Do ignition coils need to be grounded?

Asked By: Angelova Sambade | Last Updated: 27th June, 2020
Category: automotive auto parts
4.6/5 (1,177 Views . 16 Votes)
The simple answer is no, the coil case does not have to be grounded for the ignition to work properly.

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Just so, do motorcycle coils have to be grounded?

The coil does not need an electrical ground, but it does need a thermal ground for heat dissipation, meaning that the "ground" could be compromised by paint etc. and still serve its purpose as a thermal point of dissipation.

Furthermore, what gives power to the ignition coil? Power from the ignition coil is supplied to the rotor. The rotor spins in time with the engine. When the end of the rotor is near one of the contacts, electricity arcs to the contact. From there, the power travels down a spark plug wire to the associated spark plug.

Considering this, what are the symptoms of a bad ignition coil?

Usually a faulty ignition coil will produce a few symptoms that alert the driver of a potential issue.

  • Engine misfires, rough idle, and loss of power. One of the most common symptoms associated with a faulty ignition coil is engine performance issues.
  • Check Engine Light comes on.
  • Car is not starting.

How ignition coil is connected to the distributor?

The ignition coil is the part of your engine that produces high voltage in order to power your cylinders. The distributor is what gets that high voltage from the coil to the right cylinder. The coil's ground side connects to breaker points, which are connected by a lever to a cam in the middle of the distributor.

35 Related Question Answers Found

How do you test a ignition coil?

Connect your multimeter to the positive terminal or pin of your coil, and to the high output terminal that goes to the spark plug. Most ignition coils should have a secondary resistance falling somewhere between 6,000 to 10,000 ohms;however, refer to manufacturer specifications for the correct range.

Does a condenser need to be grounded?

The condenser body needs to be grounded, and the lead wire can connect anywhere between the coil and points. You can screw the condenser bracket to the coil mounting bracket, and connect the lead wire to the coil primary points wire connector.

Which side of coil goes to distributor?

The coil wire goes from the coil directly to the center of the distributor cap. Under the cap is a rotor that is mounted on top of the rotating shaft. The rotor has a metal strip on the top that is in constant contact with the center terminal of the distributor cap.

How is a distributor grounded?

The starter, alternator, and most distributors are grounded through the engine block. If you have rubber, polyurethane, or painted motor mounts and no ground strap, you may not have a sufficient ground supplied to these electrical components.

What does the condenser do on a motorcycle?


The condenser is a simple capacitor that can store a small amount of current. When the points begin to open, the current flowing through the points looks for an alternative path to ground. If the condenser were not there, it would try to jump across the gap of the points as they begin to open.

Can you drive with bad ignition coils?

The answer is you should not. You can drive the car until it breaks down completely (and it will). Once a fuel part starts leaking while a car is running, a fuel drip can be the formula for fire if you get sparks from a spark plug wire or an ignition coil that is faulty. Something like this could be the end result.

Should you replace ignition coils with spark plugs?

The most common component to replace in conjunction with the ignition coils are the spark plugs. Worn spark plugs can cause unnecessary load on the coils and there is often some overlap in the labor required to replace both components.

Will a new ignition coil improve performance?

A high performance ignition coil helps engine performance four important ways. First, the higher voltage allows for a larger spark plug gap, which results in a more robust initial flame kernal at the start of combustion. The result is a real-world engine torque increase.

Can I replace just one ignition coil?


You can replace one coil at a time or all at the same time. I would however recommend having all spark plugs replaced with the coils so you do not have to remove coils twice.

Where is ignition coil A located?

The Ignition Coils are located on the cylinder head above their respective cylinders (shown, Cylinder One). The Ignition Coils (with power output stages) are located on the right side of the engine on the valve cover (shown, Cylinder One).

What does engine misfire feel like?

An engine misfire is a sensation that you should instantly recognize. This means the engine is not functioning as smoothly as it should because one or more spark plugs are not firing properly. Misfiring will cause increased exhaust emissions, reduced fuel economy and reduced engine power.

What causes no spark to the spark plug?

Loss of spark is caused by anything that prevents coil voltage from jumping the electrode gap at the end of the spark plug. This includes worn, fouled or damaged spark plugs, bad plug wires or a cracked distributor cap.

How do I fix no spark?

If you do not see a spark, there is an ignition problem. Remove a plug wire and insert an old spark plug or a spark plug tester into the end of the wire (the plug boot). Place the spark plug on a metal surface on the engine, or ground the spark plug tester to the engine. Then crank the engine to check for a spark.

Why is my ignition coil not firing?


In ignition systems with a single coil and distributor, a bad coil or a cracked distributor cap or rotor can prevent the spark plugs from firing. On multi-coil, distributorless ignition systems and coil-on-plug systems; one coil failure may cause an engine to misfire, but it won't prevent it from starting.

How do you check the power of a coil pack?

Test the coil with a multimeter. Disconnect the coil pack's electrical connector then remove the coil pack from your car's engine using a wrench. Set the ohmmeter/multimeter to 200 ohms range then turn it on. Using a meter lead, attach the spark plug wire terminal to each coil.

How does a ignition coil work?

An ignition coil (also called a spark coil) is an induction coil in an automobile's ignition system that transforms the battery's low voltage to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel.