As part of the ignition system, it is the job of the "ignition coil" to transform the battery's low voltage into the thousands of volts required for the spark plugs to ignite the fuel.
This component can fail due to voltage overload caused by bad spark plugs/plug wires or shorts caused by damage in the coil's windings and insulation (due to heat and vibration). As a result, the vehicle can suddenly die after running for a while, or the engine may not start at all.
Fortunately, replacing a faulty ignition coil is a relatively inexpensive repair. The spark plugs should be replaced at the same time. Ignoring spark plug problems can result in faulty ignition coils.
TIP: Replacing the ignition coil and spark plugs is one of the top ten check-engine-light repairs.
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