Back to all

Start Me Up (Ignition Systems)

November 13, 2022

When you start up your gasoline engine car, you may not know that it's using the same ignition principles as it has for decades.  You have spark plugs that require enough power so a spark can jump across a gap at its tip.  Years ago, a vehicle's 12-volt system had to produce 15,000-25,000 volts to do that, so engineers came up with something called an ignition coil that bumps up the voltage. It also has to be done at just the right interval called timing.

The first systems had a distributor, a mechanical device with a rotating disc that switched the power to the ignition coil on and off.  That higher voltage then was sent to the spark plugs at the correct time interval. But the mechanical "points" had to be replaced and adjusted every 12,000 miles/20,000 kilometers.  Engineers later replaced the switching mechanism with solid state ones, but they still needed replacement after 120,000 miles/200,000 kilometers.

The next evolution came in the 80's when the distributor was replaced with a couple of sensors which talked to a computer.  This "DIS" (distributor-less automotive ignition system) was a big advance.  Plus, it didn't use just one ignition coil for all the cylinders.  It had coil "packs" that each provided spark to two cylinders.  That way, the voltage could be boosted even higher, to 30,000 volts, which helped engines be able to ignite a leaner fuel/air mixture.

Recently have come even more improvements.  Now instead of coil packs, there's a coil that's attached to each spark plug.  No more spark plug wires means less maintenance. Plus, a stronger, hotter spark of 50,000 volts can make an engine more reliable, increase fuel economy and reduce emissions.

No matter what ignition system your vehicle uses, your vehicle service facility has a staff of technicians trained to work on the latest technology.  Make sure to have your vehicle maintained regularly so you can take full advantage of these modern engineering marvels.

Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Winter Springs
5225 Red Bug Lake Rd.
Winter Springs, Florida 32708
407-986-2325
http://www.tuffywintersprings.com

Need Service?

Schedule an appointment

More articles from Tuffy Winter Springs

Wheel Balancing at Tuffy Tire & Auto Service Center Winter Springs

January 29, 2023

So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? Winter Springs drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on Florida roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel... More

Time for a Brake (Brake Pad Replacement)

January 22, 2023

Stop! It's one of those things your vehicle has to do consistently and reliably. That's why brake maintenance is vitally important, worthwhile for you to make sure stays up to date. A brake system has many components. If your vehicle has disc brakes, they have pads that make contact with the rot... More

The Sign of the Shield (Heat Shield Repair and Replacement)

January 15, 2023

Even in the months where temperatures are cooler, heat is still an enemy of your vehicle. When your engine runs, it creates heat, so there are numerous heat shields that protect other parts from those higher temperatures. Heat shields are installed around several areas of the exhaust system. Ot... More