Your engine is like a big pump. It pumps air and gas in, then pumps exhaust out. The fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle needs to be ignited for combustion and power generation. For this process to take place, you need an ignition system. In this category, you will discover a wide selection of ignition systems for all brands of vehicles as well as related parts and accessories. Products available include starter motors, throttle bodies, ignition coils as well as spark plugs and wires. Some suppliers also offer professional installation services.
There are three basic types of automotive ignition systems: distributor-based, distributor-less, and coil-on-plug (COP). Early ignition systems used fully mechanical distributors to deliver the spark at the right time.
In order to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely, regular maintenance of your ignition system is essential. A visual inspection of your vehicle's ignition system components should be performed at least annually. All of the components of your ignition system should be inspected regularly and replaced when they begin to show signs of wear or failure. Also, be sure to inspect and replace your spark plugs at the interval recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. Do not wait until a problem arises to care for your vehicle. Regular maintenance is key to the life and quality of your vehicle's engine.
Automotive ignition systems have to generate a spark strong enough to jump across a spark plug gap. In order to do this, ignition systems use an ignition coil. The ignition coil acts as an electrical power transformer.
The ignition coil transforms the battery's low voltage into the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the air and fuel mixture. In order for the necessary spark to occur, the voltage to the spark plug must average between 20,000 and 50,000 volts. The ignition coil is made with two windings of copper wire wrapped around an iron core. These are known as the primary winding and the secondary winding. The goal of the ignition coil is to create an electromagnet by running battery voltage through the primary winding. When the vehicle's ignition system triggering switch turns off the power to the ignition coil, the magnetic field collapses. As it does, the secondary winding captures the collapsing magnetic field from the primary winding and delivers this voltage to the spark plug, thus starting your vehicle's engine.
Worn spark plugs and faulty ignition components will decrease the performance of your engine and can create a wide range of engine running problems including misfiring, lack of power, poor fuel economy, difficult starting, and possibly a check engine light. These problems can damage other critical vehicle components.
Common Ignition System Designs