BMW E30 Ignition Coils
Ignition coils are key to the efficiency and performance of your BMW. They're just as important as spark plugs. Starting with the M42 engine in 1990, BMW's ignition systems use an individual coil for each cylinder (coil-on-plug ignition). While the improved performance and smoothness is without question, these coils have a shorter lifespan than the older single-coil designs. With a faulty coil, the spark plug is not burning the air/fuel mixture properly and that can lead to problems anywhere in the engine and exhaust (including catalytic converters and O2 sensors). Problems with one or more coils will cause a fault code but not always a check engine light. A misfire code may be related to an ignition coil but could be from other things as well. Sometimes a visual inspection of a coil and coil boot will give an indication of a failure. You can also move coils around to different cylinder banks to see if the misfire code follows a suspect coil. We suggest always having one or two coils on hand to keep as spares.
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