The ignition coil is one of the most crucial components of any engine, right from the engine of a vehicle to that of a small lawn mower. Without an ignition coil, the ignition system cannot produce the power required to spark the spark plug.
It is a well-known fact that proper maintenance is one of the most crucial aspects of a smooth functioning vehicle, such that ignoring it can result in a range of problems.
Ignition Coil: What Does it do?
The ignition coil is an induction coil that is required to convert the current produced by the 12 volt battery to high voltage current necessary to spark the spark plug.
This 12v direct current (DC) is not sufficient to spark the spark plug and therefore, the ignition coil, with its ability to convert this 12v DC to 40KV, invariably becomes a crucial component of the car's ignition system. Some models have a single unit, while some have one for each spark plug.
Ignition Coil Problems
Weak spark and misfiring are two common problems that you are likely to face in this context. At times, the ignition coil is totally worn out and doesn't produce a spark at all. And then, there are times wherein excessive wear and tear affects the coil and results in weak sparks, which, in turn, reflects on the performance of the vehicle.
While this coil is made from silicon-iron alloy and has the capacity of tolerating heat, other components of the ignition system are not well-equipped for this task. These components get overheated quickly and the rise in temperature within the system hampers the ability of the ignition coil to conduct electricity, thus resulting in ignition system failure.
The resistance levels of the ignition coil also play a crucial role in the proper working of this component. Extremely high or low resistance levels can result in increase in the flow of charge, which may cause damage to the entire ignition system.
Sudden variances in the flow of charge through the coil can result in failure of the coil or weak spark from it, both of which will result in starting problems in the vehicle.
Everyday wear and tear does take a toll on the ignition coil. As high voltage electricity is passed through it constantly during the ignition process, it is bound to degrade the insulation in between the coil windings and coil tower.
This degradation of the insulation makes the coil and ignition system vulnerable to a range of problems, including overheating and mechanical failure.
Being aware of various symptoms of bad ignition coil, like failure to start, bad fuel economy, frequent misfiring, exhaust problems, etc., can be helpful in diagnosis of various problems associated with it.
The earlier you diagnose these problems the better, as they have the tendency to worsen with time and eventually result in major problems which can cost you a fortune.