An electrical system that handles the spark component of the ignition process. Ignition systems are comprised of but not limited to ignition coils, ECU, signal generators, spark plugs and wires, distributor mechanisms, points, condensers and sensors.

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14
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3answers
474 views

How does the car's ECU detect a misfire?

I was wondering what the specific mechanism used by car ECU's to detect misfires is, or are if there is more than one method.
14
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5answers
1k views

How exactly does running fuel-lean increase the temperature of ignition?

I learned in this question that running an engine fuel-lean will increase the temperature of ignition, among other things such as causing problems with the catalytic converter. I have no idea how or ...
13
votes
2answers
242 views

What Color Should the Spark Be When Using a Spark Tester?

If I'm using a spark tester with an adjustable gap set to the correct gap for my car's ignition system voltage, what should the spark look like? I ask because I've seen conflicting opinions on this ...
12
votes
12answers
42k views

Couldn't start my Volvo due to Key Error. Called assistance and he fixed it by hitting the key with a screwdriver. What could be the error?

My Volvo S40 (06) would not start when I turned the ignition key. I got a message that was somewhat like "Key Error, please try again". I tried with both my keys so it wasn't the key itself. I think I ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a measurable benefit to replacing spark plug wires?

My 92 Civic has very old spark plug wires, probably original, but their resistance is in-spec (under 20k ohms), they have no external damage, and the vehicle has no misfire or other symptoms ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why the wasted spark in four-stroke motors?

This just came up in my curious mind. In a typical four-stroke engine with an even number of cylinders, spark plugs fire in pairs. This means there is a wasted spark as one cylinder is in exhaust, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Car won't start, possibly due to ants in batteries

Yesterday there were a ton of ants crawling out of some hole in my backseat. I sprayed the shit out of them. This morning, when I try to start the ignition, my engine clicks a lot but won't turn ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

2000 Honda Civic Won't Start after Replacing spark Plugs

My 2000 honda civic ex 4-dr sedan seemed like it was misfiring. I decided to check the spark plugs to see if that was the issue. I replaced the spark plugs. The car would turn over however the ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

2003 Honda Accord - Intermittent no start/no crank

2003 Honda Accord, everything lights up fine but it has a really strange “groaning” noise, kinda quietly. Then after a few tries it starts up perfectly fine. Sometimes it starts up first time, ...
8
votes
1answer
313 views

What can I do with an Inline Spark Tester?

Due to my recent problem with weakly firing plugs, I'm looking at inline spark testers. I've seen three basic types: The simple flashing one which goes in between the wire and plug with the plug in ...
8
votes
3answers
714 views

2007 BMW Z4 won't start when my phone is plugged into the cigarette lighter plug

Sometimes when my cell phone is on charge in my 2007 BMW Z4 before I start it, nothing happens when I turn the key. The car is acting like it, as if I did not have the clutch pushed in - the key ...
8
votes
1answer
74 views

How to check if spark plugs are firing? Coil-on plugs

While trying to diagnose a tricky car not starting problem I was asked to check if the spark plugs were firing at all. I've found plenty of resources on inspecting the condition of spark plugs after ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Is there a way to test ignition coils with built-in ICM?

My car's service manual shows this for the ignition coils: What is the ICM? Related to http://mechanics.stackexchange.com/a/2850/31, is there a way to check the coils to see if they are working ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Corrosion on battery, won't start, making clicking noise, won't charge

I'm trying to charge the battery on my 2002 Celica. Here is some background: Battery is a bit old, around 3 years or so. Corrosion has been building on the battery to the point that it almost ...
7
votes
2answers
308 views

Distinguishing between mechanical and electrical failure in ignition diagnosis

After a month and a half of not driving the car, yesterday I tried to turn it on, however the only sound that I heard was the rotation of the starter, which is not engaging the flywheel (the engine is ...
7
votes
2answers
153 views

Key Doesn't come out of Town and Country

A few days ago I could not get my keys out of my 2005 Town and Country. Soon after, the battery ran out of juice. If I jump the battery, I can start the car and drive it. But when I park the vehicle I ...
7
votes
3answers
327 views

Single-cylinder engine - no camshaft position sensor?

I'm doing some research on the Honda CRF450. This is a single-cylinder engine. I'm interested in the fuel-injected models (not the older carbureted versions). As far as I can tell, this engine doesn'...
7
votes
1answer
32 views

1973 CB350-four, no spark on 1 and 4 when it's cold

When this bike is cold the 1st and 4th cylinders do not fire. Pulling the plugs and checking them, there is not spark. If you get the bike hot, it runs really bad on the way there, 1 and 4 come back....
7
votes
2answers
96 views

2004 Saturn ION with Ecotec 2.2: Engine misfire with code P0300, ICM problem?

Car came in with a misfire complaint and check engine light on with code p0300. Looking at misfire history confirms high misfire counts on cylinders 1 and 4 along with lower counts on cylinders 2 &...
7
votes
1answer
59 views

Finding a constant and non constant power wire in a car

The car I have is a 2001 Buick century. I have a after market push to start kit. It came with a main unit and the diagram shows that a brown wire is for a constant power when the engine is on. And a ...
7
votes
2answers
71 views

How to diagnose the cause of no power reaching the spark plugs when power reaches everything else, after checking fuses?

I've been trying to get my long-suffering Toyota RAV4 first generation (1998) to start after numerous different problems, the latest of which I've narrowed to the spark plugs not firing seemingly due ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

1997 Dodge Grand Caravan not starting, mystery wires?

1997 Dodge GC with 180k miles, has been sitting for maybe 6 months after being driven a little, and now it won't start. cranks fine, all electronics work, but doesn't fire. I checked there is fuel ...
6
votes
1answer
86 views

Effects of shutting off Nissan altima (or any car) while in drive

Every now and then when I get home after a long day, I pull into my driveway and while the car is stopped (foot on the brake), I turn the vehicle off without putting the vehicle in "Park". Car is ...
6
votes
1answer
46 views

How Common are Voltage Drop Problems?

After watching this video on voltage drop, it makes me feel like testing the resistance of various sensors and accessories with my multi-meter isn't really a reliable test of anything, since I can see ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Are There any Benefits to a High Voltage Coil Pack?

I'm considering replacing the coil pack on my 98 mazda 626 GF 2L, and am looking at a standard replacement at about $15, a standard replacement with 10 year warranty for about $21, and a "high output" ...
6
votes
1answer
819 views

I dropped my bike and now it won't start

I have a Suzuki GSX600F Katana. Yesterday, I changed the clutch lever on the handlebar and left the key on. I had to push start my bike. After getting it started, I left it in first gear, and let go ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Spark plug gaps - manufacturer or shop manual recomendation?

So I have a 2000 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0L V6 OHV Engine and I recently replaced the spark plugs. The thing is, the original recommended spark plugs have a gap of 0.52-0.56, which is what is recommended in ...
6
votes
2answers
104 views

94 Z28 LT1 Camaro. Intermittent stalling/starting problem. Been haunting me forever

94 Z28 LT1 Camaro. Intermittent stalling/starting problem. Been haunting me forever. Typically my car will start fine when it's been sitting overnight. Then I'll drive to the gym which is 2 miles ...
6
votes
1answer
883 views

Engine revs to 4000 RPM without pressing gas pedal

I tried to start my car today but something strange keeps on happening. It turns on just fine, but once the engine is operating it starts revving to 4000 RPM even though I am not pressing the gas ...
6
votes
1answer
18 views

Mercedes E-350, 2006 sedan ignition problem

I own a Mercedes e-350 2006 sedan whose ignition box was vandalized and taken away by vandals. I could not start this car since then and I thought of buying a used ignition box to use on the car with ...
6
votes
1answer
372 views

Jeep stalls after about 10-15 minutes driving or idling

1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited This just started yesterday. Instance#1: After about 10-15 of driving (note: It had been about 12 hrs since it was last used) I was waiting at a traffic light when ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Chronic ignition problems with 1996 Suburban, replacing distributor cap makes it go away

I'm trying to diagnose an ongoing ignition problem with a 1996 Chevy Suburban. Sometimes it won't start, and the previous owner said this happens regularly, and every time the problem occurred, ...
5
votes
3answers
165 views

97 Honda Accord won't start after head gasket replacement

I recently replaced the head gasket on my Honda Accord. The cylinder head was tested at a machine shop and they also replaced the valve seals. I didn't do any work to the cylinders, except use ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Can a heavy key-chain damage your ignition?

I just bought a 2012 VW Jetta TDI. The dealer asked me to do a 2,000 mile check-up to make sure everything is within tolerances. At the check-up the service representative said my key-chain was too ...
5
votes
2answers
224 views

What is the advantage of start-stop button over turn-key igniton in a car?

I have driven a Skoda Fabia which has turn-key ignition system. When I start the car, there is a whole lot of vibration in the car. When I was in the initial stages of learning car driving, the car ...
5
votes
2answers
58 views

2000 Honda Accord - Attempts to start cause lights to go out with no clicking and fails to start

I tried to start my car less than a minute after turning it off last night and it wouldn't turn over... it wouldn't even click. I tried a few times and then let it rest. After a 30 minute phone call ...
5
votes
2answers
79 views

Emissions Problem: Lambda AND CO Slightly High on my 98 Mazda 626

I just took my 98 Mazda 626 for it's inspection and they said the carbon monoxide is slightly high. The test is done using a tail pipe gas analyzer while holding the RPMs between 2500 - 2800 for ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Motorcycle Starting Issue - no longer starting after attempting to jump with a car battery

I tried jump start my bike with my car battery because the motorcycle battery was really low and would not start. I mistakenly touched both ends of the jump leads together and cause a big spark, ...
5
votes
2answers
423 views

Honda CB400 Super-Four - Power Issue

I have a Honda CB400 Super-Four. My bike starts and rides but I can't get more than 5000rpm out of her. If I do then she floods and cuts out. Two of her exhaust pipes are cold and two are warm. ...
5
votes
2answers
127 views

Very slight arcing of good spark plug wires

While looking for the reason of occasional misfires I checked if my spark plug wires are arcing at night. There was no textbook arcing with popping sounds and pretty lights, but there was extremely ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Acceptable amount of slack in a timing chain with high mileage?

1995 Chevy S-10 Blazer - 4.3 L Vortec V6 (vin W with PCM) - 230,000 miles original owner. FWIW, this model car/engine does not have timing chain inspection and/or changing as part of the routine ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

Alternative location for motorcycle ignition coils?

I recently replaced the ignition coils on my 81 Suzuki 450. The aftermarket coils are just large enough that the tank won't seat right, even after adjusting the bracket. Would there be any issue in ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Ducati Monster M600 - Engine Vibration/Cold Cylinder

I have a 1995 Ducati Monster M600. Recently I noticed an engine vibration and whilst trying to figure it out I noticed that the horizontal cylinder exhaust is hot (hot enough to burn leather gloves) ...
5
votes
1answer
19 views

2008 Grand Prix GPX

What spark plug should I be using? I did my own tune up and the guy at auto advance told me to get some Bosch spark plugs for my car but then I notice less power. A mechanic told me I shouldn't have ...
5
votes
2answers
441 views

How often should spark plug wires be replaced?

I last replaced them with the plugs about 4 years/60-70k miles ago. I bought platinum plugs I if I remember correctly, so I still got some life on those. The car (2001 Buick Regal) is still in good ...
5
votes
2answers
216 views

replacing distributor— spline doesn't align

I'm working on my 63 impala (283 motor) and the previous owner had put a beat up Delco HEI distributor on the car, but it's so large that you can't really time it correctly-- the cap hits the firewall ...
5
votes
1answer
37 views

volvo ignition key

I've got a problem with my 2001 Volvo S60 ignition key. One key will start the car no problem. Most recently, however, the other key will turn and the engine just grinds but won't start. Put the other ...
5
votes
1answer
49 views

I reversed polarity on a jump pack when attempting to start my 2000 Dodge Neon.

I attempted to jump my 2000 Dodge Neon off in the dark with a jump pack, and I accidentally reversed the polarity. The tire inflator on the jump pack landed on my positive starter wire and burned it ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

SMAX Zetec 2.0 TDCi 2010 Plate - Why wont my car start ? (see video)

Car used to start fine 49 out of 50 times but without obvious reason it sometimes struggled to start (as seen in video). This can be on a cold start or a warm start. Happens in warm, cold, wet and dry ...
5
votes
3answers
92 views

2005 Dodge Caravan - Erratic Misfire

The engine was misfiring for quite a while. At some point, the battery went dead due to a bad alternator and all the electrical systems went nuts. I replaced the alternator & battery. At some ...