BMWs are reliable vehicles that are fun to drive, but it may be difficult to enjoy those qualities if your BMW’s ignition coil is failing. Your vehicle’s ignition coil is central to its ability to function, and if this component fails, you may not be able to drive your BMW at all.

To help you prevent this, below is some vital information about how ignition coils work as well as a list of signs that your BMW’s ignition coil might be malfunctioning.

Understanding The Ignition Coil and Its Purpose

Your BMW’s engine needs approximately 40,000 volts of electricity to run correctly, but its battery is only able to produce 12 volts. The ignition coil fixes this problem by amplifying the battery’s electricity current before sending it through your vehicle’s spark plugs and into the engine. This amplification process happens every time you start your BMW, which means that your vehicle’s ignition coil is routinely put under a lot of stress. As such, the coil can wear down over time, impeding your vehicle’s ability to function.

Signs Your BMW’s Ignition Coil Is Failing

Because ignition coils are such influential components, it’s relatively easy to tell when one is malfunctioning. Here are seven key signs that your BMW’s ignition coil may need to be repaired or replaced:

●      Rough idling: Typically, the first sign of ignition coil failure is rough idling. When an ignition coil starts to fail, the vehicle’s onboard computer system tries to adjust for it, causing the engine to run more roughly. In turn, this will make the engine vibrate heavily and generate more noise than usual.

●      Loss of power: As an ignition coil begins to malfunction, the amount of electricity it provides to the engine decreases. Often, this translates into a loss of horsepower, which leads to the next sign of ignition coil failure: reduced fuel efficiency.

●      Reduced fuel efficiency: When your BMW loses horsepower, its computer system tries to compensate for the loss by pumping more fuel through the system. This means that your vehicle will use up more fuel per mile. Therefore, if your BMW’s ignition coil is malfunctioning, it may cause your vehicle to lose both horsepower and fuel efficiency.

●      Engine misfires and stalling: If your BMW’s ignition coil is unable to produce enough energy to keep its engine running, then the engine may misfire or stall. Both of these problems can be rather dangerous, and a stalled engine may even leave you stranded on the side of the road. Thus, if you notice either of these symptoms, you should have your vehicle examined by a professional mechanic right away.

●      Check engine light illumination: Your BMW’s check engine light may turn on for a variety of reasons, ranging from a loose gas cap to transmission failure. That being said, check engine light illumination may indicate failure of the ignition coil, especially if it is accompanied by any of the other symptoms discussed here. Regardless, if your vehicle’s check engine light comes on, you should take your BMW to a professional technician to get the problem diagnosed as soon as possible.

●      Engine overheating: When a faulty ignition coil is ignored for long enough, it may overheat, which can cause serious damage to the rest of the engine. This may occur either alone or in conjunction with any of the above symptoms.

●      Failure to start: Finally, when an ignition coil fails completely, your vehicle will lose its inability to start. Therefore, if your vehicle won’t start and you have ruled out any battery-related problems, then the issue probably lies with your BMW’s ignition coil.

Bavarian Workshop Will Service Your BMW


If you notice any of the above signs, or if you’ve driven your BMW 100,000 miles since its ignition coil was last replaced, then it’s time to bring your vehicle to our qualified mechanics. Here at Bavarian Workshop, our expert technicians have decades of experience working with German vehicles, including AudiBMWMercedesMINIPorsche, and Volkswagen.

Since 1994, we’ve been providing excellent care to customers in AgouraCalabasasWoodland Hills, and West Hills, CA. We’d love to help get you and your BMW back on the road as soon as possible. So give us a call today, or stop by our shop to find out what we can do for you.

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