Ignition malfunction? Enjoy trouble-free auto starts with a top-quality Ignition Coil, Ignition Coil Driver, and Engine Ignition Coil for your ride/
Are you a fan of the video game Red Alert? Even if you're not, a Tesla coil may not be unfamiliar to you. Basically, a Tesla coil is a man-made device that was invented in the late 19th century. It generates a high voltage of electricity. Similarly, your car's ignition system is like mini-Tesla coil because the system creates and processes electricity. Just like the Tesla coil, your vehicle uses an ignition coil to amplify your battery's primary charge into high-voltage electricity.
This coil is a pulse transformer that converts low-voltage energy from your battery's initial 6 or 12 volts to tens and thousands of volts. It's composed of primary and secondary windings, which route low-voltage energy until they are induced with the current needed for a high-voltage transformation. As the high current exits the terminals, it is then directed to the spark plugs, where it is used to start the engine.
Since your car can generate that much power, it needs to be tapped properly. To do this, it needs a sturdy and reliable ignition coil. With its help, your car's own Tesla coil can perform its function properly. Now you won't see Red Alert-like Tesla coil pulses that zap opposing soldiers, but it does keep your car going, and that's what matters.
Ignition Coil Buyer's Guide
- An ignition coil is a type of transformer that converts low voltage power from the battery to high voltage power that’s needed to activate the spark plug.
- It is composed of copper or brass coils, terminals, and iron core.
- Ignition coils vary in types, which include canister, coil-on-plug, coil pack, and ignition blocks.
- It costs around $16 to $2,300.
- You can avoid engine backfire, misfiring, and other engine problems by replacing your malfunctioning ignition coil.
Before you’re able to drive your car, you must start your engine by turning the ignition switch clockwise using a key. And in able for electric current to reach your engine, the car is equipped with an ignition coil. This piece of transformer converts the low voltage power from the battery to activate the spark plug and ignite the fuel in the combustion chambers.
Ignition coils were invented in the mid-18th century as a specialized version of induction coils that were invented in 1836. Engineers sought further advancements by developing the induction coil, which eventually led to more complex systems. Before ignition coils, car manufacturers used magnetos to supply enough voltage to generate sparks in internal combustion vehicles. It wasn’t until 1910 when carmakers started incorporating battery-and-coil systems in production vehicles.
What is an ignition coil and how does it work?
As long as there are combustion cars, you’ll keep seeing ignition coils in auto parts shops. A basic ignition coil features an iron core, coils, and terminals, working together to receive, convert, and pass electric current from the battery to the spark plug. In addition, older ignition coil designs use paper or varnish to insulate the coils, while additional insulation is achieved by filling the steel housings either with oil or asphalt.
A car battery is only capable of putting out 12 volts but the engine needs more than that. This is where the ignition coils enters the frame. Inside an ignition coil, you’ll find a primary and secondary coil. The primary coil generates a magnetic field when the low-voltage current reaches it. A contact breaker collapses this magnetic field to induce a high-voltage pulse in the secondary winding that is enough to reach the spark plug. It might sound too simple but the actual process happening inside is far more complex than how it sounds .
Types of ignition coils
There are different types of ignition coils available in the market and knowing what type your car uses can make your OE replacement purchase a lot easier. Each type varies in terms of design, circuit layout, and capacity. Whether your car is old or modern, be informed about these ignition coil types.
The can-type coil is one of the oldest types of ignition coil found in classic cars with rotating high-voltage distribution and contact breaker control. It incorporates oil that serves as its insulator and coolant, while modern versions have dry insulation.
Coil-on-plug, also known as pencil, plug shaft, or simply plug, is a type of ignition coil that is found directly on top of the spark plug. They normally don’t need ignition cables but high-voltage connectors are a strict requirement. With respect to its design, the number of ignition coil needs to match the number of spark plugs, as each one needs an ignition coil.
Coil pack system
This type of ignition coil is a single component of multiple plug shafts attached to a “rail,” which is mounted on a series of spark plugs. The main advantage of this design is that you won’t need multiple connecting cables, which also helps in the aesthetic value of your engine compartment. The number of plug shafts on the rail depends on the number of cylinders in your engine.
Ignition coil blocks come either with single or double spark technology. Single spark blocks have ignition cables supplying power to a single cylinder, while dual spark ignition coils supply simultaneous power to two cylinders.
How much is an OE replacement ignition coil?
If you’re looking for an OE replacement ignition coil for your car, the next thing is to determine the quantity of part you need; be it a single part, kit, or set. Pencil ignition coils and blocks are sold individually and in sets, so if you’re after a coil pack, specify it by selecting the specific type in the design category. For a quick guide about the average prices, refer to the items below.
Individual part: roughly around $16 to $630 (Coil Packs are around $2,300)
Kit: around $60 to $900
Set: around $50 to $1,100 (sets of two to 12)
What’s the benefit of replacing ignition coils?
Worn-out ignition coils causes your engine to backfire, so much so that you’ll end up sacrificing your car’s fuel efficiency. If you don’t address this problem, your car might develop further issues like engine misfiring, which could render to your engine losing some power or occasional stalling. If the problem worsens, your car might not start or stall on the highway. Although the problems stated can be due to other reasons aside from ignition coils, it is still best if you can have a mechanic check your car as soon as you notice even a minor issue. Replacing your worn-out ignition coils as soon as possible can save you from further hassles that can arise if the problem persists.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Ignition Coil
Your vehicle's ignition coil is the important auto part that amps up the battery's 12-volt output into the roughly 20,000 volts what transforms the storage battery's 12 volts to the thousands of volts needed to fire the spark the plugs. The ignition coil does this feat with help from two windings wrapped around an iron core. As you turn your vehicle's key in the ignition, electricity starts to pass through the heavy wire turns in the primary winding. This creates a magnetic field around the primary and secondary windings. Breaker points in the ignition coil disrupt the circuit and cause this magnetic field to collapse. In turn, the change creates an high-voltage electrical current in the ignition coil's secondary windings. This current is what gets sent to the distributor for feeding into the spark plug. So without a functional ignition coil, you'll never be able to make it on the battery's power output. Make sure your ignition system generates enough power to jumpstart the fuel combustion process; check the condition of your vehicle's ignition coil. Should you need a replacement, don't hesitate to browse through our catalogs at CarParts.com.
• An ignition coil from our catalog ensures powerful and quick engine startups.
• Our ignition coils are manufactured only by the industry's expert ignition parts manufacturers.
• Each of our ignition coils is precision-engineered to match the specifications of most vehicle makes and models.
Steps on Installing a New Ignition Coil
The cost of installing a new ignition coil ranges from $120 to $200 depending on the type and size of the engine, so if you have the right tools and a bit of DIY skill, you can certainly save a lot of money if you change the ignition coil yourself. In this guide, we'll show you how you can replace the ignition coil in your car:
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials:
- Socket wrench
Pulling out the wires
With the hood propped open and the ignition key turned off, disconnect the negative battery terminal and unplug the wires running from the center of the ignition coil to the distributor cap. Make sure that the wires don't get mixed up. Take note that vehicles with conventional points have a green wire that leads from the side of the distributor and goes into the negative side of the coil. Cars with points replacement units, on the other have, have a red wire that goes into the positive side of the coil and a black one that goes into the negative side.
Removing the oil coil
Loosen the coil mounting bolts and remove the old ignition coil from the distributor cap. The coil is likely to be attached to the mounting bracket by a single bolt, so you will have to loosen this bolt as well to remove the coil as well. If the coil also comes with a rubber insulator and carbon button and spring, remove them as well.
Preparing for installation
Clean the cavity where you removed the ignition coil and install a new carbon button and spring or rubber insulator if necessary. Make sure to coat the rubber with dielectric tune-up grease before putting it back in its place.
Installing the new coil
Install the new coil into the cavity and secure the two leads into the cap connector. Once the coil is in place, insert and tighten the coil mounting brackets and plug all the wires back into the coil, double-checking that the positive and negatives wires go to their respective terminals. Reconnect the negative battery terminal, close the hood, and test drive the car.
Helpful Tips for Ignition Coil Shopping
Your vehicle won't run without a properly working ignition coil unless it has a diesel engine that depends on compression to ignite the fuel/air mixture or a vintage car that uses a magneto ignition system. You need the ignition coil to convert the battery's low voltage into thousands of volts, which are required to produce an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Without it, you would have to push your car for it to move.
What is an ignition coil made of?
Early ignition coils were made from varnish and paper that has insulated high-voltage windings. These were put inside a draw-steel can and filled with asphalt or oil to provide insulation and protect it from moisture. Nowadays, the coils in modern vehicles are cast in filled epoxy resins that seep into any voids within the winding.
How to select the right ignition coil for your car
If you are not looking for a component that will enhance your performance, you can get a stock replacement ignition coil to replace an old or busted one. But, there are also coils that are made for specific road use. These are street or strip coils and race only coils. The street coils are normally rated from 35,000 to 55,000 volts. These coils can give a significantly greater performance than stock ignition coils. They provide easier and quicker starting, better throttle response, and improved gas mileage because you are igniting more fuel than before and producing more power through a more complete combustion of the air-fuel mixture.
Another thing that will help you choose the best ignition coil is by knowing what kind of distributor your car has. This will help you minimize your choices for a coil. If you have an HEI type of distributor, then should only buy an ignition coil that can fit within the distributor cap or one that entirely replaces the distributor cap. Externally mounted coils for
"points style distributors" are the kind of coils that you can find the most in the market. If your ignition system doesn't have a distributor, you will still need an ignition coil for it to operate.
So, determine the use of your vehicle and what type of distributor you have to be able to choose the right ignition coil for your ride.
How Much Does It Cost?
You should be able to find top-quality ignition coils within a price range of about 20 to over 100 USD, depending on whether you're buying them individually or in packs of 3, 6, 8, or 10.
Installing a New Ignition Coil
Since it is very crucial to have a properly working ignition coil in your vehicle, always be alert about symptoms that indicate if it is about to fail. A well-maintained automobile should perform with constant range of about 1,000 RPMs. If your car's RPMs decrease while it is idle or if the check engine light illuminates or flashes, you may be experiencing a misfire. A misfire is a sign that there is something wrong with the ignition coil or the spark plug. When it is clear that you have a busted ignition coil, get a premium-quality replacement to restore the performance of your vehicle.
Below are the things you will need in installing a new ignition coil and the instructions to do so.
(Note: These are general instructions for all types of vehicles.)
- Spark Tester
- Test Light
- Safety glasses
- New Ignition Coil
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flat-head screw driver
- Combination wrench set
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Safety Reminder: Remember to put on safety glasses when working on your automobile. You can also wear other personal protective equipment (PPE), such as closed toe shoes and latex gloves.
- Lift the hood of your car and find the ignition coil. It is usually close to the distributor, if your automobile has one.
- Attach the spark tester to the ignition coil output.
- Start the engine to see if there will be a spark.
- Follow a wiring diagram to figure out if the coil is power or ground side controlled. If it is ground controlled, join the test light clip to the battery's power side and touch the test light to coil's negative side.
- Start the engine again and see if the test light bulb will flash.
- Have the coil disconnected from the negative battery terminal and electrical connections.
- Take out the coil wire from the cap.
- Take out the old ignition coil from your automobile and put a new one its place.
- Perform the removal procedure in reverse to do the installation.
- Start your car and take it on a road test to observe if the ignition coil is working correctly.