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How to locate a burnt out coil in a VW/Audi 1.8Turbo DIY

Updated on August 7, 2011

Signs that you have a burnt out coil

  • Complete loss of power.
  • Check engine light will be blinking, not just a steady light.
  • A bad rotten egg type smell. Usually you will be able to smell it before the coil blows.
  • Your engine will have a loud rumbling tone.

    Most times a coil blows or burns out it comes with little to no warning, so as I stated in my Spark Plug Tutorial it is best to always have a spare coil available in your car. I recommend that for the fact that it is a lot easier and cheaper to switch one out than it is to call a tow truck or leave your car on the side of the road if the dealership is closed for the night.

    When a coil goes out you will feel an instant change in your cars power and acceleration. At that point it is best to park it in the nearest parking lot. Do not continue to drive around or you will cause a lot more damage to your car. Sometimes before coils go bad you will smell a horrid rotten egg smell. So no it's not your fart friendly buddy it's your car giving you a heads up that the sh*t's about to hit the fan.

Release harness clip
Release harness clip
Pull straight up
Pull straight up

How to locate and change the burnt out coil

This is a very easy method and works just as well as plugging into a computer

  • First remove your engine cover. 
  • With your engine running unplug the first coil harness. If your car chokes up and gets worse than you know that that coil is good so plug it back in. Follow that method down the coils until you get to the one that has no effect when you unplug it and you just found your burnt out coil.  
  • Turn your car off.
  • Grabbing the front and back of the coil pull directly up to remove it.
  • Slide your new coil in, press it down hard and reconnect the harness.
  • Start up your car and you should be good to go. Yes it's that easy!
If the check engine light is still illuminated in your dash you can turn it off by disconnecting the negative battery terminal for a few seconds. Also if it turns out to be the coil under the vacuum box you will need a 10mm socket and 5mm allen wrench. For more detail on removing the vac box please see my spark plug tutorial.


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