The ignition in a petrol engine ensures that the mixture of petrol and air is ignited at the end of the compression stroke. In most petrol engines, the ignition system consists of one or more (pin) ignition coil(s), spark plugs and an ECU or engine control unit to control everything. Depending on the system and the age of the vehicle, a different type of ignition may be used. For example, older vehicles are equipped with a central ignition coil which distributes power to the spark plugs via ignition cables. Newer petrol engines are often equipped with separate ignition coils, each cylinder having its own ignition coil.
A diesel engine is a self-igniter, i.e. due to the heat of compression, the diesel fuel and oxygen ignite by themselves and therefore do not need an external spark. However, a diesel engine does have a glow plug system which consists of a glow module and glow plugs (also called glow pins). When cold starting, this system helps to make the cold diesel engine start faster. When the vehicle gets a bit older, these common malfunctions will cause a diesel engine to start poorly (when cold).
Here you will find all the parts of the ignition system for a petrol engine and for the glow plug system in a diesel engine. If you have any questions or would like advice, please contact our product specialists. They will be happy to assist you.
Indirectly injected diesel engines must always be started using the glow plug system. Directly injected diesel engines are also aided in cold outside temperatures by means of the glow plug system. The glow plugs, controlled by the preheating module, preheat the air in the cylinders for a smoother cold start. If there is a defect in the glow plug system, this will be particularly noticeable with the cold start. The engine will start poorly, smoke a lot and run irregularly. As a rule, the engine management system stores such a malfunction, which can then be read out to locate the malfunction.
Care must be taken when disassembling the glow plugs, which are mounted directly in the cylinder head. The glow plugs are often firmly attached and are relatively fragile, which can cause residues to fall into the cylinder. If that happens, the cylinder head will have to be disassembled in order to remove the residues. It is advisable to remove glow plugs from an engine which is warm to the touch in order to reduce the risk of damage.
The spark plug protection sleeve closes around the connection of the spark plug in order to transmit the current from the ignition coil, also known as a spark plug cap. This spark plug protection sleeve / spark plug cap is also insulated to protect and prevent short circuits.
A conventional ignition system uses an ignition distributor. This means that there is a central ignition coil with an ignition coil cable to the ignition distributor. This is in contrast to separate pen ignition coils, for example, where each cylinder has its own ignition coil. The ignition distributor distributes the power supply via the ignition cables to the spark plugs, allowing ignition to take place. Among other things, here you will find a repair kit for your ignition distributor or individual parts, such as a distributor cap.
The ignition coil provides the power supply to the spark plugs. There are various types of ignition coil ignition systems. For example, there is a central ignition coil which delivers current to the spark plugs via a distributor, but there are also so-called pen ignition coils where each cylinder is fitted with its own ignition coil mounted directly on the spark plug. Both systems, however, operate and function in the same way, only the construction deviates with its associated advantages and disadvantages.
Pen ignition coils, especially those mentioned earlier, become more sensitive to malfunctions over time because they are exposed to higher temperatures, as they are mounted in the cylinder head. When an ignition coil fails, the engine suffers from misfires or a cylinder which doesn't work at all as no spark is generated. This results in a poorly running engine which does not run on all cylinders and is often accompanied by an engine malfunction indicator light.
The spark plug mounted in the cylinder head creates the spark in the combustion chamber of a petrol or gas engine. The spark plug is powered by the ignition coil (and controlled by the engine management system). The high current generated jumps between the electrodes at the end of the spark plug, resulting in combustion in combination with fuel and oxygen. Spark plugs are subject to wear and should be replaced in a timely manner; consult the factory regulations for the interval to be used. In the unlikely event that a spark plug falls (for example, on the ground), it is no longer usable and a new one must be fitted. This is due to possible damage to the ceramic part or to the electrodes.
The ignition cables transfer power from the ignition distributor or ignition coil to the spark plugs. These cables can be sensitive to moisture and pests (including martens), resulting in a poorly running motor.
The glow plugs or glow pins, controlled by the preheating module, preheat the air in the cylinders for a smoother cold start. If there is a defect in the glow plug system, this will be particularly noticeable with the cold start. The engine will start poorly, smoke a lot and run irregularly. As a rule, the engine management system stores such a malfunction, which can then be read out to locate the malfunction.
Care must be taken when disassembling the glow pins, which are mounted directly in the cylinder head. The glow plugs are often firmly attached and are relatively fragile, which can cause residues to fall into the cylinder. If that happens, the cylinder head will have to be disassembled in order to remove the residues. It is advisable to remove glow plugs from an engine which is warm to the touch in order to reduce the risk of damage.
The ignition timing adjuster is a mechanism used to adjust the ignition correctly. This can be read off by means of the ignition timing indicator.
An Electronic Control Unit (ECU), also known as the engine management system, is fitted in every modern car. All sensors in the car are connected to this computer and provide the computer with information. On the basis of this information, the ECU controls the engine, as well as other components. For example, information from the air mass sensor, accelerator pedal position and lambda sensor allows the ECU to know exactly how much fuel needs to be injected to meet the driver's power requirements. Furthermore, modern ECUs are equipped with a self-diagnostic system which stores malfunctions and error codes in its memory so these can be read out by the garage for diagnosis. ECUs usually last for the car’s lifetime but they can break down sporadically, causing the car not to function properly. This is often difficult to determine, as the ECU's self-diagnosis is then in some cases no longer accurate.
The ignition module takes care of the timing of the power supply to the ignition coil(s). In this way, the right amount of current enters the ignition coil at exactly the desired moment (at ignition). In addition, the ignition module provides protection for the ignition coil so that it is not continuously loaded with power. A defective ignition module can result in the engine not starting, a short circuit or the engine shutting down when it is hot.
Here you will find the right relay for your vehicle's glow plug system. This is often the cause when the diesel engine starts poorly when cold. A defective relay prevents the glow plug system from doing its job.
Here you will find various (series of) ignition resistances for the ignition.
The alternator regulator ensures that the car and battery are supplied with the correct charge current, regardless of the speed at which the engine is running. The alternator runs on the engine with a v-ribbed belt and runs at different speeds; the alternator regulator evens this out so that the on-board voltage remains the same. A faulty alternator regulator may cause strange malfunctions and may also prevent the battery from being recharged.
Here you will find the right plug for the ignition coil(s) of your vehicle. Over time these can corrode due to the outside air, for example, causing the plug to make poor contact.
When there is a fixed ignition coil as an ignition system, an ignition distributor is used. This means that there is a central ignition coil with ignition cables going towards the spark plugs. This is in contrast to separate pen ignition coils, for example, where each cylinder has its own ignition coil. The ignition distributor provides the power supply to the spark plugs so that ignition can take place.
When a fixed central ignition coil is mounted (i.e. no pin ignition coils) a rotor is present under the distributor cap. This rotor rotates at half crankshaft speed and is mechanically connected to the engine. The ignition coil delivers the high voltage to the rotor in the distributor. The rotor requires regular maintenance as the contact points will corrode over time, resulting in a weaker spark plug spark.
Here you will find various parts for your vehicle’s ignition system, including start switches.
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