It’s the start of the new winter month and time to focus on another preventative maintenance service. Last month we talked about getting a Battery Service to avoid cold temperature starting problems. . Cold temperatures also put extra strain on many other parts of your vehicle. One of the parts affected by the cold is your Ignition System. As temperatures drop, an Ignition System that never gave you any problems before could fail and cause a no start condition. December is a great time of the year for an Ignition System Service and inspection to help avoid a cold weather no start. Let’s answer a few common questions about your Ignition System and Ignition System Service procedures.
What does my Ignition System do?
Your vehicles Ignition System creates a spark needed to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder of your engine. The explosion from this spark happens thousands of times per minute at exactly the right time in order to rotate the engine and set your vehicle in motion. If the spark timing is off by a small fraction of a second or to weak to ignite the air/fuel mixture, the engine will run poorly or not at all. Without a proper functioning Ignition System, your not going anywhere!
Your vehicles ignition system is designed to:
- Send an extremely high voltage to the spark plug in each cylinder
- Send the spark at exactly the right time
- Ignite the air/fuel mixture within the combustion chamber
How often do I need an Ignition System Service?
Your ignition system should be serviced between 30,000 miles (50,000 km) and 100,000 miles (160,000 km) depending on the type of spark plugs installed in your engine.
Why do I need an Ignition System Service?
Each time a spark jumps across the spark plug, it wears away material and widens the spark plug gap. As the gap in the plug widens, the spark becomes weaker causing engine performance and gas mileage begin to suffer. In addition, neglected spark plugs that have remained in place for tens of thousands of miles have a tendency to seize or break in the cylinder head resulting in costly additional charges.
What is an Ignition System Service?
Spark plugs are replaced. Other ignition components (spark plug wires, ignition coils etc.) are inspected and replaced as necessary.
What can happen if I don’t get an Ignition System Service?
- Starting issues
- Drive-ability issues
As you can see having your vehicles ignition system serviced is a wise investment for any vehicle owner. There’s allot going on under your hood as you make your way down the road, and just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Even though you may not see any direct effects for your investment in an ignition system service, you can feel good knowing you are extending the life of your vehicle and reducing your personal carbon footprint. I would say that’s a pretty good return on investment, wouldn’t you?
Due to the wide range of vehicles makes and models, this is general information and should not be taken as specific to any vehicle. Please consult manufacturer specifications for the correct specifications and repair procedures for your vehicle. This information is meant to be used as a guideline only.