What are 7 Signs Your Pencil Ignition Coil Is Failing?

  •   A faulty coil could cause major performance and structural issues for your vehicle, so if you suspect you may have faulty coils—or are experiencing any of the below symptoms.

      Your Car Won’t Start

      Your Check Engine Light Comes On

      Your Engine Stalls

      Decreased Fuel Economy

      You See An Oil Leak

      Backfiring & Poor Catalytic Converter Performance

      You Are Overdue For New Spark Plugs

      So…What Even is a Pencil Ignition Coils?

      Ignition coils are the unsung hero of the engine. Spark plugs get all the glory of providing the spark to ignite combustion, but it’s the ignition coil that provides the electricity to the spark plug. The coil draws a voltage from the 12V battery, amplifies it, and sends it through to the spark plug. Just as knowing when your spark plugs are failing is important, it’s equally important to be aware of the signs of a faulty ignition coil.

      A faulty coil could cause major performance and structural issues for your vehicle, so if you suspect you may have faulty coils—or are experiencing any of the below symptoms.

      7 Signs Your Ignition Coil Is Failing

      Your Car Won’t Start

      There’s nothing more defeating than jumping in your vehicle, turning the key, and having it fail to start. While there are a multitude of issues that may cause a car to not start, faulty ignition coils are near the top of the list. If you’re noticing your car struggling to start in the cold, it’s also a potential warning sign of ignition coils going faulty.

      Your Check Engine Light Comes On

      The dreaded check engine light is there for good reason. If your vehicle is having performance issues, like misfires, the computer will be tripped, and the check engine light will be illuminated. As the light can be tripped by a wide variety of issues, it’s best to take your vehicle into a trusted mechanic.

      Your Engine Stalls

      Performance issues are some of the most common symptoms associated with failing ignition coils. A compromised spark can lead to a host of issues including engine stalls, which will result in your vehicle turning off when brought to a stop.

      Decreased Fuel Economy

      If you’re noticing your MPG dropping, it may be due to a failing ignition coil. If the spark plugs receive less power from the battery, your vehicle will compensate for the lack of power transfer by using more fuel, and struggle while doing so.

      You See An Oil Leak

      Ignition coils are normally encased in an oil-filled housing. If the coil overheats too much, the housing may crack and leak oil. This, in turn, could cause a flooded carburetor and adversely impact vehicle performance.

      Oil change service

      Backfiring & Poor Catalytic Converter Performance

      Having your exhaust emit black smoke and the smell of gasoline is not only embarrassing, but it could be an early symptom of ignition coil failure. Backfiring occurs when unused fuel is emitted through the exhaust system. If left unmanaged could do serious damage to your exhaust system, including the catalytic converter.

      You Are Overdue For New Spark Plugs

      If your spark plugs are worn out or faulty, the ignition coil is forced to operate at a drastically higher output, which will prematurely cause ignition coil failures.

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