All ignition systems for modern petrol engines use ignition coils for the same basic function: to create the high voltage required to produce a spark at the spark plug.
When you turn the key and all things go well, the engine starts right up. In the background a whole series of things happen to get your car started. Your car’s brain (Electronic Control Module) directs the ignition coils to deliver power to your spark plugs. The gap in your spark plugs literally causes a spark in the engine cylinder and ignites the fuel forcing the cylinders to move up and down. Then the engine spins which causes all kinds of magic to turn your wheels, so you can roll down the road.
Ignition coils are copper wires wrapped around a piece of iron. Modern cars usually have one ignition coil for every spark plug. So, if you have a six-cylinder engine, there is a strong possibility you have six coils. However, there are exceptions. Some cars have one ignition coil for every two spark plugs.
Why should you care about this? Well, ignition coils fail and when they do, your engine makes strange and startling sounds. You may even see a flashing check engine light. Definitely DO NOT keep driving if you see that check engine light flashing.
One cause of an ignition coil failure is an old and tired spark plug. That is why we recommend you do your preventive maintenance and change your spark plugs on schedule. Whereas spark plugs cost $3 to $12 a piece, ignition coils can cost hundreds of dollars.
Oil leaks on the rubber boots of your coil can also cause a coil to short and fail. So that’s a good reason to address oil leaks.
A bad ignition coil can also burn up your car’s brain. That is a very expensive repair that can cost a thousand dollars or more.
Now you know why the Ignition Coils are so important. It is our pleasure to share with you information about taking care of your car. We welcome your questions and invite you to come by the garage. We always have a cup of coffee for you.