Indications Of A Faulty Ignition Coil

An ignition coil also known as spark coil is the system that transforms the battery’s low voltage to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark-plugs to ignite the fuel and start the vehicle engine. Faulty ignition coil is a problem that is quite tricky to detect and is as common as any other fault from the ignition system. A hasty auto technician may misunderstand this to be a bad fuel pump or clogged up injector nozzles which will entail buying wrong replacement parts. Below are signs to look out for if your spark coil is failing:

1. Backfiring

The backfiring caused by your vehicle can indicate the symptoms of the ignition coil failure in its early stages. The backfiring occurs when the unused fuel in the combustion cylinders of the engine leave through the exhaust pipe. If this problem is left unaddressed, then it can result in the costly repairs which can unnecessary if not properly maintained. The backfiring problem can be detected by the emission of a black smoke through the exhaust pipe. The smell of petrol in that smoke may also give away the ignition coil failure.

2. Fuel Economy

Another symptom for a faulty ignition coil is the affected fuel economy. If your vehicle is getting less mileage than it was before, then it could mean that the ignition coil failure has occurred.

3. Engine Misfiring

Engine misfiring will be seen in a vehicle whose ignition coils have failed. Trying to start the engine of such a vehicle will result in engine misfiring like coughing spluttering noise regularly. When driving at high speeds, jerking and spitting will be seen in the behavior of that vehicle. A vehicle with a failed ignition coil will also result in vibration when it is idling at a stop.

4. Vehicle Stalling

The ignition coil failure will also result in the stalling of that vehicle. This will occur because of the irregular sparks sent to the spark plugs by the faulty ignition coil. The vehicle may shut off completely when brought to stop leaving you with the trouble to restart it.

5. Engine Jerking, Rough idling, Poor Power

Another symptom is engine rough idling, jerking and hesitation even at acceleration, and you will feel poor power when you drive the car.

6. Engine light Code On / DTC on

Commonly the code is: P0351 (Ignition Coil – Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction). If the ignition coil has a malfunction, the engine light code in the combination meter will turn on, and you should use a scanner or diagnostic tool to check the malfunction. You can contact us for Diagnostic scanning service by clicking HERE.

7. Engine hard starting

This symptom will occur especially if your car uses a single coil. If the coil has a malfunction, it means the engine will be cranking without sparks inside all cylinders.

Using a vehicle diagnostic tool is recommended if you suspect you are having a faulty ignition coil. This will help to narrow down which cylinder coil(s) is faulty. Contact us HERE for a diagnostic service.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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