The How and Why Of Selecting An Ignition Coil

The How and Why Of Selecting An Ignition Coil

An ignition coil is a vital component of a vehicle’s ignition system. Its function is to ignite fuel by converting a battery’s voltage to a higher voltage for generating sparks. The ignition coil connects the distributor to the spark plugs, which connects to the engine. A car without ignition coil won’t start and even if the ignition coil fails, it is easy to find one and replace it yourself. Though selecting an appropriate ignition coil is important to ensure the optimal functionality of ignition system. To ensure that you are selecting a right ignition system, you need to learn about function, types, and things to consider before buying in order to get a best deal and best product for your car.

  • Purpose of ignition coil: The key utility of the ignition coil is to strengthen the voltage generated by the vehicle’s battery and enable spark plugs to fire. Its role is very crucial because a car’s battery produces only 12 volts power, which is insufficient to trigger the spark. Thus, the coil increases the voltage to 12,000 and 25,000 volts and helps spark plugs ignite a spark.
  • Types: There are various types of ignition coils and each type has a unique design to work on a particular ignition system.
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Before considering any type of ignition coil for your car, it is important to study and know different types of ignition coils, and ensure that you shop right coil that fits your existing ignition system. You will find three types of ignition coil –

  • Conventional
  • Electronic
  • Distributorless: There are many types of coil, and each type of coil works differently and is installed differently. Recent coil like 2004 Ford F150 Ignition coils work differently and older vehicles, mostly use post 1980 distributorless coils. You can also choose the ignition coil based on the distributor your vehicle is equipped with.
  • Brand: Another important feature to mull over while purchasing an ignition coil is the brand of the coil. Many brands offer good quality coils. OEM parts are made directly available from the manufacturer and those in after-market made by third party manufacturers are also available. However, aftermarket parts are created to fit the car’s ignition system, they vary widely in their quality. Thus, it is sensible to go for top OEM brands.
  • New vs. used: Mostly all car owners prefer used ignition coils because they are cheap. Used coils are available in wide range of conditions. Some work till years, some may be in good working condition, and most chances are they may be in poor working condition too. You can’t predict just by physical inspection, whether they are in good or bad situation. A bad coil will destroy the ignition system, which means the engine misfires or other issue. So, it’s recommended to be on safer side, better to go for new coils whose quality and performance is guaranteed, so that you can replace in case the product is defective.
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Be cautious of deprived quality products: There’s a huge market of counterfeit spare parts in United States. They seem perfect at first look, but further these products will result in mechanical problems, repeated breakdowns and frequent replacements. Used or after market coils made by third party may be cheap initially but after some time you will end up spending fairly high amounts on repairs and replacements. Thus, it is preferred to choose original ones from reputed makers.

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