Q:

How does a car ignition system work?

A:

Quick Answer

The ignition system of a car engine works by creating a controlled spark using an engine control unit. The engine control unit determines the best timing to initiate the spark in the ignition system, which then ignites the fuel vapors in the vehicle and starts the engine.

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Full Answer

The ignition coil is a key component in the ignition system. This coil converts the power from a battery into the spark that ignites the fuel. Within the ignition coil are two windings. The first winding gathers the energy needed for ignition, while the second winding directs the spark.

The spark is directed to the ignition system's distributor, which then distributes the spark to the spark plugs of the vehicle. Through the work of the distributor, the sparks are moved to the cylinders of the engine. The distributor is a very precise device, and it is important for it to send the sparks at the right time in order for the vehicle to start properly.

The final ignition process involves the intake valves connected to the spark plugs. The intake valves let in just enough fuel vapor and air to cause the sparks delivered by the distributor to ignite. This process happens several times per minute as the car runs.

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