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Porsche 996/997 coil packs

05 Sep 2013

Porsche 996/997 coil packs:¬†We’ve just had a Porsche 996 in for a service and had to change the coil packs, which is a common job on the Porsche 996, 997, Boxster and Cayman.


Petrol engines have to create a spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder and this is done by passing a high voltage through the spark plug. As cars only have a 12-volt electrical system, the high voltage is created by a coil. In the old days, there was just one coil which fed all the spark plugs, however most modern cars have one coil per spark plug, and these so-called coil packs are positioned right by the spark plug.


On Porsche flat six engines, then, there are six coil packs. Over time, it’s inevitable that these will fail, leading to misfires, rough running and lack of power. All coil packs have a limited life, on whatever, car, but those in Porsche 996/997s and the like have a particularly tough life, as they are positioned very close to the hot exhaust system and also get splashed by water from the road. There are heatshields around the exhaust even these corrode away over time.


The heat causes the plastic casing to harden and eventually crack which leads to water ingress and, as we all know, water and electricity don’t mix well, and that’s when problems begin.


It’s easy enough to change¬†Porsche 996/997 coil packs and during a service and, once done, this Porsche drove perfectly again.

Some people argue that failing coil packs are a Porsche design fault but, to be fair, we see the problem on all sorts of modern cars. It’s just one of those things that has a limited service life and when you think that the first Porsche 996s are some 15 years old, it’s not surprising that we are having to change coil packs.

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