Even though a car’s engine might seem like a complex, unfathomable system, it’s really made up of simple mechanical parts. One of the easiest ways to keep your car running smoothly is by keeping those parts clean and well-maintained.
If you’re not familiar with what “coil packs” are, they are small cylinders with coils of wires inside them. They are responsible for igniting the fuel in your engine so that it can produce that sweet, sweet horsepower you love so much.
Unfortunately, they get dirty pretty quickly, which can lead to all sorts of problems with your engine and even CO emissions from your tailpipe. Fortunately, cleaning and maintaining coil packs is an easy task that you can do at home – no mechanic or auto repair shop required!
How To Clean Coil Packs
Check Your Coils Before You Begin
Before you begin your cleaning process, it’s a good idea to check the condition of the coils to make sure they aren’t irreparably damaged. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you can ask your mechanic to take a look at them and give you some advice on what to do next.
If the coils are still in good shape, a good cleaning should be all you need to keep them running smoothly. If they’re severely damaged, you’ll probably need to replace the coils. Coils can become dirty and damaged for a number of reasons. If you drive your car often, you’re more likely to experience issues with dirty coils than someone who drives less often. Dirt and emissions collect on the coils as well as the inside of your engine. If you don’t have your car serviced regularly, it’s even more likely that dirt will build up and cause problems.
Step 1: Disconnect Battery
Before you do any work on your car’s electrical system, you should always disconnect the battery. This will prevent an accidental spark from igniting any fuel or solvents you might use to clean the coils. Disconnecting the battery is a straightforward process that you can easily do yourself. You should find a red or black wire with an “-” sign on it. Simply unplug the wire from the battery terminal, and you’re good to go! Note that you should always make sure your car is off when you disconnect the battery. This will prevent any accidental sparks while you’re cleaning your coils.
Step 2: Soak the Coils in Solvents
After you’ve disconnected the battery, you can begin to clean your coils with solvents. You’re going to want to soak each of the coils in a different solvent, depending on what’s on them and how bad the damage is. Start with a solvent like carburetor cleaner. This will break down any deposits on the coils and help you get rid of any nasty build-up. You’ll want to put a few coils in a small bucket and cover them with cleaner. Let the solvent sit on the coils for at least 15 minutes before you take them out and move on to the next step. Next, you’ll want to put your coils in a baking soda and water solution. This will help neutralize any acids left behind by the carb cleaner and will also loosen any carbon build-up. Again, put a few coils in a bucket and pour in water and baking soda. Let the solution sit for at least an hour before removing the coils.
Step 3: Blow out the Coils With Air
The last step in cleaning your coils is to use compressed air to blow out any remaining debris. You can just go to a nearby auto parts store and ask for a can of compressed air. Or you can use the air can you use to clean your computer keyboard. You’ll want to blow out each coil in three different directions: top, bottom, and sides. This will help make sure you get everything that’s stuck in there, whether it’s dirt or carbon. After you’ve blown out each coil, you can clean them with a brush to make sure they’re free of debris and grime.
Step 4: Reinstall and Reconnect Battery
Now that your coils are nice and clean, it’s time to put them back in the engine. Make sure that you reinstall them in the correct order and also make sure they are seated properly. Once you’ve reconnected the battery and made sure everything is properly installed, it’s time to start the car and test out your newly cleaned coils. You should feel a significant difference in the way your car runs. If you’re still experiencing issues, it’s time to look for another cause, or schedule an appointment with a mechanic to get a full diagnosis. Now that you know how to clean your coils, you can keep your car running like new year round. Make sure to clean your coils at least once per year to keep them in good condition. Tune-ups and oil changes are also important ways to keep your engine running smoothly.
Cleaning your engine parts will help make your car run smoother, have better fuel efficiency, and reduce emissions. It is a simple process that doesn’t require any expensive tools or a trip to the mechanic—you can do it yourself in your driveway. All you need is a bucket, some baking soda, water, and a cheap can of compressed air. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to keep your engine running smoothly and keep your car on the road for longer.