Changes in technology have resulted in today’s modern ignition coil. The performance of the ignition system has improved since the switch from distributors to the current coil-on-plug arrangement used in most modern vehicles. The new arrangement has reduced the number of moving parts within the ignition system. This has drastically altered the answer to ‘how long do coil packs last’ by decreasing the frequency with which the ignition system requires maintenance and the number of parts that need replacement.
How does a coil pack work?
To ignite the fuel and air in an engine’s cylinder, an ignition coil pack acts as a transformer and increases the low voltage (12 V) from the battery to a level high enough (12,000 to 20,000 volts or more) to generate a spark to bridge the gap in a spark plug. This process ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinder, thus initiating the ignition process.
More: P0430 Code: What It Is and How to Fix It
What are the most common symptoms of a faulty coil pack?
Here are the common symptoms:
- 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
How to test whether the coil pack is faulty?
You can quickly and easily test a vehicle’s coil packs to ensure they function properly. An ohm meter is needed to check their continuity. You must know their estimated ohm values for this testing which you can find out by researching your car’s engine online.
Find Out How to Install Coilovers: A Handy Guide
How long do coil packs last?
Ignition coil packs are manufactured in such a way that they could last the lifetime of the vehicle, but due to failure in the proper maintenance of your car can cause them to fail earlier. Generally, they fail between 120,000 to 150,000 miles or between 5 to 7 years.
How much will it cost to replace the coil packs?
When the faulty coil pack replacement happens at the right time, it will not cost you more than $300 for the replacement.
What are the reasons for the failure?
Ignition coil packs fail due to various reasons, and here are some:
- Ignition coil packs in the engine bay are exposed to large amounts of heat, causing them to fail earlier than expected.
- Continuous engine vibrations can also shorten the lifespan of coil packs.
- Wearing out of coil insulation due to aging can cause moisture to enter the coil packs causing them to fail prematurely.
- Wearing out of the spark plug increases the gap of the spark plug, and hence a large amount of voltage will be required to jump the gap in the cylinder. This causes the ignition coil to work more, resulting in premature failure. A faulty spark plug wire also has the same effect.
- Poor-quality ignition coil packs also fail at an early stage.
What happens if you fail to replace the faulty coil pack?
A malfunctioning ignition coil prevents the mixture of air and fuel from igniting in the combustion chamber of one or more cylinders. Because of this, they won’t open fire, and this process is called misfiring. If this happens, the engine won’t get the power it needs to drive the car or even start.
Driving with a broken ignition coil is possible, but the vehicle will not perform as well. Ignoring an issue with the ignition coil might cause further harm to the vehicle, especially to the parts like the catalytic converter, which can lead to greater problems.
Ignition coil replacement should never be considered routine maintenance. You can replace the ignition coils while changing your spark plugs only if there is some failure. If you are replacing the spark plugs as part of the routine maintenance, you don’t need to replace the coil packs. Spend the money on their replacement only if they are faulty. Properly maintain your car to make your ignition coil packs last longer.
How often should you replace coil packs?
Generally, they fail between 120,000 to 150,000 miles or between 5 to 7 years. So, you need to replace them once your car reaches this limit.
Should I replace coil packs with spark plugs?
Ignition coil replacement should never be considered routine maintenance. You can replace the ignition coils while changing your spark plugs only if there is some failure in the coil packs. If you are replacing the spark plugs as part of the routine maintenance, you don’t need to replace the coil packs.
You can rely on our all-in-one Way App to help you locate the best EV charging, gas discounts, auto insurance, auto refinance, and more. We will also assist you in locating and reserving the best parking and car washes in your area.