VW ignition coils are failing, leading to the engine shaking, hesitating, and stalling. What's causing the issue?
Ignition coils produce a high-voltage current that fires the spark plugs. If a coil fails, like in the case of many VW engines, the spark plug won’t fire and the engine will lose power. This can lead to shaking or hesitation and leave the driver in a vulnerable position.
What is the Ignition Coil?
The ignition coil provides spark for the spark plugs. Without the coils voltage-amplifying feature – where it converts battery voltage into the required electrical energy – the spark plug just becomes plug.
In older cars, there is one ignition coils that sends the spark to a distributer, which then sends the spark to the waiting spark plug. Newer Volkswagen cars, however, there is one ignition coil for every spark plug which opens up the possibility of more coil failure
Symptoms of a Faulty Ignition Coil
Potential problems from a faulty or failing ignition coil are: startup issues, loud engine cranks, backfires, stalling, engine hesitation, decreased fuel economy, increased emissions or engine fires! Engine problems are always dangerous and can leave driver’s in a vulnerable position.
NHTSA Investigation on VW Ignition Coils
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation on failing ignition coils in Volkswagen engines. According to the Wheels Blog at NY Times, the investigation is focusing on almost 200,000 2002-2003 VW Passats, depending on the results this could open into a full-sledged defect investigation.