The Average Cost to Replace an Ignition Coil Is $20 to $376, but It Depends on Whether You Complete the Project As a DIY or Take Your Vehicle to a Mechanic for Repair.
The price range for an ignition coil replacement is based on national averages for all vehicles without considering your specific vehicle’s location, make, or model. Related repairs and maintenance such as spark plug replacement will include additional fees.
For a more accurate estimate specific to your vehicle’s make, model, mileage, and location, check out the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator:
Cost at the Mechanic: $70 to $376
- Parts: $20 to $250
- Labor: $50 to $126
It should take less than an hour to replace the ignition coil with a mechanic because it’s not a very labor-intensive replacement.
Cost to DIY: $20 to $250
- Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Parts Needed:
Save money by replacing your ignition coil if you have some experience working with vehicles. The replacement process isn’t very labor-intensive and doesn’t require expensive tools, making it more affordable for the DIY home mechanic. Just remember that thousands of volts pass through the ignition coil, so follow all official instructions accompanying the ignition coil and replace it within a safe environment.
Keep in Mind
There are many kinds of ignition coils, so you’ll want to ensure that you purchase the one for your vehicle’s specific make and model. Be sure to consult the owner’s manual for any recommendations from the manufacturer. You can also purchase a repair manual for your vehicle to assist you with replacing the ignition coil if you’re unsure of the process.
What Is an Ignition Coil?
The ignition coil is significant to a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine because it converts the low battery voltage to the many thousands of volts needed to create the spark that ignites the fuel and air mixture with the spark plugs. Inductance, an electromagnetic principle, makes the ignition coil work.
Contrary to its name, the ignition coil has two separate windings. The primary winding has 200 to 300 wire turns, and it needs the 12 volts applied from the vehicle battery to ignite. The secondary coil has 20,000 to 30,000 turns of wire and is where the volts get amplified. A magnetic field develops as the primary coil receives voltage. This magnetic field and the electric current are closely related, so when the current stops, the magnetic field collapses too.
The magnetic field collapses because the ignition coil stops receiving a current as the spark plugs create a spark. The secondary winding can amplify the current to produce sufficient voltage for the spark plugs, thanks to the numerous turns of wire. Using two coils is a mutual conductance.
What Does an Ignition Coil Replacement Include?
To replace the ignition coil, start by disconnecting the battery. That is a crucial safety step as the ignition coils have thousands of volts running through them when ignited. Use a wrench to remove the negative terminal by unscrewing the bolt. Next, locate the ignition coil, which is usually on the top of the engine, attached to the engine block. Some newer engines feature individual coil packs for each cylinder, so they are bolted directly to the top of the spark plug.
Use a socket wrench to remove the old ignition coil, making sure to disconnect all the electrical connectors. Once everything is disconnected, you can install the new ignition coil. Be sure to bolt everything down tight before reconnecting the electrical connections. Be careful while installing the ignition coil because you must put it back the way it was initially. When everything is connected, it’s time to reconnect the battery’s negative terminal and then start your car to make sure your ignition coil is working properly. Take it for a test drive to make sure everything is running smoothly.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace the Ignition Coil?
If you must, it is possible to drive with a bad ignition coil, but this should only be done for short distances. Driving a car with a bad ignition coil causes a cylinder misfire putting added strain on the engine, and the engine will run noticeably rougher with less power than normal. It is also possible to damage the catalytic converter or oxygen sensors because unspent fuel may make it into the exhaust system. That can lead to more significant problems with your vehicle.
How Often to Get Your Ignition Coil Replaced
There is no set schedule for replacing your ignition coil, but once you have determined it is no longer working, it’s time to replace it. The ignition coil might last over the lifespan of your vehicle. However, you may notice your ignition coil failing after years of operation or reaching a specific mileage. For example, you may see that your ignition coil starts malfunctioning around 75,000 miles.
Common Symptoms Indicating You Need to Replace the Ignition Coil
You should think about replacing your ignition coil if you notice one or more of the following problems:
- The “check engine” or warning light comes on.
- Your engine stalls.
- Your engine has a rough idle.
- Your engine backfires.
- It is hard to start your car.
- Your vehicle consumes fuel at a faster rate.
- Your vehicle has increased emissions.
Related Maintenance Services
When you have the ignition coil replaced, you may find that you want to replace the spark plugs, as well, to give your vehicle a fresh start and a boost for fuel consumption. If you let the ignition coil go too long without replacing it and damage the catalytic converter, that part may also need replacement.
Stay Current on Required Vehicle Maintenance with FIXD
Download the FIXD Sensor and free app to stay current on your vehicle’s maintenance needs, from oil changes and brake pad replacements to tire rotations and everything in between. The FIXD Sensor and app take the stress out of vehicle maintenance by alerting you on your phone about required services. It can even watch your tire tread, wiper blades, and battery life so you can stay on the road and out of the shop.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.