What is an ignition coil… What does it do in my classic car?

Posted: October 14, 2022 by Joe Powerspark in Powerspark Videos, Reference

An ignition coil is a small metal canister containing two windings of wire around an iron core, that generates the electricity that’s required to produce a spark.

The ignition coil is the powerplant of your ignition system, and should be checked regularly as part of your ongoing maintenance. Traditional coils feature two metal rods, wrapped with copper wiring and immersed in oil, inside a metal canister. The oil is there to insulate the windings and keep them cool, however these are prone to leaking and overheating. Modern ignition coils are set in resin, making them ideal to be mounted on any angle. The ignition coil was present on most cars up until the 1990s, when coil packs and more complex ignition systems began to take over.

When the points close, the current flows through the primary windings inside the coil creating an electro magnetic field. When the points open, this field collapses creating a high voltage in the secondary winding, which finds it’s way from the ignition coil to earth via the rotor arm, distributor cap, HT lead and then spark plug, generating a spark at the critical moment. Modern systems that don’t have a distributor will use multiple coils, either one per plug or one shared between a pair of plugs. At Powerspark we offer a range of ignition coils, all of which are tried and tested products that we stand behind. Our range includes the well known names of Lucas, Bosch and Viper, as well as our own Powerspark coils, products that have been carefully chosen by our team of experts.

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