How Long Do Coil Packs Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Approximately 5 years

A coil pack also referred to as an ignition coil, is a part of the car’s system that takes in the low voltage output of the car’s battery and metamorphoses it into a high voltage current. The coil then supplies the transformed current to the engine’s spark plugs for effective functioning.

Coil packs can help in transforming as little as 12 volts output of the car’s battery into 45,000 volts high tension current. The coils packs are nothing more than just a wire that is a coiled transformer filled with an insulator.

Car engines typically require a coil as without it starting the engines becomes difficult. These coils make the job of carrying high voltage current to the spark plug easier. Without the coil packs, the spark plug would not be able to receive enough high tension currents and then would not be able to do its job of igniting the fuel present in the combustion chamber.

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How Long Do Coil Packs Last?

In the olden times, coil packs looked like a small metal cylinder with one end connected to the battery and the other to the distributor. Such types of coils were often called canister-type coils. However, in modern times, coil packs are directly mounted on the top of the spark plugs which helps in transferring the current more efficiently as the high voltage pulses do not have to travel far to reach their destination.

Coiled packs are named so as in these packs the wire with an insulated body is ‘coiled’ around the central core. The coil packs are typically made up of two wires, one called the primary and the other, secondary. The secondary wire is made up of more windings or coils as compared to the primary coil.

The primary coil receives the low voltage current which is transformed into a higher voltage current in the secondary coil and finally reaches the spark plug. Most coil packs last as long as the engine of the car work fine. However, this cannot be the case every single time.

As a general notion, coil packs need not be changed or replaced till the car engine runs for about 1,20,000 to 1,50,000 miles. Thus, one can say that coil packs are relatively reliable and can be said to last for the lifetime of the vehicle. However, once a coil pack goes bad, it becomes necessary to change it at that exact moment.

Coil packs are one of those components that are used every time one tries to start the engine of their car. Thus, it is necessary that it functions appropriately and must be changed or replaced if it is causing problems.

Name Of DeviceDuration
Coil packs2 – 5 years
Spark plugs3 – 5 years

Why Does Coil Pack Last This Long?

The coil packs on one’s car engine are made to last long for about 1,00,000 miles or more. However, there are numerous factors like mechanical damage, wear, and tear, etc that can cause the coil packs to damage prematurely. Thus, one can say that the average lifespan of coil packs is about 5 years.

However, no one can predict when can coil packs can go bad, they can malfunction within 2 years or might work effortlessly for years to come. Likewise, it is generally recommended by mechanics to replace all coil present in the vehicle to avoid any future problems once an issue is identified in one of the coil packs.

Also as coil packs are connected to spark plugs, when coil packs have stopped working efficiently and require a replacement, one can even change the spark plugs along with it to ensure that the machine runs and functions smoothly as new spark plugs often help coil packs to last longer.

As both coil packs and spark plugs are used in conjunction, often both components are required to be replaced simultaneously if one becomes defective.

Some of the common reasons for coil packs to go bad are mechanical damage, broken or cracked connectors, etc. Also reduced insulation over time may also necessitate changing the coil packs preventing them to last long. Also, one should not drive a car with a faulty coil pack.

Conclusion

A coil is a device that can generate high voltage pulses or currents that are directed and transported to the spark plug. Coil packs are a set of coils that are used in the engine of a car for the same purpose.

Coil packs can be found in almost all modern-day cars. These modern cars usually have one dedicated ignition coil for every spark plug. Thus, depending upon the type of engine the car has and how many spark plug points it has one can determine the number of coil packs in the car.

Typically, there is no fixed answer for how long can a coil pack last. However, it is generally observed that they last for about 5 years from the starting of operation of the vehicle. Thus, one can say that coil packs can last for about 2 to 5 years or the entire lifetime of the car if it is of good quality and has not faced any damage whatsoever.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/001122759290184C
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.13182/FST60-648
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