You can tell something is wrong in your car when you feel it isn’t enjoyable to drive around.

One of the problems might be the ignition coil that needs to be repaired or completely replaced eight out of ten times. But what an ignition coil is?  Below here is a complete guide to your car’s ignition system.

If your car struggles to start, is misfiring, or gets fewer miles per gallon, there may be an issue with the ignition coil. This is problematic because it not only causes your automobile to perform poorly, if at all, but it also increases the cost of replacing the pricey catalytic converter in your exhaust system.

The coil is problematic since it is largely unknown to most people. You may occasionally hear reports of the coil having issues. Still, unlike the spark plug, a well-known component of an automobile’s ignition system, the coil is mysterious.

In the following paragraphs, you will get an explanation of how the ignition coil in-car functions, why your automobile requires one, and what to do if it breaks.

What is an Ignition coil?

It is the component of an automobile’s ignition system that converts the battery’s output of 12 volts (known as low-tension current) into up to 45,000 volts (known as high-tension current) before delivering it to the engine’s spark plugs.

Where is the Ignition coil Located in a Car?

The ignition coil is located between the battery and the distributor if the vehicle is older. It ‘distributes’ the high-tension voltage it generates to each spark plug through thick, rubbery HT leads (one per plug).

The coil is likely to be fitted directly to the spark plug or a pair of spark plugs in current cars with electronic ignition systems that ‘fire’ the spark plugs at the appropriate moment using a computer rather than a distributor. A contemporary engine can therefore contain several coils.

What is the importance of an ignition coil in a car?

The unsung hero of the engine is the ignition coil. The spark plug gets all the glory by providing sparks to ignite the combustion, but the ignition coil provides power to the spark plug. The spark plug receives the voltage that the coil amplifies and transmits through it after being drawn from the 12V battery. Knowing the symptoms of an incorrect ignition coil is just as crucial as knowing when your spark plug breaks.

Typically, there is an ignition coil in each cylinder. It is a tubular part made of two coils of copper wire wrapped around a laminated iron core. The coil is either placed nearby and attached to a short high-voltage wire or directly connected to the spark plug.

How does an Ignition coil work in a car?


The ignition system comprises several parts, including an ignition coil, a spark plug, a distributor, a rotor, etc. Each of these has a distinct role in the overall operation of the engine. The distributor distributes the spark plug’s spark, which causes the fuel-air mixture to ignite.

The primary and secondary coils are the two major coils wrapped around the ignition coil’s iron core. Both coils tightly roll silicon steel, which is then used to coil an iron core.

The primary coil is on the outside of the two coils, which are rolled in the same direction.

A high bulkhead resistance composed of paper is also used in the ignition coil to prevent short circuits (short circuits) between neighboring coil layers.

Working :

When a coil is electrified, a magnetic field will form; the size of this magnetic field depends on the coil’s number of turns, wire diameter, and the voltage and current that flow through it. The magnetic field produced in the coil increases as the number of turns and currents increases.

Both coils will experience electromagnetic induction when the magnetic field is aligned with other coils. Compared to the primary coil, the secondary coil has more turns. As a result, the secondary coil’s output voltage will be significantly higher.

When the electric current in the primary coil is abruptly shut off, the electromotive force will be generated in the secondary coil. The primary coil becomes electrified when the platinum (breaking point) closes.

The primary current will be abruptly disrupted when platinum opens quickly. The magnetic field surrounding the coil immediately vanishes due to this interruption in the current flow. A voltage develops in the coil as the line of magnetic force rapidly changes around it. As a result, electrical energy is returned to the coil in place of the magnetic field’s energy.

Induction voltage will occur in both coils. Self-induction occurs in the primary coil, while mutual induction occurs in the secondary coil. A spark jump will occur if there is a space between the positive and negative electrodes at the end of the secondary coil.

Symptoms of a faulty Ignition Coil

Here are some signs that your ignition coil is about to fail.

  1. Hard starts 
  2. Engine light turned on 
  3. Misfiring engine 
  4. Poor gas mileage control 
  5. Backfires 
  6. Diminishing power outputs 
  7. Oil leaks 

How to extend the life of an Ignition Coil

Below are some tips on how to extend the life of an ignition coil in your car:

1. Battery has to be fully charged.

Make sure to give the battery a full charge.

2. Look for any oil leaks

Verify the sealant for any damage. This issue may cause oil to leak.

3. Prevent moisture from forming

Keep an eye out for any cracks near the ignition coil. Make careful you use an adhesive to seal any such cracks.

4. Avoid overheating your engine.

Running the air conditioner during the heat adds extra strain to the engine. They generate too much heat. This heat could impact the ignition coil’s durability.

5. Reduce vibrations

You could occasionally hear a strange knocking sound. Such noise is a sign of damage to the component from which it originates.

Wrap Up: Guide to Ignition Coil in A Car

Ignition coils are crucial electromagnetic components that increase a car battery’s 12V to almost 100000V.   Any abnormalities with the ignition coils have the potential to affect how the car operates seriously. As a result, vehicle owners should be alert for any ignition coil issues.

Fortunately, as previously described, replacing ignition coils is a straightforward process. Do not wait for your car’s issues to get worse. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, fix them.