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Ignition Coils

Ever go to a party that you have high hopes for, but once you arrive it barely seems interesting?

The atmosphere in the room is stuffy and the conversation is trivial.

You survey the room and stumble upon a few acquaintances who are considered “outgoing” with some people they know – but are a bit shy around those they don’t.

At that point you’ve made a decision to leave when all of a sudden two new guests arrive.

This unique couple is flashy and different – perhaps a bit wild and extraordinarily funny; but what you really notice is the way they work the room. They handshake, smile, tell a great joke – dance without a care and pump up the music.

In a matter of moments the once dull party becomes energized through the antics of this jovial – fun – and interesting pair.

In fact, the couple single-handedly powers up the spark that literally “started the engine” of the party.

Speaking of powering up an engine…you may not realize it but it takes a lot of energy to start your vehicle up each day. How much energy exactly? Well, it’s in the neighborhood of between 50,000 and 100,000 volts to be exact.

So how does one get that lightning burst of power all the way from a typical 12 volt battery - over to the spark plug?

You guessed it...the Ignition Coils.

Gasoline and air are ignited in your engine to create a small explosion to generate power. The spark plug provides a little blast of high voltage electricity to light the fire. A cable from the battery enters the ignition coil. True to its name, the coil has two windings (coils), of copper wire. The first winding uses a thicker wire and the second winding has thousands of winds of smaller wire. By the time the electricity has made it through the windings, the voltage has increased enough to power the spark plug.

Because of the intense amounts of electricity that pass through ignition coils, they wear out. When a coil fails to provide enough electricity to fire a spark plug(s), the engine “misses”. The engine will run rough and may shut down entirely.

It’s generally advisable to replace all of the ignition coils at the same time – once one has failed, others are probably not far behind. This is also often a good time to replace the spark plugs as well.

Any time your engine is running rough, have us take a look at it. We have the diagnostic equipment and expertise to isolate the problem, fix it and get you back on the road or party as soon as possible.

Posted October 22nd, 2015

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