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Spark plugs and ignition coils play a crucial role in the secondary ignition system in cars. The secondary ignition system produces high voltage electrical current to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber. Faulty spark plugs and ignition can lead to poor engine performance, causing problems like fuel inefficiency and engine damage.
This article will cover everything you need to know about replacing spark plugs and ignition coils.
When to change spark plugs and ignition coils?
Faulty spark plugs and ignition coils can be easily detected. Here are their symptoms:
1. Black smoke production
The clearest indicator of a faulty ignition coil is black smoke production combined with a foul smell. If your ignition coil does not operate correctly, the strength of the spark produced to ignite the fuel will be lower than required. As a result, the exhaust gas mixes with unburned energy causing black smoke to produce.
2. Fuel inefficiency
Higher-than-usual fuel consumption is a standard indicator of faulty spark plugs or ignition coils. When the engine receives lower amounts of burnt fuel energy, it has no choice but to pump more fuel to produce energy for the car to run. Keep looking for your fuel indicator; if there is a noticeable fuel consumption difference, you should consider replacing your ignition coils and/or spark plugs.
3. Engine gets harder to start
If your engine takes more than usual to start up, a faulty ignition system is likely to cause it. While it is hard to decipher whether ignition coils and spark plugs are causing it, they are potential candidates for causing the issue.
4. Sudden shutdown
If the car is functioning correctly but faces sudden shutdowns while driving, your ignition coils and spark plugs may be causing it. This problem can be extremely dangerous, causing accidents. Immediately get your system checked and replace parts if required.
How often should you replace spark plugs and ignition coils?
Spark plugs and ignition coils are designed to be robust as they have to operate in extreme conditions. They are also a crucial part of any car as they have to work the entire time the vehicle is running. Despite that, even they have an expiration date.
There is no absolute time frame for replacing spark plugs and ignition coils. It depends on various factors, such as mile count, part quality, and the conditions the car goes through in its life cycle. You should replace spark plugs and ignition coils every 30,000 miles or have them checked closer to this mile count.
To learn more about why you should we relacing all the coils and plugs, watch this video:
How much does it cost to replace spark plugs and ignition coils?
The cost of replacing spark plugs and ignition coils varies with car manufacturers. Most modern cars come with spark plugs costing $60-100 a pop, with installation charges ranging from $20-300.
As for ignition coils, conventional systems can cost a few hundred dollars to replace. With electronic systems (cassette style), you may have to splash about $1000.
As spark plugs are cheaper, you can replace them frequently to keep the ignition coils in a healthy state for more extended periods. However, this won’t immune your ignition coils from damage as each product has to expire one day.
How long does it take to replace spark plugs and ignition coils?
The time taken to replace spark plugs and ignition coils will vary according to the car’s design. Some car manufacturers make it easy to reach the ignition while some require the mechanic to remove guards and other breaches to get to the motor. In any case, it should take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Can I replace my car’s ignition coil myself?
Ans. Ignition coils are fragile car parts that must be handled with care. If you don’t have any mechanical experience, we recommend getting the help of an expert for your first two replacement cycles before replacing your ignition coils yourself.
Q2. Should I replace all spark wires at the same time?
Ans. If your car has a spark wire system that needs replacing, we recommend replacing all wires at once. Though the cost of repairs will increase this way, it is better for your car’s health.
Q3. Is it safe to drive with faulty spark plugs and ignition coils?
Ans. Spark plugs and ignition coils are one of the most crucial components in your car’s ignition system. Your vehicle won’t immediately die if these parts go faulty; however, it can lead to various issues such as sudden shutdowns, engine damage, or, worst case scenario, an explosion.
Q4. Does replacing ignition coils and spark plugs improve performance?
Ans. Replacing ignition coils and spark plugs does indeed improve performance as they are responsible for efficiently igniting the air-fuel mixture and calibrating it with the engine. A new system will do this job efficiently, resulting in low fuel usage and a lasting engine.
Ignition coils and spark plugs should continuously operate appropriately for the car to function properly. If these parts go faulty, they can lead to various issues such as engine damage, fuel wastage, etc. As a result, your car becomes a risk of sudden shutdowns, black smoke production, and even explosions. We discussed everything you need to know about ignition coils and spark plugs in the article abov