Ignition System Archives - UnderhoodService
The Do’s and Don’ts of Installing Spark Plugs

This article discusses the “conscious” steps you should perform during spark plug replacement.

Ignition System Do’s and Don’ts

Why do ignition systems give technicians problems when diagnosing ignition-related misfires? The answer is that some technicians use tests that might give inconclusive results or do damage to the coil or drivers inside a module.

Ignition System Secrets Every Tech Should Know

Unlock the secrets behind ignition systems for superior technician skills. Sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

Spark Plug Fouling

Understanding why spark plugs get dirty.

Diesel Glow Plugs Operation

Having higher pressures and metered fuel at the right time means more efficiency, less pollution and lower fuel consumption.

How Ignition Coils And Plugs Find The Path Of Least Resistance

No matter if it is the secondary or primary side of the coil, inspecting the grounds should be one of the first tests.

VIDEO: Understanding The Path Of Least Resistance

The spark plug can have a yellow or orange band that is called a corona stain. This video is sponsored by Blue Streak.

VIDEO: Measuring Dwell In The Ignition System

A coil takes a finite amount of time to build up this charge. This is the dwell time, normally defined as the camshaft’s degree of rotation, during which the voltage flows through and charges the primary side of the coil. Sponsored by Blue Streak.

Spark Plugs: The Lost Art Of Gapping

With modern fine-wire spark plugs, you should not measure the gap unless instructed by the manufacturer because you could damage the center electrode. The majority of these plugs come pre-gapped from the factory, but it is still a good idea to inspect the new spark plugs for damage or defects.

Multi-Spark Ignition Systems

You may have seen the stories about plasma or laser ignition systems that promise to give new life to the internal combustion engine. But while these ignition systems have yet to make it to market the latest ignition innovation still uses a coil and spark plug.

What Kills An Ignition Coil?

Modern ignition coils are typically located between two camshafts on the valve cover and exposed to dirt and oil. But, even if a coil is mounted in a cool, clean and vibration-free environment, if the gap on the spark plug is not correct or there are issues with high resistance in the cylinder, it won’t take long for a coil to fail.

Understanding Ignition Systems: What Drives The Coil?

Ignition diagnostics in the 1960s was simple. By replacing the distributor’s points, rotor and cap as part of a tune up, ignition problems were solved as long as the technician set up the points and timing to factory specifications. In the early 1970s, solid-state semiconductor components reached a point where they were cheap and robust. Transistors and other electronic components replaced ignition points. With no moving parts, they require zero maintenance while providing a more powerful spark.