Top 4 Signs that Indicate Your Mini’s Ignition Coil is Failing
Ignition coils are also referred to as compact electrical transformers. The purpose of these devices is to convert the low 12-volt current that normally comes from the car battery into the much higher voltage that is needed to ignite the fuel and cause the engine to start. Each of the spark plugs in your vehicle has its own ignition coil.
Some ignition coils are connected to the spark plugs via wires while others simply sit on top of the spark plug without the use of any wires at all. The spark plugs require between 15,000 and 20,000 volts of electricity in order to create an electric spark that is strong enough to ignite the fuel. If your ignition coils are going bad, then you will end up with bad fuel consumption or your engine could misfire.
A faulty ignition coil could also be related to a battery that has abnormally low or high voltage. A bad battery can cause a huge range of additional issues with your vehicle. Sometimes, the issues can be remedied by replacing your battery but your vehicle may also need an ignition coil to be replaced. You should have your vehicle thoroughly inspected by a reliable mechanic to be sure.
Signs Your Ignition Coil Should be Repaired
- Check Engine Light is On: If an ignition coil has gone bad in your MINI, one of the signs will likely be that the check engine light will come on. When checked with an OBD2 scanner, the most common error code that you’ll see will be the P0351 (Ignition Coil – Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction).
Scanning your vehicle with the OBD2 is the easiest way to determine if your vehicle is having ignition coil issues. Some automotive parts stores will have a scanner in stock for either them to use or for you to borrow. If you do get an error code, you’ll want to get your MINI to a repair shop right away to confirm what the issue is.
- Backfiring: An engine that backfires is one of the first signs that an ignition coil is going bad and can often happen in even the earliest stages of coil failure. Backfiring can occur if any unused fuel in the engine’s combustion cylinders exits through the exhaust pipe. A backfiring engine can usually be identified by a loud cracking sound or with the emission of dark smoke. Sometimes you will be able to smell gasoline in the smoke, which is another telltale sign of a bad ignition coil.
- Misfiring: A misfiring engine is also another common sign of faulty ignition coils. Misfiring can often be detected by strange coughing or sputtering sounds when starting your vehicle. While driving at higher speeds, you may notice a jerking or spitting feeling in your vehicle. While idling, a failed ignition coil can also cause your car to go into a strong vibrating sensation.
- Bad Fuel Economy: If you notice your MINI is getting a worsening fuel economy over time, this could mean a number of things are going wrong, including your ignition coils failing. Poor fuel economy is a great indicator that you should consider getting your vehicle into a repair shop as soon as possible so you can catch the issue before it becomes more costly or even dangerous.
3 Additional Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Coil
A faulty ignition coil can send irregular sparks to the spark plugs. This can result in an engine that stalls. If your vehicle stalls, your engine could shut off completely while you’re driving down the road, potentially leaving you in a very dangerous situation. The first time your engine stalls should be the indicator that it’s time to contact a professional service center.
If your ignition coils are faulty, you could end up with an engine that is hard to start. When you turn the key, your engine may be cranking without any sparks in the cylinders. Ignition coils play a huge role in the entire performance of your engine. If the coils are going bad, you may notice any number of issues with the engine. Some common symptoms of bad coils include an engine that is rough when idling or an engine that jerks or hesitates when you are accelerating.
If you live in the vicinity of Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC or Wilmington, NC, the most trusted auto repair shop in the area is My Euro Pro.