BMW is a luxury vehicle brand distinguished by its power and performance. BMW owners depend on their vehicle to get them where they need to be in style and comfort, no matter what the terrain. As your BMW ages, the ignition coil commonly needs to be replaced.
The ignition coil is located in the ignition module near the spark plugs. The coil runs electrical current to the spark plugs causing them to fire and the engine to start. If something is wrong with the ignition coil, it’s important to take your vehicle in for service sooner rather than later.
Below are some factors that can contribute to ignition coil failure:
- normal wear the longer you own your vehicle
- damaged or faulty wiring
- debris from the road
- moisture build-up under the hood, which can happen in high humidity areas
- oil leak
If you suspect something might be wrong with the ignition coil in your BMW, here’s what to look for:
- Engine misfire: An engine misfire can occur while driving or while starting your vehicle. This is the result of not having enough electrical spark to keep the cylinder (located under the spark plug) firing as you drive. The number of spark plugs in your vehicle usually indicates the same number of cylinders. For example, a 6-cylinder car has 6-spark plugs, an 8-cylinder car has 8-spark plugs.
- Engine runs rough with poor acceleration: You may notice while you’re driving or while you’re stopped the vehicle runs rougher. This can happen when accelerating from a stop or as your car is speeding up. If this is caused by the ignition coil failure, one of the cylinders isn’t getting the spark it needs to fire causing a disruption in the power of the vehicle. The inability of the cylinders to fire can cause the vehicle to accelerate slower than it should, which can be dangerous while merging into traffic.
- Stalls or sputters: Since the ignition coil is used to start the car, if the spark plugs are not able to receive a strong spark, the engine can stall or sputter when trying to start it. If conditions of the ignition coil continue to get worse, the engine may not receive enough energy to turn over when first starting it and may stall while driving.
- Overheating: When the engine is trying to compensate for the damaged or worn ignition coil, it has to work harder to perform. This can cause the engine to overheat. If this starts to happen, pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine to allow the vehicle to cool. When you start the car again, if the temperature stays high, it’s best to call for roadside assistance. When the engine stays too hot for too long it can seize up.
- Low gas mileage: If the vehicle is working harder to accelerate, this can cause the vehicle to get fewer miles per gallon of gas. If you track the number of miles per tank of gas you purchase, this can be an easy way to know if you are getting fewer miles per gallon/tank. Another way to determine if your gas mileage has decreased is if you’ve had to fill up your gas tank more often than usual.
The indicators listed above can also be indicators of other or more serious issues within your engine. If you are experiencing any of these, it’s important to bring your car to a technician before further damage occurs.
Germany’s Best, Inc., Experts in BMW Service
At Germany’s Best, Inc., we know BMW owners expect high-quality service for their vehicles. That is why we pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of German autos and have been offering outstanding service for the past 25 years. Our Bosch-Certified service center assures our customers that we live up to our commitment to providing the highest standard of service and repairs.
Our ASE-Certified technicians each have over 15 years of experience with German vehicles and continue to educate themselves on all newer models and service processes. Our technicians use factory-grade tools and parts while offering better affordability than dealerships.
We are conveniently positioned to service clients in and around Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Piedmont. To schedule an appointment or for answers to questions call (510) 658-8948 to speak with one of our expert technicians.