How ignition systems turn spark into burn

Fuel, air, and spark. If your gasoline combustion engine has those three things, it should run. But if you are anything like us, you’ve spent more than a few late nights pondering why all three are present but the engine still refuses to come to life. In the effort to understand the mechanics of an engine, Donut Media’s latest Science Garage video explains (and shows) how ignition systems work.

There are just handful of moving parts when it comes to the automotive ignition system, and the most important ones don’t move at all. The spark plugs themselves are packed full of technology. Spanning three different types—copper, platinum, and iridium—there is an application for each, and playing mix-and-match is a losing game. You wanna learn about heat ranges and how that affects plug construction and selection? Bart will talk you through it.

It’s not all about spark plugs though, as the distributor gets its moment in the sun as well. Of course, no video on ignition systems would be complete without explaining how the points and coil factor into spark generation. If you’ve been curious about how standard automotive ignition systems work, or you just need a tune up on it, check this one out.