OEM vs Aftermarket Ignition Coil

The ignition system occupies an almost magical place in the automotive world. We know the principles, but whatever actually happens “in there” is to some degree, is unknown to us. An ignition coil works as an electromagnet.

It has an iron inside with fairly thick wire (primary winding) wrapped around it a few hundred times. It also has a secondary winding. It is about 200 feet of thinner wire coiled between the iron core and primary winding. This winding provides basis to the magnetic field created when electricity goes through the primary winding.

It is the main element of the internal combustion motor and has two main functions. It ignites the fuel-air mixture and removes heat from the firing box .

The main task is the ignition of the fuel-air combination. A spark plug is an electrode that transmits electrical energy from the ignition unit to the firing chamber as a spark. This system must generate sufficient voltage to generate a spark in the space of the spark unit. The warmth of the working part of the spark element should remain low enough to stop early ignition and at the same time high enough to keep from the formation of soot. This property of the spark plug is known under the term thermal characteristic and is determined by the choice of the thermal scope of the spark plug. It is essential to know that plugs do not generate heat but only dissipate it. The spark plug functions as a heat exchanger, taking away excess heat from the firing box and transmitting it to the motor cooling unit. Heating scope is characterized as the capacity of the spark element to transfer heat.

This whole process takes place within a few milliseconds. In fact, it happens approximately 18,000 times per minute at 90 miles per hour.

Which brand of ignition coil is the best?

It cannot be repaired, so the car owner will sooner or later have to pick up a new unit. Currently, several companies produce these elements for the same motor. 

The easiest way to find a current converter is to use the VIN code of the vehicle. The technical parameters of all electrical devices are accurately calculated in the car factory, so the coil should produce no more and no less current than the specified one.

Car owners who are able to remove the defective part themselves can go with it to the nearest shop. Only note that the ignition system in modern petrol engines can vary significantly. In the same brand of cars can be used schemes with one element, as well as designs where each spark plug has a separate converter.

As for the choice of the manufacturer, experts recommend to give preference to original parts. But they may not suit car owners for various reasons, so it is worth analyzing the opportunities offered by the market analogues.

  • Many people ask: does ignition coil brand matter? As with other parts, the best option would be to buy an OEM one (original), the same as that installed in the factory. Or to choose the best product in terms of price and quality from these brands:
    • VIP-category: Beru (Germany), Magneti Marelli (Italy), Valeo (France).
    • The most popular ones: NGK (Japan), Bosch (Germany), Tesla (Czech Republic).
    • Budget option: Profit (Czech Republic) and JP Group (Denmark).
  • And the second question is: Are cheap coils any good? Well, they may be, but you can never be sure, so it is better to spend more money on a quality item. 

Do ignition coils increase horsepower?

If you install performance ones, they may help increase your car performance.

  • First, a higher voltage allows you to increase the gap between the spark plugs, which leads to a stronger initial core of the flame at the beginning of combustion.
  • Second, the voltage needed to bridge the gap between the spark plugs reaches it faster.
  • Then, a higher voltage makes a stronger “push” of the electric flow, which increases electric current, i.e. more energy.
  • Fourth, if there is more stress, there are more reserves for non-standard situations.

Does ignition coil affect performance?

Some believe that the ignition system has no effect on the vehicle’s power. But is it really? Obviously, if the ignition does not match the needs of the car, it loses performance and reliability. Good technical condition of all parts and assemblies, as well as timely sparks are the guarantee that the car will unleash its full potential on the road.

The coil generates and transmits a high voltage current in order to generate enough spark to bridge the gap between the electrodes on the spark plug. Modified ones transmit current better than regular and are suitable for spark plugs with a large electrode gap. Most standard spark plugs have a high voltage loss at high engine speeds.

Do new coil packs make a difference?

In an ignition system, it is one of the key components, since it creates voltage. When the engine is malfunctioning and wire resistance is broken, this can mean that the ignition coil has to be replaced. In order to determine the cause of the malfunction most accurately, it is necessary to make a diagnosis and determine whether the resistance is normal, within normal limits for the current flow, or whether a spark breaks through in all cases.

Overall, you can rely on packs more than on distributors, since they produce a better spark. This in turn makes better combustion and produces more horsepower.

Editorial Staff

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