10 Parts Of Conventional Ignition System and Their Function

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Parts Of Conventional ignition - What is the function of ignition system? most of you must have known, that the ignition system plays a role in combustion triggering through spark plugs. In the process of combustion, spark plugs can emit sparks because there are super high voltage electrical curent resulting from ignition coil.

This voltage amount is change, using the principle of electromagnetic induction such as step-up transformer. The process is occurs  because a primary coil have fewer amount of voltage than secondary coil. When the primary coil voltage disconnected, the is a movement of magnetic field inside the secondary coil. That’s why the secondary coil have much bigger voltage.

The ignition system, used to carry out the converting circuit from a 12 volt electric battery voltage up to 20 KV on the spark plug. To perform this circuit, the ignition system is supplied by several components that connected each other. Below is the component of a conventional ignition system that plays a role in a series of sparking a all spark plug on 4 stroke engine.

Name of the Conventional Ignition Component and their Functions


parts of conventional ifnition system and their function

1. Battery

Battery has a function for provide a current source, why does battery include the ignition component? instead of the battery it's the vehicle's electrical components? indeed and the ignition system of one of the car's electricity, so all that needs an electric current must include the battery as its component.

Normal battery voltage, 12 volts either on motorcycle or car. The difference between the motorcycle and car battery is not the voltage but the power inside the battery. This is because the electric power in the car is larger, in addition to ignition systems there are also lighting systems and accessories that require large electrical power.

2. Key contacts

Some of us recognize the ignition key as a engine-saving device, or a component to turn on the engine starter. That's right, but it's not just the function. If you see the ignition hole there are 4 positions namely;
  • Off Position
  • Position Acc
  • Position On
  • ST position


At the Acc position, the ignition system is still not active in the sense that no current has entered the primary coil. The electricity will go into the primary coil when we put the ignition key ON position. In this position, not only the primary coil gets current but the entire vehicle's main system is also ready to be activated.

3. Ignition coil

This is the most important component, because it carries the function as a step-up transformer, or raise the battery voltage. As we mentioned above that this coil works with the principle of electromagnetic induction using two coils. Where the number of secondary coil coils is more than the primary coil, so when magnetism of the primary coil go inside the secondary coil there can be an increase in voltage.

4. Distributor

In conventional ignition systems, the distributor becomes a component used in determines of timming and Firing order. The distributor consists of a shaft connected to the cam, the cam is used to disconnect the flow of the primary coil.

Meanwhile, at the close of distributor you will find two main components related to the fairing order. Namely the rotor and distributor cap. The rotor is a conductor component that distributes the output from the coil to the spark plug according to the FO, while the distributor cap is the base of the spark plug wire to channel and receive the coil output to the rotor.

5. Contact point / platinum

Contact point or breaker point is a switch-like regular plate that can be disconnected and connected. What its function? this is like a coil working principle where to produce a large output voltage need to do the primary current termination. This contact is in charge of deciding the primary current in correspond with the angle of ignition.

The breaker point will disconnect primary curent when the distributor cam touches the ebonit or foot of breaker point. When the foot is touched, then the contact will open and cause the primary current is disconnected. This contact is also familiarly called platinum because it uses platinum metal at its contact end.

6. Vacuum advancer

Vacuum advancer, served on spark advancing, or changing ignition timming. Why does timming need to be changed? This aims to adjust the condition of the engine with ignition, e.g when the engine carries a heavy load. This condition will cause slow piston movement even if the valve is fully open.

If timming remains, then it could be a contra effect that only inhibits the piston rate. To adjust it, the ignition timming will be reversed almost 0 degrees so that the combustion expansion can be fully utilized to push the piston down.

Vacuum advancer will reverse the ignition based on the engine load, it is detected from the vacuum in the intake manifold. If the condition is as above then the suction power on the piston decreases, and contact point will shift more slowly.

7. Governoor advancer

Centrifugal governoor advancer is also have same function as vacuum advancer, governorr advancer function is to change the ignition timming of engine based on engine RPM. Conditions, if the engine work on high RPM then ignition timming must be made earlier in order to prevent knocking and self ignition.

The governoor advancer uses two weight ballast that can stretch based on the centrifugal force on it. This ballast will be attached to the distributor shaft and the spindle shaft will give rise to centrifugal force in the ballast, the weight ballast strain used to accelerate the platinum open angle.

8. Capacitors

Capacitor or condenser is an electronics component that has the ability to absorb the current and remove it when necessary. In conventional ignition, this capability is used to absorb spark in the gap of breaker point when its disconnected.

When the point contact opens, the primary coil current should be disconnected. However, the platinum opening is only about 0.5 mm. With this small gap, there is a possibility electrical jump that causes sparking on the gap of breaker point  and the interruption process is interrupted.

With the capasitor then when platinum opens, the electric current will be transferred to the capasitor that has the connection. But the current is not stored inside the capasitor because it is directly connected to the ground. This process will make the capasitor immediately experience a vacuum so that it can be used quickly and repeatedly.

9. Spark Plug Wire

Cable on the spark plugs, have different shapes and capabilities with common cables. These cables are usually made of large-diameter copper with a thick insulator. This is because the spark plug wires will connect the super high voltage from the output secondary coil. So it takes a cable that has great endurance.

10. Spark plugs

The last component in the ignition system of the gasoline engine is the spark plug. The spark plug consists of a core or electrode rod as the receiver of the electric current from the output coil and the ground located in the body of the spark plug. The gap you see on the spark plug, it's a gap between the electrode tip that has a positive electric and ground that has negative electricity.

So if the electric current on the electrode has a large voltage, then the electricity is able to exit or jump to the ground, that’s form of sparks. That's how spark plugs produce fire.


So the complete article and super clear about the parts of conventional car ignition systems and their functions. Hope can increase our insight and benefit us all.