Indicators Of Bad Ignition Coil Symptoms for Vehicles

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Ignition coils in vehicles are equipped with a primary and a secondary coil. When turning on the vehicle, electricity comes from the battery and goes to the primary coil which creates a magnetic field, and this in turn draws the current over to the vehicle's secondary coil. In this coil, the electricity has a voltage high enough that it creates a spark in the spark plug, and this ignites the fuel and air combination. If this process does not operate the way it is supposed to, ignition coil symptoms appear. There are some ways to know when the ignition coil is going bad.


Stalling of Vehicle


One ignition coil symptom that previews what occurs when the coil fails totally is a stalling engine. Engine failure will result when the coil totally fails. If the ignition coil is not working, the existing spark plug is uneven, which causes uneven firing of the pistons. When there is not proper ignition of the fuel and air combination, the engine can stall at any time.

Misfiring of the Engine


There is no way the engine will run smoothly when the spark plugs are firing intermittently. Since the pistons do not fire at normally expected intervals, sputtering of the engine can be heard. At an engine idle, there can be a vibration. When travelling at higher speeds the automobile can sometimes jerk. A bad ignition coil symptom is usually very noticeable, because the ride will generally be very jerky.

Trouble with Vehicle Starting


This ignition coil symptom is one of the best clues that something is wrong. When the coil is not working right, the spark plugs are not getting the normal charge that they would receive when the key is turned on and this makes starting the automobile a difficult task.

Backfiring of Engine


Improperly working spark plugs can cause the fuel/air combination to not ignite completely. The leftover combination of fuel and air goes into the exhaust. This causes the backfiring conditions. This ignition coil symptom is a sign of the coil’s failure and an indication that the vehicle is probably getting further damage. Backfiring may cause severe damage to the vehicle's exhaust system. When the backfiring happens often, the vehicle should be looked at by a mechanic.

Low Fuel Economy


A lot of the fuel is going to the exhaust and is just being wasted, because the engine is not firing like it should. This causes low fuel economy, because the vehicle is not able to get as many miles on a gallon of gas as it did before having problems with the ignition coil. This is a bad ignition coil symptom that can affect the wallet.

The ignition coil will eventually fail completely and the automobile will refuse to operate because the spark plugs will not fire at all. This could be dangerous if the car is in operation on the road and the coil fails, it causes the car to quit operating. When noticing any of these symptoms it is wise to have the vehicle checked by a knowledgeable technician.

About the author: Brandy does work for David Stanley Chevrolet— if you’re looking for a used truck Oklahoma City looks here first. Matt enjoys writing about the latest in automotive innovations and auto repair.


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