Ignition Wire Set

By David Sturtz, April 15, 2008

The ignition (or spark plug) wire set takes the spark created by the ignition coil(s) and delivers it to the spark plugs.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Ignition Wire Set

  • The engine may be hard to start or not start at all
  • Engine may run roughly
  • Lack of power on acceleration
  • Check Engine Light illuminate and/or flash

Ignition Wire Set Related Repair Advice

  • Continuing to drive with the above mentioned symptoms can damage the catalytic converter
  • It is common to replace the wire set once or twice during the vehicle's life
  • We recommend replacing the ignition wires if they have more than 60,000 miles on them and especially if other ignition components are being replaced
  • Engines that feature an individual coil for each cylinder—described as coil-on-plug (COP) ignition—do not use ignition/spark plug wires
  • Ignition wire failure can be caused by failures elsewhere in the ignition system. The ignition coils and spark plugs should be thoroughly inspected and tested.
  • Oil or coolant leaks can damage ignition wires. To prevent reoccurring problems, the leaks will need to be repaired along with the ignition wires.
  • Care should be taken when servicing the ignition system as up to 45,000 volts may be present while the engine is running

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