An induction coil that converts current from a battery into the high-voltage current required by spark plugs.
transformer that is an essential part of a gasoline engine's ignition system. It consists of two wire coils wound around an iron core. The primary coil, which is connected to the automobile battery, has only a few turns. The secondary coil, connected via the distributor to the spark plugs, has many turns. The coil takes in a low voltage (usually 12 volts) from the battery and transforms it to a high voltage (about 20,000 volts) to ignite the engine.
When the engine is running, the battery current is periodically interrupted by means of the contact breaker in the distributor. The collapsing current in the primary coil induces a current in the secondary coil, a phenomenon known as electromagnetic induction. The induced current in the secondary coil is at very high voltage, typically about 15,000–20,000 volts. This passes to the spark plugs to create sparks.