Ignition Coil Maintenance: Guide to Proper Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular maintenance of an ignition coil is essential for keeping your vehicle running in optimal condition. Cleaning and replacing your ignition coils can help ensure that your engine receives the correct amount of spark, leading to improved performance and fuel efficiency.

To keep your engine going smoothly, you must keep your ignition coil in good shape. You can clean and keep your ignition coil by following a few simple steps, such as using a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt, cleaning the coil with a special cleaning solution, and fixing any oil leaks or damage.

This guide will explain how to clean the ignition coil when it should be replaced, and other tips necessary for proper maintenance. Let’s start with some basics: 

Read also: Maximizing Your Coil Change: Actionable Steps for Optimal Performance

What is an Ignition Coil, and What Does It Do?

How to Clean Ignition Coil. ignition coil maintains

An ignition coil, also known as a spark coil, is an essential component of any vehicle’s ignition system. It is responsible for transforming the low-tension current (12 volts) from the car battery into the high-tension current (45,000 volts) needed to create the spark at the spark plug that starts your engine. Usually placed on top of the engine in what is known as the rocker cover, it is essential to properly maintain your ignition coil as it plays such an important role in starting up your car. 

Without its transformation of electricity, your spark plugs and, therefore, your engine would not be able to start up! Therefore, proper maintenance of this part should never be overlooked. 

By taking the necessary steps to clean your ignition coil and replace any worn-out parts, you can make sure that your vehicle will stay up and running.

What equipment do you need? 

  • Detach the ignition coil from your vehicle’s engine block by using a 7mm and 5.5mm socket. 
  • Use the wire brush to scrub away any debris or dirt on the coil’s surface area. 
  • Spray the electronic cleaner onto the now-clean coil in order to remove any residue that may have been left behind. 
  • Apply dielectric grease to both of the terminals of the ignition coil in order to prevent corrosion, shock, and arcing issues that might occur during operation. 
  • Reattach the ignition coil back onto your vehicle’s engine block and test it out for proper functionality before driving again. 

When Should the Ignition Coil be Replaced?

Ignition coils should be replaced when they start to fail. The signs of failure include a decrease in engine performance and power, rough idle, stalling, backfiring, and poor acceleration. Additionally, if the ignition coil starts to overheat or smells like it is burning, then replacement is likely necessary.

How to Clean Ignition Coil?

ignition coil maintenance

The ignition coil is a crucial component of a vehicle’s ignition system and is responsible for generating the spark that ignites the engine’s fuel. Ignition coils should be routinely inspected for proper maintenance, as failure to do so can result in expensive repairs or, worse, engine failure. This manual on how to clean the ignition coil will provide step-by-step instructions.

Turn off the Engine and Disconnect the Battery:

Before beginning any maintenance or cleaning process, it’s essential to turn the engine off and disconnect the battery. Ensuring that the ignition circuit is not receiving any power lowers the possibility of electrical shock or other harm. Find the negative terminal and unplug the cable to separate the battery.

Locate the Ignition coil and Remove it from its Mount:

The ignition coil is a tiny part that is typically placed close to the motor. It is frequently fixed to the motor block or a bracket nearby. Find the ignition coil and gently remove it from the mount. To do this, the screws or clips holding it in position may need to be removed.

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush to Remove Any Dirt or Debris from the Coil:

Once the ignition circuit has been taken out, look for any corrosion, dirt, or debris. If you see any buildup, carefully remove it with a soft-bristled brush. Avoid applying too much pressure, as this could harm the filament. To clear away any loose dirt or detritus, you can also use compressed air.

Clean the Coil using a Specialized Cleaning Solution or Electrical Cleaner:

You can use an electrical cleaner or specialized cleaning solution to clean the ignition coil. These cleaners are made to clean electronic components without harming them by removing any grime, corrosion, or dirt. Use a soft cloth and some cleaner to carefully wipe the coil until it’s clean. Make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s usage and safety measures.

Check for Cracks or other Damage:

Examine the ignition coil for any fractures or other damage while it is still installed. It might be essential to replace the coil if you experience any problems. Electrical problems, such as misfires or inability to start, can result from cracks or damage to the coil.

Clean the Ignition Coil Contacts:

Over time, the contacts on the ignition coil may become dirty or corroded, which may impact the coil’s function. Use a soft-bristled brush and a tiny amount of electrical contact cleaner to clean the contacts. Once the contacts are thoroughly cleaned, gently scrub them before wiping them with a dry towel.

Clean the Ignition Coil Boots:

The boots on the ignition coil should be cleaned because they are intended to shield the coil from moisture and grime. They might get soiled or worn out over time, which might cause power problems. Use a soft fabric and a mild cleaner, like rubbing alcohol or soap and water, to clean the boots. Once the boots are clean, gently scrub them before wiping them with a dry towel.

Reinstall the Ignition Coil and Reconnect the Battery:

After cleaning, gently reposition the ignition coil in its mount. To hold the coil in position, make sure that any screws or clips are correctly tightened. Put the negative wire on the negative terminal to re-connect the battery. Check the ignition coil’s functionality after starting the motor. If you discover any problems, an expert mechanic may need to inspect or replace the coil.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations:

Different ignition circuits might need various upkeep and cleaning techniques. Always check the manufacturer’s suggestions for the ignition coil model you have. This can help to ensure that you are carrying out the correct upkeep and cleaning tasks to keep your ignition circuit in good working order.


Can I clean an ignition coil by myself?

Yes, you can clean an ignition coil by yourself. The process is fairly simple and requires only basic maintenance tools that are likely to be found in most households. Before attempting this task, however, it’s important to first understand how the ignition coil works and how best to approach cleaning it.

What Are the Symptoms of A Weak Ignition Coil?

Ignition coils are essential components of any vehicle’s engine, responsible for igniting the fuel-air mixture inside the combustion chamber. When an ignition coil fails, it can cause a variety of symptoms that indicate a problem with the engine. These include misfires, rough idle, power loss, poor acceleration, stalling, and fouled spark plugs

A Final Note

Cleaning an ignition coil is not a difficult task, but it can be time-consuming and potentially hazardous. As such, it is essential to take the necessary safety precautions when handling the components of your vehicle. Additionally, if you have any doubts about how to clean the ignition coil properly, consult an experienced mechanic or auto professional for advice. With these tips in mind, you should be able to keep your car running smoothly with minimal effort.

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