Internal combustion engines have depended on the ignition system's coil to transform electrical power from the car's battery for years. The spark was then transmitted from the distributor to a spark plug within every cylinder head through the plug cables. Ignition coils converted the low voltage (usually 12 volts D.C.) from the battery to the voltage level required to burn the air-fuel mixture in the engine's chambers.
The coil was attached to the distributor's rotor, which spun and created a pulse arc. The distributor controlled the high voltage through a cap and rotor. The distributor's breaker points directed the delivery of the spark to the correct plug via a vacuum advance or centrifugal advance.
Simply described, a coil pack is an electrically controlled set of ignition coils controlled by the vehicle's computer.
When the coil pack breaks, one or more spark plugs in the engine cylinders may not get adequate voltage, resulting in the engine misfiring.
Symptoms of a faulty coil pack are often identical to those of a defective spark plug. The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms that a coil is defective:
Modern ignition systems employ one coil for each sparkplug or, in some circumstances, one coil for two sparkplugs instead of using a distributor to send the thousands of volts necessary to construct a spark from the ignition coil to the sparkplugs. The term "coil pack" refers to when coils are installed in a single mounting block with several terminals.
During the late 1990s, coil packs started to be used in various automobiles. Most companies have switched to coil packs because they are more dependable. For up to 150,000 miles, most coil packs don't need to be serviced. Also, if the distributor becomes wet or the engine is buried underwater for a few seconds, it is very likely to fail. Even after being soaked in water, coil packs usually operate.
Coil packs are often attributed with producing more horsepower and torque than a standard distributor, in addition to being more efficient. Because a coil pack produces a significantly more effective spark, it has been shown to enhance fuel-efficiency slightly over vehicles with normal distributor caps. While some current vehicles still employ a distributor system, many car lovers install aftermarket modifications to optimize performance, minimize maintenance, and better fuel economy.
An oscilloscope or a scan instrument that collects counted malfunctions on each cylinder is the most effective technique to test for ignition coil problems.
However, you can run a simple test to ensure that the coil pack is in good working order. You'll need to use an ohmmeter to verify the primary and secondary resistance of each coil. To be precise, this resistance test isn't 100 percent correct; a coil can pass resistance checks but still be the issue if it's spilling high voltage inside, which the meter test won't reveal.
The ohmmeter should be tuned to the 10 ohms range for the principal resistance. Then connect one of the meters lines to the middle prong on the coil pack's electrical connector. The value should be between 0.3 and 1.0 ohms to be considered within range, although this isn't a GO-NO-GO test.
The second resistance is the same as the first. The ohmmeter, however, should be calibrated to 20,000 ohms this time. Between 5,000 and 10,000 ohms should be read. Each coil should go through this procedure.
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