How Do You Locate Your Car's Ignition Module?

locate-car-s-ignition-module Credit: Lesley Magno/Moment/Getty Images

A car's ignition module is located inside the distributor, on the distributor or in the engine compartment, depending on the make and model of the car. It is normally coated with an insulating material to protect the internal electronic components.

To locate the ignition module inside the distributor, open the hood of the car and remove the distributor cap without disconnecting the spark plug wires. Some modules are attached outside the distributor's case, and others are mounted inside the distributor. Other modules are located under the dashboard. Consult the vehicle's service manual to locate and identify the components.

The ignition module controls the ignition coils and regulates spark generation by sending signals to the car battery to produce the voltage that activates the ignition system. When the ignition module becomes faulty, the engine fails to run because there are no signals sent to set the ignition system in motion.

Factors that cause the ignition module to malfunction include overheating, poor electrical connections at the spark plug, a wire short, an internal short and general failure. When a faulty ignition module is the issue, the engine may fail to start or sputter. It may also start cold but stall during operation or backfire.