When Should I Replace my Ignition Coils?
The first step in replacing a coil is to know when it needs to be done. It is crucial to then contact a mechanic to have it replaced.
An ignition coil that is faulty will lead to a low or no power output and may cause the vehicle to do the following:
- Stall and Misfire
- Not start
- Gain less miles per gallon (MPG)
- Put on the check engine light
- Backfire (fuel leakage into the exhaust system)
- Oil Leak
- Gap your Spark Plugs
If you see any of these signs or feel that your car is not performing as well as it used to, you will want to have your car checked out.
The Impact of Not Replacing Worn-Down Ignition Coils
Having a misfired engine for an extended period can damage the catalytic converters and oxygen sensors as a result of unspent fuel being passed through the exhaust system. This can eventually lead to your car not being able to start or accelerate at all.
When it comes down to it, you should not drive your vehicle if you think that your ignition coils need replacing. Continuing to drive an engine with worn ignition coils could result in serious engine damage.
How to Determine the Condition of my Ignition Coils
To determine if an ignition coil needs to be replaced, a mechanic needs to check the primary and secondary ignition circuits. Digital multimeters can be used by mechanics to check both ignition circuits.
With a digital multimeter, resistance can be measured. It is necessary for your mechanic to check your owner's manual to find the normal resistance range for your ignition coils. Specifically, if the primary resistance or secondary resistance fall outside of these normal ranges, the coil needs to be replaced.
An ignition coil needs to be diagnosed and replaced with specialized tools and equipment. Spark plugs and other components of the engine can be seriously damaged even if a mistake is made. In this case, you should hire a mechanic to handle the job instead of attempting to do it alone.