How to Replace the Ignition Coil in Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The ignition coil in your Chevrolet car generates the spark needed by the distributor to ignite the fuel vapor and keep your engine running. If your Chevrolet car engine is cutting in and out, skipping or seems to have lost power, the coil may be to blame. If not caught early and the coil fails completely, the engine will not run. You can find a replacement coil at most auto parts stores or a Chevrolet car dealership.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Chevy TrailBlazer

Remove the negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal using a wrench. Set the cable aside so it is isolated from the battery.

Locate the ignition coil on the top of the passenger’s side of the engine, about halfway up the engine block. Disconnect the wiring connectors on the side of the coil. Disconnect the coil wire. The wiring connectors and coil wire should simply pull straight out.

Remove the nuts securing the ignition coil and bracket to the engine using a wrench or socket and ratchet and remove the studs.

Drill out the rivets securing the coil to the mounting bracket. Remove the bracket and coil from the engine compartment. The new coil will include nuts and bolts to secure the new coil to the bracket.

Secure the new coil to the bracket using the nuts and bolts included with the coil kit. Connect the coil and bracket assembly to the engine using the studs and nuts. Torque the nuts to 20 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Reconnect the coil wire and the wiring connectors on the side of the ignition coil. Reconnect the negative battery cable then test the ignition coil by starting the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Socket and ratchet set

  • Drill

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a GM Pickup

Pop the hood and locate the ignition coil bracket on the left side of the engine, just to the left of the air intake tubing. Unplug the coil wire and the wiring harness from the coil bracket and set them aside.

Unbolt the coil bracket from the intake manifold using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Lift the bracket off the engine and place it on a work surface. Insert a metal drill bit into the drill and drill off the heads of the rivets that secure the coil to the bracket, then pull the coil off the bracket.

Place the replacement coil onto the coil bracket and use the rivet gun to rivet two rivets into the coil to secure it to the bracket. Bolt the bracket onto the intake manifold, then push the coil wire and the wiring harness back onto the coil.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Drill and metal drill bits

  • Rivets

  • Rivet gun

  • Replacement ignition coil

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil on a 1998 Chevrolet S10

Raise the hood on the S-10. Remove the negative battery cable from the battery, using a ratchet and socket to loosen the cable tie-down nut. Tuck the negative battery cable to the side, so that there is no possibility of accidental contact between the cable and battery during this project.

Loosen the front wheel lug nuts on the passenger side of the truck with a tire iron. Lift the front of the truck up using a jack. Place a jack stand under the front frame rail on the passenger side of the truck. Remove the lug nuts completely, and then remove the passenger front tire.

Place a tab of masking tape on all four ignition wires. Mark the ignition wires "1" through "4," matching the numbers found on the ignition coils. Remove the ignition wires from the coils by hand.

Raise the rubber flap on the inner passenger front wheel well by hand. Visually inspect and locate the ignition coils on the lower passenger side of the engine. Remove the mounting screws from the ignition coils with a Phillips screwdriver. There are two mounting screws per coil, with two coils on the ignition control module.

Install a new coil onto the ignition control module and tighten the screws with the screwdriver until they are snug, approximately 3 foot-pounds maximum torque. Repeat this step to install the second coil onto the control module.

Install the ignition wires onto the new coils in the positions corresponding with the numbers on the wires. The top coil wires should be marked "2" and "3" from top to bottom. The bottom coil wires should be marked "1" and "4" from top to bottom.

Install the front wheel back onto the truck, and tighten the lugs until they are snug with the tire iron. Raise the truck off the jack stand with your jack. Remove the jack stand from beneath the truck. Set the truck onto the ground. Immediately tighten the passenger front lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds of torque, using a 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and socket.

Install the negative battery cable back onto the battery, and tighten the tie down nut with a ratchet and socket. Do not apply torque to the tie down nut, as this can destroy the cable end, or the battery lead.

Items you will need

  • 1/4-inch drive ratchet and socket

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Masking tape

  • Black marker

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • 2 new coil packs

  • 1/2-inch drive torque wrench and socket set

  • Ohmmeter (optional)

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Chevy Impala

Determine whether you have a distributor ignition system. Chevy Impala cars manufactured after 2000 have a distributorless ignition system (DIS), in which case, you need to work with a coil pack, not an igntion coil.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. If you fail to do this, any metal contact from tools may cause a fire or potentially electrocute you.

Locate your Chevy Impala's ignition coil. Typically, the distributor cap contains the ignition coil. For models with an inline 6-cylinder engine, look for an external coil. Remove the ignition lead, or the switch-to-coil lead, from the ignition coil.

Use masking tape or another system to mark which spark plug wires correspond to the appropriate coil high-tension terminal. Your Chevy Impala won't start if you don't correctly reinstall the spark plug wires.

Take out the two screws that attach each ignition coil to the Impala's ignition coil control module. Then, remove the ignition coil(s) and replace with the new coil(s). On 1975 to 1978 engines, you need to use a blunt drift to dislodge the coil wire spade terminals from the distributor cap.

Coat the inside of each plug wire connector with silicone dielectric compound. You may want to clean the connectors before you apply the compound.

Reverse the dismantling steps to reassemble the ignition coil. If you have a torque wrench, you want to tighten the screws to 40 inch pounds (5Nm) of torque.

Items you will need

  • Masking tape

  • Replacement ignition coil

  • Silicon dielectric compound

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Chevy Camaro

Isolate the negative battery cable from the battery on your Chevy Camaro. An accidental connection may cause tools to spark or electrocute you.

Unhook the electrical connectors from the ignition coil. Remove the ground nut securing the engine wiring harness using a screwdriver or small wrench. Then, detach the ground terminals on the harness.

Release the ignition coil studs. When you replace a Chevy Camaro ignition coil, you also need to remove the retainer for the fuel canister purge tube.

Separate the ignition coil from the cylinder head. Chevy recommends that you don't clean the grease off the cylinder head when you plan to reinstall a new engine coil.

Determine whether you need to separate the ignition coil from a module and bracket. If this is the case, you may need to drill and punch the rivets that secure the ignition coil to the mounting system.

Install the new Chevy Camaro ignition coil and reassemble the car. Use a Torque wrench to tighten the modules screws with 15 inch pounds (1.7 Nm) of torque and the bracket screws to 25 inch pounds (2.8 Nm) of torque. For the fuel canister purge tube and the ignition coil studs, tighten to 30 foot pounds (40 Nm) of torque. Tighten the ground nut on the harness to 16 foot pounds (22 Nm) of torque.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver or wrench

  • Drill, if needed

  • Replacement ignition coil

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Chevy Cobalt

Pop the hood and unhook the ignition coil connectors from the ignition coils. If you replace more than one coil at the same time, label the wires with masking tape or make note of which ignition coil wire corresponds to which terminal. Otherwise, your Chevy Cobalt won't start.

Loosen and remove the bolts that hold the ignition coil in place. Typically, there are two per coil.

Pull out the Chevy Cobalt ignition coil you plan to replace and insert the new ignition coil. You can use a universal or stock replacement ignition coil. Before you purchase a replacement ignition coil, find out which engines the coil fits--even universal ignition coils have this information.

Replace the bolts from Step 2. For accuracy, use a Torque wrench to tighten the bolts to 89 inch pounds (10 Nm) torque.

Reconnect the ignition coil wires to the ignition coil. Refer to your notes from Step 1 to prevent mix-ups. Start your Chevy Cobalt to make sure your did the repair correctly.

Items you will need

  • Masking tape or notepad

  • Replacement ignition coil

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Chevy Silverado

Keep safe while you work on your truck. Not only should you set your emergency brake, you should also disconnect your negative battery cable. For added safety, isolate the cable, so it won't make an accidental connection.

Use masking tape to label the spark plug wires according to which terminal they connect to. Then, unplug the wires from the ignition coil.

Remove the screws securing the coil bracket to the intake manifold, using a small screwdriver or wrench.

Pull the Chevy Silverado ignition coil bracket away from the manifold. To separate the ignition coil from the bracket, remove the fasteners. In many cases, these will be rivets that you need to drill and punch out.

Replace the old ignition coil with a stock replacement or universal ignition coil. You might want to consider purchasing an ignition coil kit, which comes with mounting hardware. This is especially helpful if you had to drill and punch the rivets in order to access the ignition coil.

Put the pieces back together. As you tighten the retainers, make sure you only tighten until snug. Over-tightening may strip them.

Items you will need

  • Masking tape

  • Screwdriver or small wrench

  • Silverado ignition coil, specific to engine type

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.