Well, actually six signs, because the seventh sign is your car won’t start and if this is the case the coil is likely already dead. This said, your vehicle may give you trouble starting but eventually do so when the coil is on the verge of the death. If you have difficulty starting your car, truck, or SUV, especially when it’s cold outside, your ignition coil could be going. Here are six other signs of coil problems.
Check Engine Warning
When the check engine light illuminates on your dashboard you know something is wrong. If it does so while you’re trying to start your vehicle, it could be the ignition coil. It will also turn on if there is anything wrong with your ignition system, exhaust system, or electrical system.
If your engine stalls several times before you can get it to catch and remain ignited or when you stop your car, truck, or SUV, this is likely a problem with the ignition system or fuel pump. The ignition coil can be the culprit, as it can cause the sparks generated in the combustion engine to misfire.
Anytime your vehicle is stressed it will burn more fuel to operate. This includes running with a faulty ignition coil. If the ignition coil is not operating as it should be, the battery will not send the right amount of power to the spark plugs and your vehicle will burn more gas to compensate.
What does an oil leak have to do with the ignition coil? The coil itself is housed in oil. If the ignition coil isn’t working properly it will overheat. This excess heat can crack the housing and – voila – you’ll have an oil leak. It’s best to have oil leaks fixed right away as they cause tremendous damage.
Poor Engine Performance
A failing ignition coil can also cause your engine to perform poorly and even backfire. You should never see black smoke coming out of your tailpipe, nor should your engine exhaust smell like gasoline. If you notice either of these things, have it checked out. It could be the coil affecting your exhaust system.
Spark Plug Damage
Your spark plugs can damage your vehicle’s ignition coil if they are dirty or worn. Check your owner’s manual to see when you should have your spark plugs replaced and then don’t put the service off. Your engine performance and fuel economy will also be affected by worn spark plugs.
Stop by Central Auto Care today if you suspect you have ignition trouble. We’ll be happy to inspect the ignition system and get you back on the road as soon as possible.