The ignition coil is a small but important part of a vehicle’s ignition system. Without it, your car would not start. One good thing about the ignition coil is that even if it fails, it’s easy to find one and replace it yourself. However, choosing a reliable one plays a key role in ensuring optimal ignition system functionality. To make sure you do, you need to know their function, types, and things to consider before buying to get the best deal. Let’s discuss the details here.
Ignition Coil Function: The main function of the ignition coil is to amplify the voltage produced by the vehicle’s battery and allow the spark plugs to ignite. Its function is crucial because a car battery produces only 12 volts of power, which is insufficient to trigger the spark. Therefore, the coil increases the voltage to 12,000 and 25,000 volts and helps the spark plugs to ignite a spark.
Things to consider before you buy: Without an optimally functioning ignition coil, your car will not start. Even a weak or false one could cause frequent breakdowns and affect engine performance. Therefore, it is necessary to buy a good quality one to ensure optimum engine performance. You should consider the following before choosing one.
• Types: Before purchasing an ignition coil, it is best to familiarize yourself with different types to ensure that you purchase the correct coil to fit your existing ignition system. There are three main types of ignition coils: conventional, electronic, and distributorless.
The coil of each type works differently and installs differently. Most older model vehicles, built before the 1980s, use the first two types, and post-1980 models use distributorless coils. You can also choose the ignition coil based on the distributor your vehicle is equipped with.
• Brand: An important aspect to consider when purchasing an ignition coil is the brand of the coil. Many brands offer good quality coils. OEM parts are also available directly from the manufacturer and those on the aftermarket made by third-party manufacturers. Although aftermarket parts are designed to fit the car’s ignition system, their quality varies widely. They are less likely to meet manufacturer specifications than OEM parts. Therefore, it is sensible to go for the best OEM brands.
• New vs. use: Many car owners tend to go for used ignition coils because they are less expensive. Used cars are available in a wide range of conditions. Some can last a long time; some may be in good working condition, while others may be in poor working condition. With just a physical inspection, you may not be able to determine which is good and which is not. A bad coil can weaken the ignition system, resulting in engine misfires or other problems. So, to be more sure, it is better to opt for new coils whose performance is guaranteed.
• Warranty: New ignition coils are warranted by the manufacturer or seller, unlike used ones. Make sure the brand you choose offers quality assurance so that you can get a replacement in case the product is defective or malfunctioning during the warranty period.
• Beware of poor quality imported products: Counterfeit auto replacement parts form a large market in the United States. The fake parts look absolutely perfect from the outside. Packaging, branding, seals, etc., are perfectly imitated to make them appear authentic. Until you use them, you may not be able to tell the difference. Fake parts not only cost you more in terms of mechanical problems, repeated breakdowns, and frequent replacements, but they can also cause safety issues. Therefore, be sure to buy the originals from reputable manufacturers.
Used or aftermarket coils made by third parties may cost you a little less initially, but over time, you will end up spending quite high amounts on repairs and replacements. Therefore, it is sensible to opt for good quality genuine products.