4 Signs Your Vehicle’s Ignition Coil Could Be Failing

Your car, truck, or SUV’s ignition coil plays a critical role in getting the engine started. The ignition coil could actually be called an induction coil, because this automotive part takes the 12 volts your vehicle generates and turns it into several thousand volts. The spark plug gap needs this much voltage to create the spark that ignites the carburetor’s air/fuel mixture. Here are four signs your ignition coil is failing.

Poor Starts and Stalls

Starting your vehicle will become problematic if your ignition coil cannot boost the voltage like it should. You may notice it’s nearly impossible to start your automobile when the weather is cold. You may also have to try several times to get it started because it won’t catch or it will catch and then stall. If your engine stalls when you stop, the coil could be to blame or you may have other problems.

Backfires and Sluggish Engine Performance

Although these problems are more frequently caused by clogged air, fuel, and oil filters as well as a lean carburetor mixture, your ignition coil will cause your engine to perform poorly because it affects how the spark plugs perform. Without the voltage, the spark plugs cannot fire or will misfire. This creates engine stutters and stalls, as well as lagging engine performance when you try to accelerate.

Damage from the Spark Plugs

Your vehicle’s spark plugs can actually cause the coil death. Dirty, misfiring, or worn spark plugs can damage the ignition coil, so plan to have your spark plugs changed when recommended. On older car, trucks, and vans, it’s a good idea to have the spark plugs changed every 30,000 miles, especially if you drive a much older car. Newer vehicles can wait as long as 75,000 to 100,000 miles. 

Warning Light

This sign could point to just about anything. Your check engine light turns on when there are problems with nearly every system in your automobile, so it might not be the coil. It will turn on, however, if there is an issue with the ignition system, and the problem could be the coil. It’s best to get a diagnostic check when your check engine light turns on to find the exact reason for the warning.

If you suspect you have a problem with your ignition coil or other system component, call Ultimate Auto Repair to set up an appointment. We’ll make your visit to our service shop as convenient as possible, and we’ll find the problem and fix it.


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