In order to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chambers, a powerful ignition spark must jump over at the spark plug. This requires a voltage of at least 15,000 volts. This voltage is generated in the ignition coil(s). And it does so with maximum accuracy, because the ignition timing is set to a very narrow time window of only a few fractions of a millisecond. In the past, when most engines had only one unit, the spark first had to be transmitted from the ignition distributor to the correct cylinder ready for ignition.
For about 30 years now, static ignition voltage distribution has been increasingly gaining ground, which works without moving parts and in which each spark plug has its own coil.
Like an inverted transformer. Low voltage becomes high voltage. For this purpose an ignition coil consists of two coils and an iron core. One is a winding of copper wire, similar to a roll of sewing thread. The wire is of course very well insulated so that the spark does not cross over already inside the coil. Both bobbins are nested inside each other, with the iron core on the very inside. One spool is called primary spool, it has relatively few turns. When the ignition is switched on, it carries the on-board voltage of twelve volts. The current flows through the coil, and a magnetic field is formed. This is strongly reinforced by the iron core.
To trigger a spark, the following happens: The current is cut off abruptly and the magnetic field collapses just as abruptly. This induces a voltage in the second coil, the secondary coil. Because this coil has about 100 times more turns than the primary coil, the induced voltage is between 15,000 and 30,000 volts.
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 maybe, 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.