Everything About Ignition Control Module

ignition control module

The ignition control module holds a paramount position amidst the other parts of an internal combustion engine. It is the brain that controls the ignition timing and spark generation, enabling the air-fuel mixture to burn. That said, without an ignition control module, the proper ignition will be impossible, resulting in inefficient engine performance. Moreover, it will also disrupt the fuel consumption of a vehicle. 

Let’s dive a little deeper and dissect the working, types and other details regarding the ignition control module. 

How Does an Ignition Control Module Work

The ignition control module is the part of the car’s ignition system that is responsible for generating a spark, igniting fuel inside combustion chambers and starting the vehicle. In the ignition system, a number of components work in synchronisation, including the ignition control module. 

Amidst these components, the function of ignition of the ignition control module is to generate spark and control ignition timing. In the first step, the module receives information regarding the engine’s rotational speed and position. The information is collected and transferred through different car sensors, including crankshaft position sensors. 

After processing the information, the ignition control module signals the ignition coil to generate high-voltage current and distribute it to the spark plug. The spark plug is then used to ignite the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. 

Ignition Control Modules Types

Now that you are aware of the functions of an ignition control module, let’s move toward the different types used in cars. 

Mechanical Ignition Control Module

The mechanical ignition control module is the earliest form of module used in cars. As evident from the name, these modules were mechanically operated and used points and different components to generate electrical signals. That said, the involvement of too many mechanical parts makes it prone to wear and tear. Moreover, it also requires regular maintenance to ensure smooth functioning. 

Electrical Ignition Control Module

Since there have been multiple issues with the mechanical ignition module, it was replaced with the electrical one. The electrical module system uses solid-state electronics to signal the ignition coil. That said, the electrical module consists of an integrated circuit, transistors, capacitors and other components to manage the ignition system. 

Contrary to the mechanical one, the electrical module is more reliable, durable, efficient and provides precise information, resulting in better engine performance. 

Electrical ignition control module
Two different types of ignition control modules are present in the cars. Generally, modern cars have an electrical ignition module

Bad Ignition Control Module Symptoms

In case of an ignition module failure, the engine dies and will not restart. However, the failure of the ignition module is generally caused due to overheating and is often misdiagnosed. Following are some common symptoms that indicate a malfunctioning ignition control module. 

Engine Stalling & Misfiring

The first symptom of a failing ignition control module is engine stalling and misfiring which indicates incomplete combustion. Moreover, it will also cause difficulty in acceleration; the car will start shaking or jerking whenever the accelerator pedal is pressed. 

Dead Engine

The car starts for a second and then dies is another common symptom of a failing ignition module. In some cases, the engine will be completely dead and will take several attempts to restart. It generally happens due to the corroded electrical connections of the ignition module. It can be fixed by cleaning the connection, repairing the switch, or replacing the wires, if needed. 

Engine Check Light Illuminated

The check engine light is illuminated when the ignition module malfunctions. However, the engine check light can be illuminated due to multiple other reasons. To identify the potential cause of the light turning on, you can use the OBD Scanner. 

Ignition Control Module Test

Once your vehicle starts showing the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s recommended to get your ignition control module replaced. However, you can also check its functioning at home prior to visiting the mechanic. Here are the steps to test a bad ignition control module at home. 

  • Step 1: Locate the ignition module; it is generally present near the distributor. If you are unable to find it, refer to the wiring diagram present in the user manual.
  • Step 2: Unscrew and remove the cover over the ignition control module. 
  • Step 3: Now connect one lead to the ignition control module and the other one to the spark tester.
  • Step 4: Crank the engine; if the control module is working properly, the spark tester will light up. 
A mechanic testing ignition control module in a car
To test the ignition control module, basic knowledge about the car engine and its components is necessary


How does an ignition control module work?

The ignition control module receives signals about the engine position and displacement from different sensors. The module used this information to signal the coil to generate the required voltage, transfer it to each spark plug and generate a spark inside the chambers. 

Where is the ignition control module located?

The ignition coil is generally located next to the distributor. If not, then please refer to the user manual.

How much does it cost to repair an ignition control module?

The price to repair the ignition control module varies from vehicle to vehicle. However, an ignition module typically ranges between AED 60 to AED 630, excluding installation charges. 

This was all about the ignition control module and its importance in an internal combustion engine car. The ignition control module is a significant part of the combustion engines and its malfunctioning car causes serious troubles. Although, these parts are generally durable and do not malfunction too often. That said, if your ignition system malfunctions regularly, it might highlight some underlying issues. Rather than investing in repairing, it is suggested to browse through these used cars for sale in the UAE and upgrade to the latest one. 

Stay tuned to dubizzle’s auto blog for more information on the car’s ignition system.