Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Replace the Ignition Coil in Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The ignition coil on your Honda car controls the voltage that the spark plugs need to effectively keep the engine running. Without the ignition coil functioning properly, your engine may not run at all. Other symptoms of a bad ignition coil include backfiring and extremely rough idling. On the Honda car the ignition coil mounts within the distributor housing.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Honda Accord

Locate the ignition coil. You should find it close to the intake manifold. For engines like the 2.4L and 3.0L, you should find a distributor that houses the Accord ignition coil. When a distributor is present, you need to remove the distributor cap, rotor and cap seal in order to access the ignition coil.

Disconnect the wires that connect to the ignition coil. As you remove these, either make a note of which wire relates to which terminal, or wrap masking tape around the wires to mark the relative position. Make sure you replace the wires in the correct position or your car may not start.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that secure the ignition coil in place. Then slide the distributor free from the engine.

Replace the old ignition coil with the new one. You can use a stock replacement or universal ignition coil, as long as it fits your engine type.

Slide the distributor back in place and secure it with the fasteners. If you use a Torque wrench, tighten the retainers to 9 foot pounds (12 Nm).

Connect the wires and reassemble any other parts you removed.

Items you will need

  • Notepad or masking tape

  • Screwdriver

  • Accord ignition coil

  • Torque wrench, optional

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil on a 1990 Honda Accord

Raise the hood on your Accord and then disconnect the negative battery cable from its post using a socket wrench.

Wrap the lead terminal at the end of the cable with electrical tape completely. Push the negative cable down onto the side of the battery to assure it won’t accidentally make contact with the battery during the repair.

Locate the distributor cap mounted on the Accord’s engine by following any one of the spark plug wires away from the engine to its connecting point. Do not disconnect any of the spark plug wires from the distributor cap; you don’t have to for this repair.

Draw a line on the left and right side of the two screws holding the distributor cap in place with white correction fluid. The lines will help you align the cap back into its original position once you’re ready to reinstall it.

Remove the two screws holding the distributor cap with a Phillips screwdriver and then place both of the screws in your pocket.

Pull the distributor cap off slowly. Be very careful, because the spark plug wires are still attached to the cap.

Remove the rotor, but first note its position. The rotor should pop right off. If your entire distributor has been replaced before and you had an aftermarket one installed, the rotor may have a single screw holding it in place. If so, remove the screw from the rotor and then take the rotor off.

Identify the ignition coil now that the distributor cap and rotor are removed. The ignition coil has two small wires connected to the left side of it. The coil resembles a square and has a small nipple sticking out of it on the top right side.

Label the two wires connected to the ignition coil clearly with white painter’s tape. It’s highly critical that you don’t mix the wires up during re-installation.

Remove the two screws holding the wires in place on the coil with your Phillips screwdriver. Place the screws in your pocket and tuck both wires to the side so they’re out of the way.

Remove the two securing screws on the left and right of the ignition coil and then carefully slide the coil out of its mounting position. Place the two screws in your pocket as well to reuse during installation.

Install the new ignition coil on your 1990 Honda Accord by simply reversing the removal steps. Remember to check any notations that you made to assure a successful repair.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Black electrical tape

  • Correction fluid (white out)

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • White painter’s tape

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Honda CR-V

Write down the radio security code. For safety, remove the negative battery cable from the terminal.

Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws that secure the distributor cap to the distributor housing. Once you have the cap loosened, remove it with the wires still connected and set it to the side. Also remove the distributor cap seal.

Separate the ignition rotor from the distributor shaft by loosening the fasteners. Before you pull the ignition rotor out, make a note of the rotor's position in comparison to the distributor shaft. Some models may have a protective cover that you need to remove.

Locate the A (+) and B (-) terminals. From the A (+) terminal, remove the black and yellow wire. You also need to remove the white and blue wire from the B (-) terminal. Honda sometimes refers to these wires as the ignition coil electrical connections.

Loosen the fasteners that secure the ignition coil to the mounting posts. Gently pull out the ignition coil and replace it with the new CR-V ignition coil.

Install the remaining components by reversing the process. Refer to your notes to make sure you reassemble the parts correctly, or you may not be able to start your Honda CR-V.

Reattach the negative battery cable, enter the security code for your radio and reset the powertrain control module.

Items you will need

  • Notepad and writing utensil

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • CR-V ignition coil

 How to Replace the Ignition Coil in a Honda Prelude

Determine what type of ignition system you have. Honda Preludes that have a 2.2L, 2.3L, 2.7L or 3.0L engine trigger the spark plugs via an ignition coil which is located in the distributor. Honda Preludes with other engine types use a distributorless ignition system (DIS) that uses an ignition coil pack.

Disconnect the negative cable, also known as the ground cable, from the battery. You can wrap a cloth around the end to isolate the cable, which prevents accidental contact.

Locate the distributor and remove its cap.

Make a mark on the distributor housing to identify the position of the rotor. Then remove the rotor, cap seal and leak cover. Pay attention as you do this; you need to reverse the removal process after you install a new Prelude ignition coil.

Unscrew the screws that secure the wires to the ignition coil. In many cases, these wires will be black and yellow, and white and blue.

Release the Prelude ignition coil from the distributor. You need to unscrew the mounting screws to release it. Then gently pull on the ignition coil.

Place the new ignition coil in the distributor and reassemble the parts.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Prelude ignition coil

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.

More Articles