Electronic Ignition Advantages

by Matthew Anderson

The ignition system in an internal combustion engine ignites the mixture of fuel and air in the cylinders. An electronic ignition directs an electric current to each spark plug when it needs to fire. It has many advantages over mechanically timed ignition systems.

No Moving Parts

Moving parts in any mechanism wear down over time as parts grind against each other. This occurs no matter how well lubricated the system is. The electronic ignition does not have any moving parts. All of the operation of the ignition system is handled by solid state electronics. This increases the reliability and reduces the maintenance requirements. This results in a longer expected lifespan for an electronic ignition system.

Operational Improvements

The electronic ignition does not rely on the range of factors a mechanically timed system does for timing the spark plug activation. This results in universally better timing for the engine when in use. Improvements to timing have several different benefits for engine operation. A better timed spark almost guarantees the engine starts on the first try. The fuel and air mixture is burned at the optimal time. This gives a cleaner burn and increases the power of the engine.

Environmental Benefits

The electronic ignition system provides environmental benefits in comparison to the mechanically timed ignition. This is mostly due to the operational improvements. The power increase from the timing system results in better fuel economy. The cleaner burning of fuel and air in the cylinder results in slightly less polluting exhaust from the engine. Both of these provide monetary value beyond the environmental improvements. Better fuel economy results in spending less money on fuel. The improvements to exhaust increase the ability for cars to pass emission tests.

About the Author

Matthew Anderson started as a writer and editor in 2003. He has written content used in a textbook published by Wiley Publishing, among other publications. Anderson majored in chemical engineering and has training in guitar performance, music theory and song composition.