ignition coil

How to clean the ignition coil?

How to clean ignition coil pack with simple things at home

If you’ve been driving your car for some time, the ignition coil has likely become dirty. The ignition coil is an essential part of your car’s engine. It helps to produce a high-voltage current that starts your engine. Dirty can cause problems with your car’s performance and even make it harder to start.

So how do you clean this vital part? Let’s look at an ignition coil and how often you should clean yours!

What is an Ignition Coil, and What Does It Do?

The ignition coil is a component of your car’s electrical system. It converts the 12-volt power from your battery into high voltage, which ignites your spark plugs and causes them to fire. The coil in the distributor cap sits between your spark plugs and fuel injector(s).

The coil consists of multiple strands of wire wrapped around an iron core with terminals at each end where it connects with other parts inside your engine bay or harnesses connected to it. These wires carry current from one side (the positive) through each wire until they reach their final destination–the spark plug electrodes themselves!

Causes of defective ignition coils:

Several factors can cause an ignition coil to become defective, including:

  1. Age and wear: Over time, the insulation surrounding the windings in the coil can break down, leading to electrical arcing and failure.
  2. Overheating: Excessive heat can cause the ignition coil’s insulation to break down, leading to failure, causing a variety of factors, such as a malfunctioning cooling system, a clogged air filter, or a lean air/fuel mixture.
  3. Electrical overload: If the ignition coil receives excessive current or voltage, it can become damaged, leading to failure. Various factors, such as a malfunctioning spark plug, a damaged spark plug wire, or a defective ignition control module, can cause this.
  4. Moisture damage: If the ignition coil becomes exposed to moisture, it can cause the insulation to break down, leading to failure. Various factors, such as a leaky spark plug, a damaged spark plug wire, or exposure to harsh weather conditions, can cause this.
  5. Physical damage: If the ignition coil is subjected to physical damage, such as a collision or a component failure, it can become damaged, leading to failure.

It’s essential to regularly inspect the ignition system and address any issues as soon as possible to prevent damage to the ignition coil and ensure proper engine performance.

How to check the condition of an ignition coil?

There are several methods you can use to check the condition of an ignition coil:

  1. Visual Inspection: Check the exterior of the coil for any physical damage, such as cracks, rust, or burn marks.
  2. Ohm Testing: Use an ohmmeter to measure the resistance between the coil’s primary and secondary windings. A good coil should have a specific resistance range. The coil is located in the vehicle’s repair manual. The coil may be faulty if the reading is significantly higher or lower than the specified range.
  3. Spark Plug Test: Remove and insert a spark plug into the spark plug boot. Place the threaded end of the spark plug against a metal surface on the engine block and have someone crank the engine while you observe for a spark. If there’s no spark, the coil may be faulty.
  4. Power Test: Check the voltage supply to the coil. The voltage should be within a specific range, which can be found in the vehicle’s repair manual. The coil may need more power if the voltage is too low to produce a spark.
  5. Multimeter Test: A multimeter can test the coil’s output voltage. Connect the multimeter to the positive and negative terminals of the coil and have someone crank the engine. The voltage should increase and then rapidly drop as the spark occurs. The coil may be faulty if the voltage doesn’t increase or drop slowly.

Note: It’s essential to follow proper safety procedures when testing the ignition coil, such as ensuring the vehicle is in a safe location, and the battery is disconnected.

How to clean the ignition coil?

Here are the steps to clean an ignition coil:

  1. Disconnect the Battery: To prevent electrical shock, disconnect the negative cable from the battery before starting the cleaning process.
  2. Remove the Ignition Coil: Locate the ignition coil on your vehicle and remove it by loosening the secure bolts.
  3. Clean the Surface: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris on the surface of the ignition coil. If the surface is filthy, you can use a degreaser to clean it.
  4. Clean the Interior: Use a can of electronic parts or brake cleaner to spray the interior of the ignition coil. Be careful not to soak the coil, as this can cause damage. Let the cleaner soak for a few minutes, then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any residue.
  5. Dry the Ignition Coil: Allow the ignition coil to air dries entirely before reinstalling it. Do not use a heat source to speed up the drying process, as this can cause damage.
  6. Reinstall the Ignition Coil: Once the ignition coil is completely dry, reinstall and tighten the bolts to secure it.
  7. Reconnect the Battery: Finally, reconnect the negative cable to the battery to restore power to the vehicle.

Note: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when cleaning an ignition coil, as different vehicles may have specific requirements. Also, wear gloves and protective eyewear while cleaning to protect yourself from hazardous chemicals.

What happens if you clean your ignition coil infrequently?

If you don’t clean your ignition coil regularly, several issues can arise:

  1. The buildup of Dirt and Debris: Over time, dirt, oil, and other contaminants can accumulate on the surface of the ignition coil and inside its interior, which can interfere with the coil’s ability to produce a vital spark.
  2. Decreased Performance: A dirty ignition coil can lead to decreased performance, such as misfires, reduced power, and decreased fuel efficiency.
  3. Increased Emissions: A dirty ignition coil can result in incomplete combustion, which can cause an increase in emissions and negatively impact the environment.
  4. Damaged Components: Dirt and debris can cause corrosion and damage to the coil’s components, leading to costly repairs or replacement of the coil.
  5. Reduced Lifespan: A dirty ignition coil can lead to a reduced lifespan, meaning you may have to replace the coil more frequently than you would if it were properly cleaned and maintained.

To avoid these issues, cleaning your ignition coil regularly is recommended as part of a routine maintenance schedule. This will help ensure optimal performance, reduced emissions, and a longer lifespan for the ignition coil.


A: Yes, it’s essential to clean the ignition coil regularly as part of routine maintenance. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the coil’s surface and inside its interior, interfering with its ability to produce a vital spark. Cleaning the ignition coil can help improve performance, reduce emissions, and extend its lifespan.

A: You will need a clean, dry cloth, a degreaser or electronic parts cleaner, and a can of brake cleaner. You may also need gloves and protective eyewear to protect yourself from hazardous chemicals.

A: The frequency of cleaning the ignition coil will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the driving conditions. It’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended maintenance intervals. Generally, cleaning the ignition coil once a year or as needed is a good idea.

A: No, it’s essential to use a cleaner specifically designed for electronic parts, such as electronic parts cleaner or brake cleaner. Avoid using solvents or other harsh chemicals that can damage the ignition coil.

A: The cleaning process should only take a few minutes. The ignition coil should be allowed to air dry completely before reinstalling, which can take several hours.

A: If the ignition coil is not working after cleaning it, there may be a problem with the coil itself or another component in the ignition system. It’s best to have the vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to diagnose and repair any issues.

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