Mechanics

INTERMITTENT IGNITION COIL?

1993 Saturn SL1

Electrical problem
1993 Saturn SL1 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 192000 miles

Car briefly lost power (about 5 seconds) about 2 mths ago, didn't think much of it. About a month later car lost significant power as if I was running on only 2 cylinders. Saw sparks come out back of car while I was driving. Drove it home, drove it the next day with no problems.
No problems for about a month. Took car to mechanic for a non-related issue. Picked it up, drove home fine. Went to drive it the next day, again, power loss and continued all day. Took back to mechanic, mechanic informs me one of my coils is bad and I can replace a coil, wire set and plugs myself so I picked it up without mechanic performing the work. Started it, it ran fine with no power loss and has not had power loss for 2 days. So the question after all of this is. Can a coil work intermittently? I was thinking more along the lines of a cat converter issue but mechanic diagnosed as bad ignition coil.
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PIATAR
February 21, 2010.



First of all thank u so much for ur donation it helps so much so we can keep answering peoples car questions and helping people. It is very possibley that a electricial compontent can fail interminatly over time. Normally when a cat goes bad it gets hot and plugs up the exhaust I have never really seen one fail like that. If u want to make sure what it is failing then u will have to wait till it fails for long enough to test things like if u think its the cat u will have do a back pressure test when it starts acting up. But usually a plugged cat causes a loss of power not a couple of cylinders missifiring because it effects all cyls. Can u hear a rattle uder the car on those older cats when they fail they break loose usually. When its cold tap on it with ur hand see if it rattles. Another thing u can do is remove the spark plug wires see if there is a white powder on the coil towers if there is that can cause ur problem as well. Let me know what u find.

Saturntech9
Feb 21, 2010.
Thank you so much for the quick reply. I just got done replacing wires and plugs. Plugs were not good, had some white powder on one side of each coil, cleaned it off. I'll just keep driving and see if it happens again. If it happens again I suppose I'll replace both coils.

Tiny
PIATAR
Feb 21, 2010.
That white powder will cause intermintant missing Thats for sure if u cleaned the towers good u should be ok I have cleaned lots of them the best thing to clean them with is a red scotch brite pad that's what I use. If u have anymore trouble with ur car let me know and I'll be happy to help u further. Let me know if it's fixed.
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Saturntech9
Feb 21, 2010.

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