An ignition system in a small engine produces and delivers the high-voltage spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture to cause the combustion. Some small engines require a battery to supply electrical power and the ignition spark. Others develop the ignition spark using a magneto.

A small engine ignition includes the ignition controller (mechanical-breaker, capacitor-discharge or transistor-controlled), spark plugs, flywheel and wiring. Servicing the ignition system of your small engine depends on which types of components it has.

There are many different types of ignition systems, below are a few of them, along with a description of what they are.

  • Non-battery Ignition systems – A magneto applies magnetism to supply electricity in ignitions where there is no battery. The magneto is then turned by a crankshaft, which then rotates when the manual recoil starter is pulled.
  • Battery Ignition systems – These are where the system is controlled by a battery which usually stores around 6 or 12 volts.

  • Mechanical Breaker Ignitions – For many years, mechanical-breaker ignition systems were the most popular of all ignition systems. The high voltage electricity from the coil is turned on and off using contact points and a condenser. The spark must be correctly timed to reach the spark plug at the exact moment when the piston is at the top of its travel and the fuel-air mixture is fully compressed.

Because the ignition is a very complex piece of machinery in your vehicle, it is sometimes difficult to locate the problem if it’s being faulty. If you don’t know much about servicing and repairing cars, do not attempt to fix it yourself, you may do something which will make the repairs cost more, or you may even harm yourself.

Instead of struggling to fix it yourself, why not get an expert to do it for you? Here at Widnes Autoelectrics, we have the experience, the know-how and the right tools to determine where the problem is and how we can fix it. Just get in touch with us here, to book an appointment or to find out a little more information about what we can do for you!