Car Gasoline Engine Servicing

Bad Ignition Coil Symptoms

If your car is running sluggishly or refuses to start at all, it might be some ignition coil problem. Before you take the car to a workshop, you can check for some obvious symptoms of bad ignition coil to rule out this problem.
In the ignition system of the vehicle, the ignition coil primarily provides sparks to the spark plug. Technically, it converts 12v DC power to 40KV necessary to spark the spark plug. It is one of the most important components of the vehicle, such that any problem with it, is bound to reflect on the performance of the vehicle. If ignored, this 'particular' problem may even worsen and result in some serious issue, and you might have to spend a fortune on repairs. In such a situation, being aware of the symptoms of ignition coil going bad can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Some Obvious Symptoms of Bad Ignition Coil

A dead ignition coil will be more than obvious, as it will prevent the engine from starting up in the very first place. Spark plugs require high-voltage power which they can only get from the ignition coil in the vehicle. Taking that into consideration, a bad ignition coil is bound to reflect in the form of some obvious symptoms in the performance of the vehicle. These symptoms may range from ignition problems to sluggish running.

» In the initial stages, a failing ignition coil will continue to provide current, but it will either be abrupt or insufficient for a full spark. This low voltage spark will weaken the combustion process and thus, the car will run sluggishly.

» The engine will make a lot of noise, and the car will struggle even while climbing a slight incline.

» Acceleration will also be affected as the car won't go over a speed of 25 to 30 mph, irrespective of how much you accelerate.

» Repeated spark plug misfiring is also one of the obvious faulty ignition coil symptoms, which stresses on the fact that you need to get it fixed before it causes any damage to the engine.

» You will also experience bad fuel economy and see black smoke accompanied by burnt smell coming from the exhaust.

» At times, you may come across circumstances wherein the car will refuse to start for sometime when it is overheated, as the ignition coil will stop working for sometime when the temperature crosses a particular mark. After the engine cools down, it will resume working properly.

Though we refer to ignition coil in context of vehicles in most of the cases, it is also used in various other machines, including the lawn mower, to spark the spark plugs. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should test the ignition coil and compare the results with the specifications given in the manual. This will tell you whether you need to replace the coil, or fix some other problem which is affecting it. Once you identify the problem, it won't really take time to fix it.