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How to replace ignition coils?

How to replace ignition coils?

What is an ignition coil?

The ignition coil is an essential part of a gasoline car. You'll never find one in a diesel car. It's a mechanical part that distributes electricity to the spark plugs. The ignition coil is critical to the engine. Defects in this part can quickly limit the functionality of the car. That's why it's so important to find and fix the problem quickly. We'll show you how to replace the ignition coil and what parts to look for.

Why replace an ignition coil?

If the coil is bad, you won't be able to start your engine because there is no spark at the spark plug. If the engine has several coils (one for each cylinder) and some of them are defective, the engine will only run on a few cylinders and will lose a lot of power and smoothness.

Without ignition coils, there can be no combustion in a gasoline engine. A failure is rare, but only the replacement of an important component can help. In a gasoline engine, an ignition coil is an indispensable component: a faulty ignition coil ultimately prevents the ignition of this mixture and causes sometimes inexplicable malfunctions.

When to replace an ignition coil?

There are a number of symptoms that will help you know when it's time to replace your vehicle's ignition coil(s):

  • Higher than normal fuel consumption;
  • Difficulty starting the engine;
  • Jerky acceleration;
  • Car often stalls;
  • Starter running in a vacuum;
  • Engine loses power;
  • Your dashboard light indicates engine trouble;
  • Engine bucks.
  • Black smoke from the exhaust pipe.

When to replace an ignition coil?

Coil Failure Causes

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a coil failure, but here are a few clues:

Bad spark plugs or spark plug leads. The primary cause of spark plug failure is voltage overload. The coil's internal insulation can burn out, causing a short circuit.

Your vehicle's fuel/oxygen mixture is too rich or too lean. This can often be the result and consequence of the previous spark plug problem. Poor mixture can lead to premature coil failure.

Engine heat and vibration can damage ignition coils, especially the insulation. The coils may overheat and the electrical connection to the spark plug may loosen.

Fluid leakage. The ignition coil can deteriorate if it leaks oil or water, such as if a gasket loses its seal.

How do I change ignition coils?

Want to change your coil yourself? Here's a step-by-step guide to replacing your classic, blown coil. Please note: The procedure may vary depending on the type of coil you have.

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

For your own safety, first disconnect your car's battery. This will eliminate the risk of electrocution or shorting when replacing the coil.

Step 2: Disconnect the Electrical Connector

Locate your ignition coil and remove the electrical connector from the coil or coil assembly.

Step 3: Remove mounting screws

Remove the screws securing the coil or coil assembly. There are between 2 and 4 screws, depending on the coil model.

Step 4: Replace the defective coil

Replace the damaged coil with the new one, following the steps in this tutorial in reverse order. And that's it, your coil is replaced and ready to go!

Do-it-yourself or shop replacement?

In general, you don't need to take your vehicle to a shop to replace the ignition coil. Since most ignition coils are easily accessible and quick to replace, the choice is yours. A shop can't charge too much for the job either. If you supply the coil as a replacement part yourself, the price often drops considerably. If you have the manual skills to replace it, it's a good way to save some money.


The proper functioning of your gasoline engine's ignition system depends on components such as the ignition coil. It comes in a variety of forms and plays an essential role in converting and transmitting electrical voltage to the spark plugs. Many symptoms can indicate failure of this part, and it's usually necessary to test it directly to see if it's still working.

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