Ignition coils are important components in the design of gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. They are an essential link between battery and the spark plugs. Batteries produce low voltage power at 12 volts and ignition coils transform that voltage into the thousands of volts needed for spark plugs to do their job. Without ignition coils, spark plugs couldn’t generate the sparks required for combustion. That’s why ignition coils are an important link in the design of internal combustion engines.
Like any component, ignition coils will eventually wear out. When they do, engine performance will decline, eventually leading to failure if you don’t get it fixed. The warning signs for a failing ignition coil are similar to the ones for many other components, including starters and alternators. If you experience any of the following issues, you can’t immediately pinpoint it to the ignition coils, but you should include the ignition coils on your list of suspects.
7 warning signs of failing ignition coils
1) Check engine light turns on
A faulty ignition coil will often trigger the check engine light. To find the reason why the light came on, a mechanic can do a computerized onboard diagnostic check to source the problem.
2) Sluggish engine starts
If your engine doesn’t quite want to turn over, it could be due to insufficient voltage being delivered to the spark plugs. If the engine won’t turn over on the first try, this is a potential warning sign for an ignition coil that is wearing out.
3) Stalling when idling
A vehicle that stalls when idling may not be getting volts consistently delivered to the spark plugs. If your vehicle stalls when you’re waiting at a stoplight, check the condition of your ignition coils.
4) Engine misfires
Misfires that occur when either idling or accelerating are often caused by an ignition coil going bad.
5) Excessive vibration
Vibration beyond what’s normal can be a sign of ignition coil problems. It’s caused by an inconsistent delivery of voltage to the spark plugs.
6) Sluggish performance
When accelerating, if you just don’t have the power that you once did, it might be the ignition coils getting old and tired.
7) Diminished fuel economy
If you’re not getting as many miles per gallon of gasoline these days, you may have failing ignition coils. Gasoline usage can increase when ignition coils aren’t at peak performance.
What new ignition coils will do for you
All electrical and mechanical components eventually get old and tired. Ignition coils are no different. New ignition coils will improve everything from faster starts to better acceleration. If you have been experiencing any of the previously mentioned conditions, you may want to investigate to see if old ignition coils are the source of the problem. New ignition coils could be the key to like-new performance once again.