In this blog post, we’ll break down ignition coil replacement cost and provide advice from experienced mechanics on when it’s necessary to replace these components. With this information in mind, you’ll have a better understanding of what Ignition Coil Replacement Cost could look like for your particular make and model of vehicle.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace an Ignition Coil?
The average cost of replacing an ignition coil is between $150 to $300, with additional labor costs of $70 to $140. The total service bill can reach up to $450. Newer vehicles typically have one coil per spark plug, which increases labor costs and overall replacement costs.
Related: Timing Chain Replacement Cost
How to Lower Ignition Coil Replacement Costs?
Car owners can lower the cost of ignition coil replacement by opting for a remanufactured or made-to-fit replacement part instead of purchasing a brand new OEM part. These options can be significantly cheaper while still providing reliable performance.
What is an Ignition Coil?
An ignition coil is an essential part of any combustion engine, as it increases the battery’s small charge to the adequate levels needed to create a spark for igniting the air-fuel mixture within a chamber. It does this by transforming 12 volts of electrical energy into 25,000 to 30,000 volts of high-voltage pulse—a must for efficient combustion!
If the voltage isn’t sufficient enough to ignite the mixture, then not only won’t it burn completely or at all, but you can end up damaging your engine components.
Related: How to fix a dead car battery?
Types of Ignition Coils
All of the available types of ignition coils today offer reliable and efficient technology for delivering a spark to your engine cylinders. While cars from early models relied on more clunky parts like points or a distributor-less coil, today’s car engines use a much simpler setup, with each cylinder having its own dedicated coil-on-plug ignition coil.
This is an incredibly convenient, dependable way to ensure each cylinder is receiving a spark, so if you’re looking for an upgraded part to give your engine a boost or replace some old components, you can trust that opting for one of the current options will provide successful and reliable performance.
How Does the Ignition Coil Work?
An ignition coil uses electromagnetism to transform the low voltage from the battery into a high voltage needed to create a spark in the spark plug. The coil is composed of a wire coil and a core, and when electricity flows through the coil, it creates a magnetic field.
When the current is switched off, the magnetic field collapses, creating a high voltage pulse that is sent to the spark plug. This process is timed by the engine control module for each cylinder to maximize efficiency.
How To Tell When an Ignition Is Bad
When an ignition coil is damaged, it will produce several different symptoms that can be observed while driving. These include:
1. Check Engine Light
One of the most important signs that you have a bad ignition is the check engine light. If this light begins to illuminate, then it is likely there is an issue with the coil in one of your cylinders. Along with this light, you will likely experience constant misfires within the cylinder with the faulty coil as well. Take note when these symptoms begin to surface, and it may save time and energy in fixing the issue!
2. Your emissions will be higher
When it comes to a bad ignition, one of the biggest giveaway clues is an increase in emissions. Your car may be running alright right now, but if your emissions are consistently higher than normal, particularly a raw fuel smell or black smoke from the tailpipe, it’s time to dig deeper and investigate whether your ignition is at fault.
3. Your fuel efficiency will drop
If your vehicle starts having trouble when starting up, it may be a sign of a bad ignition and time to get it checked out. In addition to this classic symptom, you should also keep an eye on your fuel efficiency. Poor performance from the bad cylinder will put stress on the other cylinders and cause them to go through fuel more quickly than normal.
4. Your engine might not start
When you put your car key in the ignition, but it won’t start, it might be a sign that your ignition is bad. If you have an older car, the chances of having a bad ignition increases significantly; cars with points systems, electronic coils and distributor-less coils can all fail. In cases where more than one coil is bad, the vehicle will not even attempt to start.
5. You might have an issue with acceleration
If you press the gas pedal, but your car has a hard time accelerating, it could be because of a bad ignition coil. When one cylinder isn’t working as efficiently as the others due to a faulty part, it will cause the engine to struggle. If you find yourself having trouble keeping up while on the highway or you notice that your engine is stuttering when you try and accelerate quickly, then it could be a sign of an ignition coil in need of repair.
6. Rough Idle
One of the tell-tale signs of a bad ignition coil is a rough idle. This means that when the car comes to a stop, it might shake or vibrate more than usual due to misfires in one or more cylinders. If you notice this symptom with any other strange behavior from your engine, then it could be time to get it checked out.
Backfiring is when combustion in the exhaust pipes occurs without passing through the engine. This can be caused by a bad ignition coil or spark plugs, both of which can cause an imbalance of fuel and air within the cylinders. If you hear loud noises coming from your car’s exhaust pipe while driving, it might be time for a checkup!
8. Jerking and Vibrating
If you feel your car jerking and vibrating, it could be a sign of a bad ignition coil. This is because the coil is not providing the spark necessary for the combustion process to occur smoothly in all cylinders. If you are experiencing jerking or vibrating while driving, you should get your car checked out as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.
9. Loss of Power
A bad ignition coil can cause your car to lose power while driving. This is because the spark plugs are not receiving enough energy from the coil, which results in a lack of combustion and power output. If you notice that your car has sluggish performance or a noticeable loss of power, it could be due to a faulty ignition coil.
Related: Weak Ignition Coil Symptoms
What Can Cause Ignition Coil Failure?
There are several reasons why ignition coils could become damaged and malfunction. The most common causes include:
1. Damaged or worn spark plugs
There are several potential causes of ignition coil failure. One common cause is bad spark plugs or plug wires, which can lead to excessive current flowing through the ignition coil and causing it to burn out. Additionally, an excessively rich or lean fuel-to-oxygen mixture can cause premature failure of the ignition coils. Engine heat and vibrations can also contribute to ignition coil damage over time.
Vibrations can cause damage to the ignition coil windings or insulation over time, leading to shorts or breaks in the secondary windings. This is why it’s important when buying a new ignition coil that you purchase it from a certified supplier who offers high-quality products and warranties.
If your ignition coil gets too hot due to factors such as excessive current or under-voltage, it’s ability to conduct electricity will be hindered. So, if your car isn’t as responsive as it used to be and you suspect an issue with the coil, make sure to check the temperature and take measures straight away!
4. Wear and tear
Wear and tear is one of the most common reasons for an ignition coil failing, which often results from a reduced level of insulation between the coil windings. This can lead to the coil overheating and not performing as expected.
What To Do After Changing an Ignition Coil?
After changing an ignition coil, clean the area around the coils, check for loose wires or parts, and ensure all coils are properly seated.
Test your ignition system to ensure everything was done correctly. Let the engine idle for a few minutes to allow the new coils to break in and seat properly. Then, go for a test drive to ensure the vehicle is running smoothly.
FAQs about Ignition Coil Replacement Cost
Are Ignition Coils Interchangeable?
Although many ignition coils are interchangeable, some differ slightly in terms of specifications and connections. To ensure that you can get the best performance out of your vehicle, always check with your mechanic or car’s manufacturer before buying a new ignition coil.
Is it worth replacing ignition coil?
Yes, replacing the ignition coil can be worth it if you are experiencing issues with your car’s engine performance. Ignition coils are responsible for bringing spark to your car’s engine and a faulty one can lead to poor fuel economy and other problems. So, investing in a new ignition coil is definitely worth it!
Can you drive with a broken ignition coil?
No, it is not recommended to drive with a broken ignition coil. Doing so can cause the car’s engine to stall or misfire and may result in further damage.
Can you replace just 1 ignition coil?
If a single ignition coil is failing, it can be replaced without having to replace the other coils; however, better results are likely if all the spark plugs and coils are replaced together. That will save you time by not having to remove the poor performing coil twice, and you can also rest assured knowing that all components are fresh and working optimally!
How do I check if my ignition coil is good?
If you think your ignition coil isn’t working quite the way it should, there are a few steps you can take to make sure. Removing the coil and plugging it back in and using an OEM-certified ignition spark tester like 25069 is one good way to ensure that your coil is functioning properly. Multimeters can also be used to test resistance on a coil, which is another reliable approach for making certain that your coil isn’t damaged or faulty.
In conclusion, Ignition Coil replacement cost is one of the biggest factors that need to be taken into account when considering overall car maintenance. While it may seem like a costly expense, replacing your ignition coil can save you money in the long run by protecting your engine and ensuring optimal performance of your vehicle.
We encourage people to stay on top of their car maintenance and to routinely check their ignition coils (or any other important auto parts) to prevent pesky (and expensive!) issues from arising in the future.
We hope that this article has been helpful in informing you about ignition coil replacement cost and the reasons why it is important.
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.