Today we will discuss an engine part that is in no way sexy but is in every way crucial to the performance of your engine.  We speak today about the ignition coil, without which you would be dead in the proverbial water.

The ignition coil transforms low voltage from the battery into the thousands of volts necessary to create an electric spark in the spark plugs.  This of course makes sense since most batteries are only 12-volt, so something has to be there to transform those twelve volts into thousands of volts, and yet most people are not even aware of it.  Being aware of it increases the appreciation for the internal combustion engine for sure.

An ignition coil consists of a laminated iron core surrounded by two coils of copper wire.  Inside of this are thousands of strands of fine copper wire, the perfect conductor for what is needed in an internal combustion engine.  The coil has an open magnetic input and not a closed loop.  As the car operates, unneeded energy is stored in the magnetic field, and when it is needed it is transferred to the spark plugs.

This is all done with an opening of contacts and switching of the transistor, and the spark must happen at the exact moment that the proper mixture of air and fuel is compressed.

Originally, in the earlier cars, this was all done using a magneto ignition system, since no batter was in the vehicle.  Once batteries were used, the ignition coil replaced the magneto ignition.  Also in older vehicles, a single coil would serve all the spark plugs via the distributor.  Now many of the new vehicles have an electronically controlled ignition and the distributor is no longer needed.

Who knows where technology will take us next, but until the next innovation the ignition coil is crucial to your vehicle’s success.

Replacing the ignition coil is relatively easy to do, so the next time that problem arises make sure you stop by your local salvage yard and pick up an ignition coil. Installation is a matter of removing a few bolts and aligning the coil properly. 

Remember that for all of your replacement parts needs, go to All Import Auto Parts, the number one Fort Worth salvage yard.  If we don’t have your ignition coil, or your transmission, brakes or whatever, we will find it and have it for you literally in a matter of a couple days, and the money you save will be well worth it.