Our latest featured service is Ignition Coil Replacement performed on a 2006 Audi A4, brought to us by a client from Little Mountain, Vancouver.
The ignition coil is an integral part of a gasoline powered engine’s ignition system. Its function is to generate the high voltage required to fire the spark plug(s), which in turn ignites the compressed air and fuel in the engine’s cylinder. The Audi A4 2 liter turbocharged engine in this vehicle uses 4 ignition coils, 1 per cylinder. There are tremendous advantages to this system as the vehicle’s powertrain computer can precisely fire each spark at the optimal time. The computer can also monitor the energy consumption used in each ignition and determine how successful that combustion event was.
Ignition system have evolved tremendously over the years. A couple of decades ago most engines had one ignition coil to fire all the cylinders. Spark was distributed, by a distributor which was for the most part a purely mechanical device. Going back a decade or two further, the spark event was created by breaker points, a mechanical contact that would ‘break’ a circuit at the time the spark was needed. These were crude devices by modern standards but they worked surprisingly well. Way further back, the model A Ford used 1 ignition coil per cylinder much like our featured Audi, however unlike the Audi’s precise computer controlled spark, the Ford’s coils fired continuously.
Our client brought his 2006 Audi A4 to us with the check engine light on and his engine running very roughly. Our diagnostic tests found that #3 cylinder ignition coil was dead. When we priced out the repair we were shocked at how inexpensive the ignition coil was: only $35.00. This is amazingly cheap, and for a name brand Bosch part, not some cheap white box part made in a low quality Chinese factory. Why so inexpensive? My guess is that they make a lot of them. This is a common engine and the ignition coils fit in many Audi and VW engines. This drives down the price, and it’s an advantage of buying a vehicle that is mainstream. Once you get into rare car makes or unusual models with limited sales, the price of parts usually goes up substantially.
This repair explodes the Myth that Audi’s and German cars in general are expensive to repair: sometimes they are very cheap to fix.
For more about the fabulous Audi A4 click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_A4
For more about ignition coils click here http://auto.howstuffworks.com/ignition-system5.htm