How to Clean an Ignition Coil: All You Need to Know

How to Clean an Ignition Coil

Delve into the following guide and learn how to clean an ignition coil effortlessly so that your vehicle works seamlessly.

When we talk about your vehicle’s ignition system, we can’t overlook the most essential component— the ignition coil. The role of these coils is to generate the high voltage which is ultimately needed to transfer the air-fuel mixture into the vehicle’s combustion chamber.

While being in continuous use, these ignition coils become a residence to dust, dirt, and other contaminants. These residual components, when left untreated, lead to the deteriorated performance of the vehicle and serious issues like engine misfires.

This is where vehicle owners need to learn how to clean an ignition coil. To help our readers deal with this question, we’re here with our comprehensive guide through which you can get to know about the ignition coil cleaning process and what other major things readers must have an understanding of. Explore more here:

What are Ignition Coils?

Ignition coils are imperative components in a car’s ignition gadget. They remodeled low voltage from the battery into high voltage to ignite the gasoline-air combination in the engine cylinders. This system generates the spark required to begin the engine and preserve it functioning smoothly.

However, at a certain point in time, it gets contaminated with dust and debris. This is when it starts signaling you about its contamination and improper functionality. But the question remains— how will you know that? Worry not as here are some symptoms which will let you know about the potential issue.

Dirty Ignition Coil: Major Symptoms

  • Engine Misfires: A dirty ignition coil can lead to inconsistent sparks, resulting in engine misfires. You might also be aware of hesitation, sputtering, or jerking whilst accelerating or idling.
  • Rough Idling: When the ignition coil is grimy or failing, it can cause the engine to idle more or less, or unevenly. This may additionally manifest as vibrations or shaking felt at some stage in the car.
  • Decreased Fuel Efficiency: A compromised ignition coil may additionally result in incomplete combustion, reducing fuel efficiency. You may notice a decrease in miles in keeping with a gallon or must refuel more often.
  • Difficulty Starting the Vehicle: Dirty ignition coils can weaken the spark needed to ignite the gas-air mixture, inflicting trouble beginning the engine. You can also experience prolonged cranking or the engine failing to begin altogether.
  • Check Engine Light: If the automobile’s onboard diagnostic machine detects ignition-related troubles, such as misfires or low spark voltage, it’ll trigger the take a look at engine light. Retrieving diagnostic problem codes (DTCs) can pinpoint ignition coil troubles.

How to Clean an Ignition Coil: What’s the Method?

How to Clean an Ignition Coil: What’s the Method?

As the readers might be curious about— how to clean an ignition coil, the following section is dedicated to all of them. Here you’ll get the ultimate method for cleaning the ignition coil no matter what vehicle you own. Go through all the tips and straightforward methods that will make your cleaning process easier:

Cleaning Supplies Requirement

To clean an ignition coil, you’ll need some basic cleaning supplies. Here’s a list of items you might find useful:

  • Rubbing Alcohol or Electrical Contact Cleaner: Use rubbing alcohol or an electrical contact purifier to smooth the floor of the ignition coil. These materials assist dissolve dust, filth, and grease without leaving residue.
  • Soft Bristle Brush or Cloth: A tender-bristled brush or a smooth, lint-unfastened material can be used to softly scrub away any particles or buildup on the ignition coil.
  • Compressed Air: Compressed air can assist blow away unfastened dirt and particles from the ignition coil and its surrounding regions.
  • Safety Gear: Wear safety goggles and gloves to defend your eyes, pores, and skin from any cleansing chemicals or particles that may splash at some point in the cleansing method.
  • Degreaser (if necessary): If the ignition coil is heavily dirty with grease or oil, you can need a degreaser to help destroy and cast off the accumulation.
  • Lint-Free Towels: Use lint-free towels to wipe down the ignition coil and ensure that no fibers are left at the back.
  • Inspection Light: An inspection mild or flashlight allows you to see any regions that want cleaning more sincerely, particularly in case you’re running in a dimly lit location.
  • Owner’s Manual or Service Guide: Consult the car’s proprietor’s manual or a service guide for precise commands on a way to correctly clean the ignition coil on your unique make and model of vehicle.

Also Read: How to Clean Malachite: The Safest Methods Explained

Walkthrough the Cleaning Process

Though the process of cleaning the ignition coil seems to be tricky, it’s straightforward and can be completed with ease. All you need to do is understand the cleaning process and other tips accurately. You may get help from some of these:

  1. Before beginning the work, make sure the engine is cool to avoid burns. Additionally, disconnect the poor terminal of the automobile battery to save you any electric injuries.
  2. The ignition coil is commonly positioned near the engine block, regularly close to the spark plugs. Consult your car’s carrier manual if you’re unsure of its actual location.
  3. Before cleansing, investigate the ignition coil for any seen damage which includes cracks or corrosion. If you are aware of any widespread damage, it is great to replace the coil as opposed to trying to smooth it.
  4. Gather the vital cleansing substances, which typically consist of a smooth brush (consisting of a toothbrush), compressed air, and an electric contact cleaner. Ensure that the electrical contact cleaner is suitable to be used on ignition additives.
  5. Use the smooth brush to softly remove any free debris or dust from the floor of the ignition coil. Be careful not to use an excessive amount of pressure, as you don’t need to damage any delicate additives.
  6. Use compressed air to blow out any remaining dirt or debris from the coil. Hold the can of compressed air upright and use brief bursts to avoid spraying liquid onto the coil.
  7. Spray the electric touch purifier onto a clean fabric or cotton swab, then lightly wipe the electric contacts at the ignition coil. This will help eliminate any buildup or corrosion that might intrude on the coil’s performance.
  8. After cleaning, permit the ignition coil to air dry earlier than reinstalling it. This will make certain that any remaining cleanser evaporates and does not issue when the engine is jogging.
  9. Once the ignition coil is completely dry, cautiously reinstall it in its unique vicinity. Make certain all connections are secure and tight to save you any electrical troubles.
  10. Finally, reconnect the terrible terminal of the auto battery. Double-test all connections to make sure everything is steady before starting the engine.
  11. Start the engine and check for any symptoms of misfiring or different troubles. If the whole lot seems to be running nicely, you have effectively wiped clean the ignition coil.

Upgrading Your Ignition Coils

While maintenance and cleaning are crucial factors, upgrading your ignition coil is a worthwhile investment. This could be extremely beneficial for enhancing the lifespan of your ignition coil. We’ve elaborated on some reasons why upgrading the ignition coils remains necessary:

  1. Improved Performance: High-performance ignition coils can provide a more consistent and powerful spark, leading to better combustion and potentially increased horsepower and torque.
  2. Compatibility With Modifications: If you’ve made other performance modifications to your engine, such as installing a turbocharger or aftermarket intake/exhaust system, upgrading your ignition coil can also help boost performance. 
  3. Upgrade to Reliability: Stock ignition coils can sometimes fail prematurely, especially under high-performance or demanding conditions. Upgrading to higher-quality aftermarket coils can provide added reliability.
  4. Enhanced Durability: Some aftermarket ignition coils are built to higher quality standards than stock coils, which may result in improved durability and longevity.
  5. Better Fuel Efficiency: A more efficient spark can result in more complete combustion of the air-fuel mixture, potentially improving fuel efficiency.


Ques 1: What are ignition coils?

Ans. Ignition coils are vital components in a car’s ignition gadget accountable for changing low voltage from the battery into high voltage required to spark the plugs, igniting the fuel-air combination within the engine cylinders.

Ques 2: What are the reasons behind the necessity to clean an ignition coil?

Ans. Over time, ignition coils can collect dust, oil, and particles, hindering their potential to generate a robust spark. Cleaning them guarantees the best performance, improves fuel performance, and prevents engine misfires and difficult idling.

Ques 3: How can one effectively clean the ignition coil?

Ans. To clean an ignition coil, begin with the aid of disconnecting the battery and doing away with the coil from the engine. Use a gentle purifier and a smooth brush or material to put off any dirt or residue. Allow it to dry absolutely before reinstalling it.

Ques 4: What are some indicators suggesting that the ignition coil requires cleaning?

Ans. If we talk about the symptoms of cleaning an ignition coil, then it remains the engine misfires, low fuel efficiency, and difficulties while starting the vehicle. Check engine light is another crucial factor determining the need for ignition coil cleaning.

Final Thoughts: How to Clean an Ignition Coil 

Vehicle owners who want to maintain the most accurate vehicle performance must know the importance of a clean ignition coil. It’ll also boost the fuel efficiency and the vehicle’s lifespan.

By incorporating the simple methods and tricks outlined in this guide on how to clean an ignition coil, you may accomplish your task. With optimal care and maintenance, you may allow your vehicle and ignition coil to function the same for years. 

Tonya W. Wetzel

Leave a Comment