no-start condition indicates shorted ignition coil. This can be diagnosed by disconnecting the high-tension wire from the distributor and connecting a spark plug to the end of the said wire. An extra wire should be used to screw onto the spark plug's threads. The thin ground wire should be disconnected from the coil face, and the other end of the spark plug ground wire must be connected to the ignition coil's negative terminal before setting the key to the "ON" position. The opposite end of the negative coil wire should be tapped onto a good grounding surface. At each tap, watch out for hot, blue-white sparks at the spark plug electrode. Absence of sparks signifies a shorted coil.

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  • Tips in Servicing and Maintaining Your Ford Escape Ignition Coil

    For your Ford Escape engine to work properly and allow the vehicle to take you places, it must be fed with healthy, high-quality spark from the ignition coil. But much like other auto parts, years of use can take their toll on the ignition coil, causing its internal windings to tire up and cease to deliver good amount of spark. If you don't want your Ford Escape to miss frequently, stall after it has warmed up to operating temperature, or fail to start, you'd better check and service your Ford Escape ignition coil regularly.

    • Use only the right size of wrench or ratchet.
    • Whether you're testing, servicing, or replacing the ignition coil, it is wise to use the right wrench or ratchet to avoid damaging the coil itself and other nearby components.
    • Keep the wires, terminals, mounting surfaces, and electrical connectors clean.
    • Inspect the electrical connector, harness connector, wires, and connector terminals for dirt, rust, and damage. To remove rust or dirt around the harness connector terminals, use an electrical contact cleaner. The harness connector should also be applied with electrical contact grease. Replace the electrical connectors if there are cracks or any broken part on their body. You can use a soft wire brush to rid the mounting surfaces of dirt.
    • Maintain the tiptop shape of your ignition coil housing.
    • Damaged ignition coil housing can allow moisture to penetrate into the primary and secondary coil and cause spark-over resistance. This problem is more likely to occur during winter and rainy season.
    • Keep the ignition module in good working condition.
    • Though age and constant use result in internal short circuits that increase the risk of ignition coil overheating, most of the time, this problem is caused by a defective ignition module.
    • Make sure the vehicle's battery and ignition cables are all in good shape.
    • If the power coming from the battery decreases, there will be insufficient voltage supply as well as longer charge times for the ignition coil.