An ignition coil translates the voltage from your car battery into a strong electric jolt that helps power the spark plugs.
Why is this necessary?
It takes a lot of voltage to generate the spark that ignites the fuel in the combustion cylinder, making the engine run. The 12V from your battery, alone, certainly isn’t enough.
But if one of the coils is acting up, an ignition coil replacement is unavoidable.
So what’s the ignition coil replacement cost?
In this article, we’ll look at how much it costs for an ignition coil replacement, four factors influencing the price, eight symptoms of a bad ignition coil, and answer some FAQs about the ignition coil.
This Article Contains:
- How Much Does an Ignition Coil Replacement Cost?
- 4 Factors That Influence Your Ignition Coil’s Replacement Cost
- 8 Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Coil
- 5 FAQs About the Ignition Coil
Let’s get started.
How Much Does an Ignition Coil Replacement Cost?
Ignition coil replacement costs depend on the year, make, and model of your car. Each replacement ignition coil can cost as little as $35, while others can be around $300.
What about labor costs?
Labor charges are estimated to be between $51 and $64.
That should be all, right?
Remember: These prices don’t include taxes or fees; they’re also affected by various factors, like if your vehicle needs additional repairs other than a replacement ignition coil. Since newer vehicles have an ignition coil for each spark plug, replacing them will take longer and increase labor costs.
An ignition coil pack can cost around $150 – $300. Add labor costs of about $100 – $150 to your coil pack replacement cost, and the service bill can be as high as $450.
Now we know the ignition coil replacement cost. We’ll take a closer look at the factors that affect the price of coil replacement.
4 Factors That Influence Your Ignition Coil’s Replacement Cost
Here are four elements that contribute to the cost of coil replacement:
1. Make and Model of Vehicle
This influences the cost of replacing ignition coils in several different ways. For example, your engine’s cylinders determine how many ignition coils your engine needs.
Usually, engines have one spark plug per cylinder and a single coil per plug. However, some cars, like the Mercedes Benz M112 or M113, have two spark plugs per cylinder but only one ignition coil per cylinder.
Most cars have 4, 6, or 8 ignition cylinders, so check your engine to see how many ignition coils your vehicle needs. You can usually buy multiple ignition coils in a pack based on the number your car needs. In fact, purchasing a single ignition coil might be difficult.
The make and model of your car also affect costs in other ways, as performance cars usually use high-end ignition coils. The design of these coils is more efficient at transforming low voltage to high voltage, and they last longer.
2. Engine Type
There are four types of ignition used in most vehicles. Modern cars often use coil-on-plug or a conventional breaker-point ignition system with a single ignition coil per cylinder. In contrast, a waste-spark ignition system uses one ignition coil per two cylinders.
A newer, low-emissions car will use an electronic ignition system, as it offers more reliability. Here, you’ll still have one ignition coil per cylinder with a pickup coil and an electronic ignition control module instead of the breaker point. This can affect your repair time as you might have to take out more parts to replace the ignition coil.
3. Cost of Labor
Mechanics can charge between $15 and $205 per hour. The national average can be around $60. However, chain repair shop charges normally start at about $94.99, but the price increases depending on your location.
Most ignition coil replacement jobs should take around an hour, but it might take longer for newer vehicles and increase the cost of labor. Additionally, typical brick-and-mortar shops will have you pay 5-20% of the bill as a shop fee and any garage fees for leaving your car there.
Pro tip: Using a mobile mechanic service won’t subject you to a shop or garage fee since they come to you.
4. The Parts
You can often save money on the ignition coil by choosing a remanufactured or made-to-fit replacement part rather than new and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. If you’re using OEM ignition coils, the replacement part is made by your car’s manufacturer to fit your vehicle’s specifications perfectly.
However, that’s not always advisable, and your mechanic might not do the installation.
Buying multiple coils in a set will also reduce the price per coil. However, you only have to replace the failing ignition coil, not all of them.
Next, let’s discover the symptoms of a faulty coil so you know when to replace them.
8 Symptoms of a Bad Ignition Coil
Anything from a check engine light, an engine misfire, or the smell of unburned fuel could call for a repair job. Here are some signs to look out for when trying to identify an ignition coil issue:
1. An Illuminated Check Engine Light
A faulty coil can cause an engine misfire, illuminating your engine light with the related codes.
Backfiring is another symptom of bad ignition coils. Your vehicle will backfire when the unburnt airfuel mixture combusts incorrectly in the exhaust and creates a loud bang noise.
3. Jerking and Vibrating
If you have a bad spark plug and your ignition coils aren’t installed correctly or have gone bad, your car will misfire, causing it to jerk or vibrate. When this happens, you’ll need to take a second look at the coil replacement performed, as it may be the problem.
4. Loss of Power
If your ignition coils don’t provide enough spark to ignite the fuel in your cylinders, there’ll be a loss in power when you step on the gas — resulting in your car running inefficiently.
5. Engine Won’t Start
Your engine might not start if you have more than one bad coil since the ignition coil is essential to get your engine running.
6. Rough Idle
Ignition coils are vital to maintain proper engine performance and work with spark plugs to ignite the airfuel mixture correctly. A faulty ignition coil will cause your engine to shake and vibrate more frequently, resulting in a rough idle.
7. Higher Emission Levels
A bad ignition coil pushes unburned fuel into your exhaust. You’ll then notice a raw fuel smell from your exhaust pipe or black smoke — indicating a rich fuel condition.
8. Fuel Efficiency Drops
Faulty ignition coils may cause your car to inject more fuel into the combustion chamber, impacting your gas mileage and fuel economy.
Once you’ve identified a bad ignition coil, contact your mechanic ASAP, as an ignition coil issue has many drawbacks.
Got questions related to a bad ignition coil?
We’ve got you covered.
5 FAQs About the Ignition Coil
Here are answers to five burning questions about ignition coils:
1. Can I Drive with a Bad Ignition Coil?
Driving with a bad ignition coil is not advised, and if you have a waste spark system, you literally cannot.
Bad ignition coils will lead to:
- Poor fuel economy
- Burnt starter
- Clogged catalytic converter
- Damaged spark plugs
2. Is it Worth Replacing an Ignition Coil?
You should consider replacing a faulty ignition coil as soon as you start experiencing symptoms, as your car won’t run properly.
3. What’s Inside an Ignition Coil?
The ignition coil has two separate windings, i.e., the primary winding and the secondary. The primary winding has 200 – 300 wire turns and uses the 12 volts from the car battery to power up.
The secondary coil has significantly more turns of wire — about 20,000 – 30,000. The numerous turns of wire amplify the voltage needed for the spark plugs (which averages to about 20,000-30,000 volts).
4. What are the Critical Components of the Ignition System?
Your ignition system consists of the following:
- Car battery
- Spark plugs
- Multiple ignition coils
- Ignition switch distributor
- Wiring (spark plug wire or ignition wires)
5. How Long Do Ignition Coils and Coil Packs Last?
Coils are usually designed to last 100,000 miles or more, though the insulation can wear over time. Excessive heat and vibrations cause the insulating material to break down, leading to an ignition coil issue.
Worn secondary ignition components (spark plugs or wires) can also cause a coil to work harder, significantly reducing its operating life.
On the other hand, an ignition coil pack can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, and you’ll usually only need a coil pack replacement after five years. However, this is just an estimate, as the lifespan of a coil pack depends on several factors like:
- The quality of the coil pack
- How often you drive
- How well you maintain your vehicle
The more you drive, the more frequently you’ll need a coil pack replacement.
Your ignition coil is an essential component of your engine. Therefore, you should always ensure that professionals take care of your ignition coil replacement job.
You can easily book RepairSmith’s mobile mechanics to fix your ignition coil problem, replace your battery, or even take a look at your catalytic converter. RepairSmith offers upfront pricing and a 12-month | 12,000-mile warranty on all repairs.
Simply complete our online form to get an estimate.