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Troubleshooting Your Car's Ignition System
02 Dec, 2023

Troubleshooting Your Car's Ignition System

Are you experiencing difficulty starting your vehicle? Have you noticed a lack of power or acceleration? Does the engine stall unexpectedly? If so, these are indicators of a malfunctioning ignition. A faulty ignition system can impact your car’s performance and reliability.

Here at Wrights Car Care, we offer a wide range of professional auto repair and tire services. We are a reputable auto shop with a team of knowledgeable mechanics. Our qualified and experienced mechanics are well-known for offering top-notch ignition system diagnostic repair. Whether you’re dealing with a bad ignition coil or a failing distributor rotor, you can trust our mechanics to restore your ignition system to good working order. In this guide, we will detail the steps for troubleshooting your vehicle’s ignition system.

What Is The Function of The Ignition System In A Vehicle?

The ignition system is designed to generate and deliver a high-voltage spark to the spark plugs at the right time, igniting the air-fuel mixture in the engine's cylinders. It works in conjunction with the engine control unit to deliver high-voltage spark to the spark plugs.

Common Ignition System Problems

Just like other components of your vehicle, the ignition system is susceptible to various issues that can impact its performance. Common ignition system problems may arise due to wear and tear, electrical malfunctions, or other factors. The following are some of the common ignition system problems:

  • Worn ignition cylinder
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Ignition switch fault
  • Immobilizer problems
  • Ignition coil issues
  • Broken or loose wiring
  • Dirty spark plugs
  • Timing issues
  • Ignition system overheating
  • Electronic control module problems
  • Distributor cap and rotor problems

If you experience any symptoms of ignition system issues, get in touch with a reputable auto repair shop for an inspection.

How To Troubleshoot Your Vehicle’s Ignition System

  • Test The Battery To Ensure It Is Fully Charged

Use a multimeter to measure the battery voltage. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts. If it's below 12 volts, charge it and retest. Also, inspect the battery terminals for corrosion or loose connections. Clean terminals with a wire brush and ensure a secure connection. Sometimes, poor connections can mimic a dead battery.

  • Check The Starter

Turn the ignition key and listen for a clicking sound. If you hear clicks but the engine doesn't crank, it may indicate a faulty starter solenoid.

  • Check The Spark Plugs

Remove and inspect the spark plugs for fouling, wear, or deposits. Replace any damaged or excessively worn plugs. Use a spark plug tester to verify if the spark plugs are generating a spark during engine cranking.

  • Inspect The Fuel System

The fuel system ensures that the engine receives the appropriate amount of fuel at the right time for combustion. Listen for a humming sound from the fuel tank when the key is turned on. If there’s no humming sound, the fuel pump may be faulty. Have an auto repair service inspect the fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel injectors.

  • Check The Ignition Coil

Use a multimeter to measure the resistance across the ignition coil's primary and secondary windings. Any deviations from the manufacturer's specifications may indicate a faulty coil. Inspect the ignition coil for visible signs of damage, such as cracks or burn marks.

Need Help Troubleshooting Your Vehicle’s Ignition System? Wrights Car Care

Modern ignition systems comprise sophisticated components. If you’re not a qualified mechanic or someone who’s familiar with how various components of a vehicle work, troubleshooting the ignition system can be a challenge. Here at Wrights Car Care, we can help you get to the bottom of any ignition problems and get your car back on the road.


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My experience with Wrights Car Care was probably the best car repair experience I could ask for. The last thing that you want to worry about while putting yourself through college is whether or not you can trust the people working on your car.  Wrights Car Care was very honest about exactly what the problems were with my vehicle and which issues needed to be addressed immediately and which ones could wait.  I have had no issues with any of the repairs I have had. They really have the customer's best interest in mind and it shows!

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have been going to Wright's for numerous years and David has always been honest and helpful and concerned about each customer and their circumstances.  They always give detailed reports about what needs to be fixed and even a time frame if it can wait a while or needs immediate attention.  I really appreciate that personal attention.

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This place is absolute gold. We moved to the neighborhood 3 years ago, and they have been our go-to car place for every issue, large or small, ever since. It's like bringing my car to a trusted and knowledgeable family member. They have done everything from major repairs to minor tune-ups for us, and we have never been dissatisfied. Twice I have brought my car not sure what was going on, and it turned out to be a small enough issue that they fixed it on the spot for no charge! Honest, competent, quick, fair, and kind. You can't do better.

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Wrights car care rocks!! I had a car issue with a quick timeline to get back to college. David got me in and out quickly, with the part I needed, and didn't try to sell me something I didn't. You cannot beat the kindness and service I experienced!! We have gone to Wrights Car Care before, and this is why we keep going back. THANK YOU!!

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