Knowing if Your BMW 323i Ignition Coil Has Problems
Ignition coils are as important as the spark plugs or any other component in your BMW's ignition system. Each BMW 323i ignition coil in your car's 6-cylinder engine works to amplify the battery's 12 volts to a lot higher voltage. This brings about the fire that is necessary to ignite the fuel needed to get the car going. The coils are built to last a long time, but since they are constantly exposed to high currents of electricity and high temperatures, they tend to wear out eventually. And when they do start to get bad, you will experience a few symptoms of problems that will signal the need to get new ones as soon as possible.
This is very common when the spark plugs are gapped way too far from each other, resulting in additional voltage that makes the spark jump from one electrode to another. This arrangement strains the coils because of the additional load of current. It heats them up and causes them to expand and contract every time. This process decreases the reliability of the coils and also causes malfunctions.
Sluggish speed and rough running
Coils that are on the brink of expiration can still provide some current to the spark plugs. But, this will no longer be enough and will result in slow speeds. There is also the possibility that the current may be inconsistent, causing intermittent sparks that will make your BMW run like an old clunker.
Stalling and stopping
Your car needs a continuous supply of sparks to keep running. If your ignition coils are failing, you will experience stalling while on the road. You will be able to notice this when there is a sluggish response when you step on the accelerator. Also, if the ignition coils completely fail while driving, the car will stop working altogether. This is going to be a major problem especially if you are driving through the Interstate.
Your BMW 323i will not even start with a completely failed ignition coil. This is because the energy needed by the spark plugs to fire up the fuel does not reach them anymore.
Preventing Troubles with BMW 323i Ignition Coils
Before you think of replacing even just one BMW 323i ignition coil because you believe it is going bad, know first that most troubles lie with other components that work alongside it. The ignition coils are very important parts of your vehicle's ignition system-a total failure will result in your car's not working at all. So to effectively maintain the ignition coils, you will need to follow certain measures of maintaining other engine components. Take a look at the following guide to prevent troubles with your car's ignition coils:
- Properly gap spark plugs.One reason why ignition coils fail is the incorrect gapping of spark plugs. If they are gapped too widely, the ignition coils will have to carry additional loads to send more voltage so that the spark can jump from one electrode to another. The correct spark plug gap for BMW 323i is 0.6 mm or 0.24 in. If the gap gets even just a bit higher this, you will need to re-gap the spark plugs.
- Keep your spark plugs in best shape.Running with fouled, dirty spark plugs will render the firing mechanism to not work properly. This also puts stress on the ignition coils. So checking and cleaning your spark plugs after every 30,000 miles is actually advisable. For this, you can use a wire brush or sandpaper and gasoline or alcohol to remove the dirt and debris that clog the firing tips. But of course, after running 100,000 miles, you will also have to replace them.
- Replace dying battery.If you know your car's battery has provided power long enough, you better check if it is about to expire. An almost-dead battery places quite a bit of strain on ignition coils and wears them out a lot faster. To solve this problem, simply get a new battery for your BMW 323i.
- Secure wiring connections.Since BMW 323i ignition coils require grounding wires, make sure you securely connect them. Ensure that the ignition wires are properly connected as well. This is because poor or loose ignition wires can cause the high voltage produced by the coils to arc across themselves, resulting in damage to the ignition coils.