Kohler Ignition Coil Problems

Have you ever had the experience of turning your key in the ignition, only to be met with a grating silence instead of a smooth engine hum? As frustrating as it is, this could be one of numerous Kohler ignition coil problems that plague countless engine owners every day. Mystery and confusion often surround these issues, largely because they are buried deep within the mechanics of an engine.

Don’t worry; we are here to help you out. This guide aims to demystify Kohler ignition coil problems, shedding light on this vital yet often overlooked component. 

We’ll delve into its role in your engine’s operation and look at some common symptoms that warn you when things start going awry. So, get ready; it’s time for a deep dive into the heart of your vehicle’s beastly power plant.

Kohler Ignition Coil Problems

Kohler Ignition Coil Problems

Below, we have explained the most common ignition coil problems experienced by users in their Kohler engines. Let’s see. 

1. Decreasing Power 

The sudden decrease in acceleration or horsepower in Kohler engines has caused a wave of concern among numerous lawn owners.  People have reported that this loss of horsepower is temporary, but upon its return, the muffler emits a large amount of white and blue smoke. Shockingly, this smoke is so potent it can cause eye irritation if it drifts past one’s face. 

In this light, the issue appears to stem from unburned gas. Initial speculation by several lawnmower repair experts pointed toward poor-quality fuel as the culprit. 

Despite attempts to resolve the problem by emptying both gas tanks, replacing all gas lines with a new fuel filter, and installing new plugs, there was no improvement. Strangely enough, this turned out to be an electrical issue, as there were no signs of mechanical damage like tapping or rapping sounds.

The situation improved significantly after installing two new coils on the engine – it ran as smoothly as a brand-new engine for some time. However, this was a temporary fix, and the problem resurfaced later on.

It has become clear that Kohler is grappling with issues related to its ignition coils. These coils originally featured three points, but due to persistent problems, Kohler has released a new coil conversion kit. This updated version features two points instead of three and includes additional electric wiring for installation purposes.

2. No spark

A prevalent issue has been reported by numerous owners of lawns who use lawnmowers powered by Kohler engines. The problem is generating no spark at all. Typically, individuals conduct standard checks, such as inspecting for loose wires and checking the points gap, and often replace several plugs. 

Despite these efforts, the engine continues to exhibit sporadic sparking before eventually losing all spark. Kohler engines are generally ignited by battery and charged by a stator, with smaller models like the K91’s being exceptions. 

So, they feature a battery ignition with a CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) attached to the shroud’s side, typically on the right when viewing from the front if it is equipped with a CDI. This component appears as a small box about 2 inches wide.

If you have thoroughly inspected everything and ensured that all connections are clean and secure, I would suggest examining the CDI next. If you connect it directly to the battery and it operates correctly, then everything downstream from the coil – including the coil itself, condenser, points, etc., is functioning properly.

The only components preceding this are a key switch along with a PTO safety switch and a neutral start switch, which could potentially be causing this issue. If your tractor does have these features, then try bypassing them one at a time to see if that resolves your problem. If not, then the only element left that could be causing this problem would be the key switch.

3. Engine Cranks but Doesn’t Start

Experiencing issues with your Kohler engine not starting despite cranking? This can be quite a vexing situation. However, the engine is receiving sufficient fuel during the cranking process. Even after separating the kill wire from the coil, it still doesn’t start. 

In an attempt to solve this issue, some detached the coil and ran a test using a Digital Multimeter (DMM). The results showed 9k ohms from lamination to spark plug connector, which falls within the acceptable range stated in the service manual for this series (CV15). 

Yet, when measuring from the kill terminal to lamination or spark plug connection, it exceeded display capacity (over 10M ohms or open). Unfortunately, no specifications for this measurement are provided in the manual; only high tension to lamination is mentioned. 

Normally, an open kill wire allows the engine to run; stopping it requires grounding via a key switch. Therefore, troubleshooting typically involves disconnecting the kill wire to rule out any machine wiring issues.

If no sparks are emitted when testing with a disconnected kill wire, you likely have a faulty coil. Other potential causes could be defective magnets, incorrect coil installation, or using the wrong coil for your flywheel.

How To Test Kohler Engine Ignition Coil

It’s not always the ignition system that’s behind issues related to engine and spark plug performance. Various other malfunctions can result in engine failure. Therefore, before blaming the ignition system for substandard performance, it’s crucial to determine if it is indeed defective or causing trouble. There are a couple of ways you can assess the state of an ignition system.

Spark Test

To evaluate the state of your ignition coil in a Kohler engine, performing a spark test is an effective method. First, you need to disconnect the spark plug wire from its system. However, it’s crucial to keep the metal part of the plug in contact with the engine during this process. 

Once this is done, crank up your engine. Keep an eye out for any visible sparks at the tip of the plug. A strong blue spark indicates that your ignition system is functioning as it should be. 

On the other hand, if there’s no spark or only a faint one present, it suggests that there might be an issue with your ignition system. This method of testing carries more risk than others; therefore, caution should be exercised while carrying out this procedure.

Testing with Multimeter

Testing the ignition system in a Kohler engine using a multimeter is a straightforward and frequently used method. The first step involves detaching the spark plug wire to prevent any electrical shocks during the testing process. Next, adjust your multimeter to the ohms scale in preparation for testing.

Subsequently, connect the black lead of your multimeter with the negative terminal of the coil, and pair up the red lead with its positive counterpart. After these connections are established, it’s time to examine the resistance reading of your coil. A functional ignition coil should register a resistance between 2.5 and 5 ohms.

To further confirm your coil’s efficiency, you can conduct an additional test by checking its resistance between its negative terminal and metallic casing – this reading should be infinite. 

However, if your coil fails either of these tests, it indicates a fault within it. If there’s only a slight deviation from the ideal resistance range, then perhaps some minor repairs might fix your ignition system. But if there’s a significant difference in readings, replacing faulty components within your coil may be necessary.

Final Words

Kohler engine ignition coil problems can significantly hamper the performance and efficiency of your engine. These issues, such as failing to start, misfiring, or power loss, should not be ignored as they might lead to costly repairs in the long run. 

Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify these problems early on and prolong your engine’s lifespan. Always ensure that any replacements are done using genuine Kohler parts for maximum compatibility and reliability. 

Don’t hesitate to consult a professional if you encounter persistent ignition coil issues – ensuring your engine runs smoothly is paramount.

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