What is an ignition coil?

The ignition coil acts as a transformer that steps up the voltage from the battery to the spark plugs - the voltage is stepped up from 12 volts to many thousands of volts which are needed for the spark plugs to perform. Ignition coils have two sides, there is the 12v or primary side - this end has a wire coil with has a few hundred loops of a large diameter wire and builds up the magnetic field in the coils. The other end/side is the high voltage or secondary side - this end of the coil has thousands of loops of smaller diameter wire. The coil uses a method called electromagnetic induction to generate a high voltage. When the voltage on the primary side is turned off, the collapsing magnetic field induces a voltage in the secondary side which produces thousands of volts, which as mentioned before, is needed for the spark plugs to function.

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