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How Long Does an Ignition Coil Last?

Let’s discuss the topic of how long does an ignition coil last? If you are the owner of a vehicle, chances are that at some point you will wonder how long your ignition coil can last. Many drivers have heard that this component affects both performance and fuel economy, but don’t know exactly what symptoms to look out for when it’s time to replace it.

In this blog post, we will discuss how long does an ignition coil last, warning signs of damage, and strategies for extending its life.

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How does the Ignition Coil work?

The ignition coil pack serves as a transformer, increasing the battery’s low voltage (12 V) to generate a spark (12,000 to 20,000 volts or more) that bridges the gap in a spark plug. This vital process ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinder, initiating the ignition process. By efficiently igniting the fuel and air, the engine’s cylinder achieves optimal performance.

How Long Does an Ignition Coil Last

80,000 to 100,000 miles

Ignition coil packs are designed to have a lifespan that matches that of the vehicle. However, inadequate car maintenance can lead to premature failure. Typically, these failures occur between 80,000 to 100,000 miles or within 5 to 7 years.

How Long Does an Ignition Coil Last (2)

How to check if the coil pack is defective?

To efficiently evaluate the functionality of a vehicle’s coil packs, follow these steps:

  • Obtain an ohm meter to check for continuity.
  • Research your car’s engine online to find the estimated ohm values required for testing.
  • Use the obtained information to perform the test and ensure proper functioning of the coil packs.

8 Common symptoms of a faulty coil pack

These are the common symptoms to look out for:

  • Lack of power
  • Louder than normal engine
  • Gas warning light
  • Intermittent activation of the check engine light
  • Intermittent emission of smoke from the exhaust
  • Rough idle
  • A large drop in RPM
  • Noticeable lack of power

Factors Affecting When to Change Ignition Coils

Determining how often to replace ignition coils is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Although your vehicle’s user manual provides a basic guideline, the lifespan of ignition coils can be influenced by various factors. In this discussion, we will analyze these factors to provide you with a comprehensive understanding.

The Age and Mileage of Your Vehicle

As your car ages or accumulates more miles on the odometer, the likelihood of needing to replace the ignition coils increases. Higher mileage vehicles have ignition systems that have been subjected to prolonged wear and tear. On average, ignition coils are expected to last between 80,000 and 100,000 miles.

Driving Habits

Do you enjoy the thrill of swiftly taking off from a stop or pushing your car’s boundaries on the open road? While exhilarating, these driving habits put additional strain on your ignition coils, causing them to wear out faster.

Regular Maintenance

Proper maintenance and routine inspections are vital for extending the lifespan of your ignition coils. Neglecting to replace spark plugs at recommended intervals can lead to premature failure and increased stress on the ignition coils.

Vehicle Make and Model

It’s worth noting that ignition coil durability varies across different vehicle models. Conducting research on common issues related to your specific make and model can help you identify and address potential ignition coil failures.

Quality Matters

Not all ignition coils are created equal. Just as with other components, the lifespan of ignition coils is influenced by their quality. Opting for high-quality ignition coils during the initial purchase or replacement can significantly improve their longevity. Although the upfront cost may be higher, it’s a wise investment that will save you money in the long run – while also alleviating unnecessary stress.

What are the reasons for the failure?

Ignition coil packs can fail for various reasons, which include:

-Exposure to heat: The ignition coil packs in the engine bay are subjected to high temperatures, which can cause premature failure.

-Engine vibrations: Continuous engine vibrations can reduce the lifespan of coil packs.

-Aging and moisture: Over time, aging of coil insulation can lead to moisture entering the coil packs, resulting in premature failure.

-Spark plug wear: Worn-out spark plugs can increase the gap between electrodes, requiring higher voltage to create a spark. This additional workload can lead to premature failure of the ignition coil. Faulty spark plug wires can have a similar effect.

-Poor-quality coil packs: Inferior quality ignition coil packs are prone to early-stage failure.

FAQs about How Long Does an Ignition Coil Last?

How much will it cost to replace the coil packs?

The cost for replacing a faulty coil pack is typically under $300 when done at the right time. Rest assured, we ensure a streamlined and attractive replacement process.

How often should you replace coil packs?

Typically, car batteries tend to fail at around 80,000 to 100,000 miles or between 5 to 7 years. Therefore, it is recommended to replace them once your vehicle reaches this limit.

Should I replace coil packs with spark plugs?

Replacing ignition coils should not be viewed as routine maintenance. It is only necessary to replace ignition coils when there is a failure in the coil packs, and you are already changing the spark plugs. If you are replacing spark plugs as part of routine maintenance, there is no need to replace the coil packs.

Do Ignition Coils Need to be Replaced Regularly?

Ignition coils, although often overlooked, require routine replacement due to the effects of high voltage electricity, under-hood temperatures, and vibration. Neglecting their maintenance can lead to unexpected consequences. While the frequency of replacement may not match that of oil changes or tire replacements, it remains a crucial aspect of vehicle ownership.

What happens if you fail to replace the faulty coil pack?

A malfunctioning ignition coil can disrupt the ignition process in the combustion chamber of one or more cylinders, resulting in misfiring. Consequently, the engine may lack the necessary power to operate or start the vehicle. While it is technically feasible to drive with a faulty ignition coil, the performance of the vehicle will be compromised.

However, disregarding this issue may cause additional damage to critical components, such as the catalytic converter, potentially leading to more significant problems. Hence, it is imperative to address any ignition coil concerns promptly to ensure optimal vehicle performance and prevent further damage.

>>>Related: How to Clean Ignition Coil?

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “How Long Does an Ignition Coil Last?”

  1. How long do ignition coils last? Typically, ignition coils have a lifespan of 80,000 to 100,000 miles. However, various factors, such as the ones listed below, may lead to premature failure.


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