How to Clean Ignition Coil

Imagine getting up every morning, rushing to get ready for work, only to find that when you turn the key in the ignition of your automobile, the engine does not start when you try to start it. When this happens, you may be sure that there is a problem with the ignition system.

A miniature ignition coil can be found within this system, and it is this coil’s job to start your vehicle. Now, how exactly does one go about cleaning the ignition coil?

Ignition coil explained
In order to start the engine of your automobile, you need anything from 5,000 to 45,000 volts. In older models of automobiles, an ignition coil was all that was required, but modern vehicles have multiple coils in their ignition systems.

In most cases, there will be one coil associated with each cylinder. After the ignition coil has raised the 12 volts to the higher voltage required to start the car, the spark plug is used to ignite the fuel mixture and begin the combustion process.

The passage of current through the primary circuit is where the conversion process begins. Once the current reaches the core, which is already charged with magnetic energy, it strikes the core and charges the coil. By increasing the voltage to spark the ignition, this charge is responsible for lighting the secondary coil on fire. When there is a break in the flow of electricity, the magnetic field disappears.

The ignition coil will be located on the spark plugs of the vast majority of newer vehicles that use a “coil-on-plug” configuration. It will be set up on a pair of spark plugs if it is a Wasted Spark system and there will not be a distributor. When it comes to older versions, you’ll find that the distributor and the battery are connected to an ignition coil.

Although ignition coils should last for 120,000 miles, which is close to five years, the longevity of an ignition coil can be affected by a number of factors.

Causes of defective ignition coils


Both the spark plugs and the ignition coil are susceptible to damage from any moisture that gathers in the area around them. This issue can be caused by a number of different things, including water, moisture from the air conditioner, or a leaking valve cover gasket. After you have dealt with the dampness that has been caused, you may examine the damage that has been done to the plugs and the coil.

Damage to spark plugs and their wires

When there is a problem with the spark plug wire or plug, the ignition coil will try to make up for it by boosting the voltage. If the voltage is higher than 35,000 volts, it will cause a short in the damaged coil insulation, which will result in a decrease in output. This will cause the ignition to misfire, which will make it difficult to start the car.

Harmful vibrations

The vibration of the engine causes damage to the insulation of the windings, which in turn results in breaks and short circuits in the secondary windings.

Because of this damage, the spark plugs’ electrical connection could become loose, requiring the coil to exert greater effort in order to ignite the plug.

Intermittent resistance

Sparks can be diminished and the ignition system, particularly the ignition coil, can be damaged when there is intermittent resistance. The identical resistance that runs through the coil windings causes an increase in the amount of electricity, which in turn causes the ignition system to become damaged. Your automobile will not start as a direct consequence of either of these problems.

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Exposure to high engine temps

The ignition coil is at danger of being damaged because of its close proximity to the engine, which gets very hot. Ignition coils that have become overheated due to decreased electrical conduction do not last as long or work as effectively after they have become overheated.

Poorly gapped plugs

Because of the wear and tear on the plugs and the larger gaps in the spark plugs, the ignition coil is forced to conduct more voltage in order to compensate for the gap. This causes the ignition coil to become overloaded, which causes it to overheat.

Symptoms that the ignition coil isn’t performing its function correctly

Check engine light

The check engine light will come on whenever there is a problem with the engine, including when there are deficiencies in the ignition coil.

Change in fuel consumption

The lack of energy produced by the spark plug to cause combustion is directly responsible for the decrease in gas economy that has been observed.

The vehicle won’t start

The motor vehicle will not start if the spark plugs are not supplied with the necessary current, which is especially true in vehicles that only have a single coil.


When you accelerate, a lack of power from the cylinders will create misfiring.

Your vehicle stalls

A faulty coil that sends intermittent current to the plugs will result in the car stalling. Eventually, the vehicle may not start at all.


When there is too much fuel in a combustion chamber, it will be expelled into the exhaust. In spite of the fact that this is an early warning sign that something is wrong with the ignition coil, the damage it does to the exhaust system can be rather costly.

How to Clean Ignition Coil?

The act of cleaning is not everyone’s idea of a good time. Aside from that, cleaning the ignition coil can be a somewhat laborious process, particularly for those who do not have any relevant prior experience. But there is no need to fear because we have everything under control. Simply following the steps outlined here will guarantee that you have a complete understanding of how to clean the ignition coil in your vehicle.

Step 1: Loosen the 10mm Bolts and Remove Wiring

After you have ensured that the engine is totally turned off, raise the hood of the engine, and then find the spark plug chambers. The cylinders of the ignition coil should be placed higher up than the spark plugs.

Now, using a 10 mm wrench, remove the bolt that is 10 mm in diameter and is securing the coil pack. After that, unplug the coil pack by pulling the cable that is linked to it.

Step 2: Pull Out the Coil Pack Cylinder and Remove the Boot

owing to the fact that all of the tools that were preventing the coil pack from moving have been removed. It is now time to remove the cylinder from the vehicle. Wheeling it through will allow you to gently pull it out. After it was removed, you could also see the spark plugs that were located underneath it.

Nevertheless, it seems that you have not yet taken any notice to the ignition coil, correct? To get to that component, you will first need to remove the boot cover from the cylinder by turning it counterclockwise. It may be challenging to really remove the boot, but with consistent twisting and persistence, you will finally be successful.

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As a result, you should be able to see the coil on the interior along with a thin spring strip.

Step 3: Clean the Coil Using Air Intake Cleaner

Since you have already removed the boot cover, you are able to see the coil in its entirety, and you may be appalled by the quantity of greasy crud that has accumulated on it. But believe us, it gets worse. In the event that these are ignored, this will result in rusting and breakage of the coil itself, which will lead to fires in the engine.

To remove all of the grease and debris, you can use an old-fashioned air intake cleaner and spray it within the cylindrical coil. This will flush everything out. In addition to this, make use of a toothbrush with a small head in order to clean the interior of the coil and eliminate any obstinate dirt and debris.

To pique your attention, the price of an air intake cleaner is typically around twelve dollars, and it can serve a variety of functions. It’s not too expensive, is it? However, the task may require a lot of physical exertion. To bring the clean coil back into its original position, simply follow the instructions in the opposite sequence.

How Do You Clean Ignition Coils?

In all candor, it is ingrained in the human psyche to look for ways to cut corners. In this particular instance, the solution would be to have the ignition coil changed with a brand new one or to seek the assistance of a professional.

On the other hand, not everyone has the luxury of skipping this step. Now, without further ado, let’s have a look at the way of cleaning the ignition coils that is the simplest, most straightforward, and most successful.

In the event that you skipped over the first and second stages in the preceding section, you will need to follow them in order to successfully disassemble and remove the portion that resembles a cylindrical coil.

Then, if you want a cleaning alternative that costs nearly nothing, you might use the brake cleaner that comes with your car, which is something that almost every American car owner has easily available. Spraying the inside with the cleaner will help get rid of the debris. In addition, you may provide your toddler with an old toothbrush to use for cleaning off tough specks of dirt.

When you are finished cleaning, let it air dry and then put everything back where it belongs by following the instructions in the section that was just above this one.

Can I Clean Ignition Coil with WD-40?

Wd-40 can protect any metallic equipment from severe rust and corrosion thanks to its special formulation. It coats the metal in a protective substance, which then lubricates it, preventing the metal from rusting and making it easier to work with.

It is dependent on whether component of the ignition system is completely broken and requires replacement as to whether or not applying WD-40 will be successful in resolving the issue. Having said that, this is also helpful in spotting damaged wires that may be around the ignition coil.

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If you want to test whether or not it works, you should try spraying the coil and plug wires with WD-40 first. And if it doesn’t, you might need to replace the plugs in addition to the wires if it continues to be a problem. Spray some more WD-40 on the area after the component has been replaced.

How Do You Fix An Ignition Coil?

To claim that it is nearly impossible for a typical car driver to repair an ignition coil would probably not be too far off the mark. Therefore, the presence of a malfunctioning ignition coil is evidence that a replacement is required. Now, it may be simple to track down replacements if the coil is located on top of the motor or on the side that faces the radiator.

The cost of replacement would similarly vary, going anywhere from $60 to $80 for a new coil, and the cost of installation by a mechanic would be anything from $20 to $300. Depending on your region, the price may change. However, hey! You always have the option of doing the installation phase by yourself, in which case you would need to follow the directions mentioned above.

What Are the Symptoms of A Weak Ignition Coil?

It’s never too late to clean the ignition coil. We know that and want you to believe it too. However, due to busy schedules and all, it’s fairly difficult to keep in touch with your everyday transport. Let’s look at the frequent signs of a weak ignition coil, shall we?

Check If the Engine Light is On

When you see the “check engine” light come on in your dashboard, it gives you a general notion that something might be wrong with the vehicle’s engine. Therefore, in order to discover what’s causing this, you need to go further. In many cases, the problem was caused by a malfunctioning ignition coil.

Engine Misfires Are Frequent

If you have been noticed that your engine is not firing properly on a regular basis, the problem may be caused by an ignition coil that is not strong enough.

Lacking Power

It’s possible that the engine won’t get the power it needs because the voltage being sent from the battery to the spark plug isn’t as high as it should be. If you have noticed this, then you are aware of who is responsible for this.

Abrupt Backfires

Accidents that are caused by sudden backfires can be quite dangerous and can be very frightening to look at. Because the shining appearance of your automobile might not always be the only cause of public attention, the next time you notice people glancing at your car, stop by and question them because the dazzling appearance of your car might not always be the only explanation.

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