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Distributor coil question

hellxhellx Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I own a 1990 Toyota Camry. There've been ignition problems and a mechanic recommended that I replace the distributor coil. My question is: is this something I can do myself or should I go with the professionals? My auto repair jobs have all been very basic maintenance: changing the battery, the spark plugs, air filter, etc.

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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think you could handle it. Why the coil exactly? Is somebody guessing?
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    hellxhellx Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply. I asked about the coil because it's at the mechanic right now and that's what they suggested after checking the car out.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, if it's his diagnosis then you ask him that if he replaces the coil and that doesn't solve the problem, then what? Who pays for it? I say that because if YOU replace the coil and it doesn't solve the problem, you are stuck with having wasted that money and time. The mechanic has the right to charge you for diagnostic time but not for putting in a wrong part--or at least not for the wrong part itself.
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    after WWII, Dad argued and came back and plotted and finally, FINALLY, got to buy a new 49 Ford coupe with his savings. darn thing had an intermittent fault that made it die on the side of the road, though, at the worst times. dealer replaced this and that and the other thing, and never got it fixed. Dad finally traded it in down the street on a Pontiac that he never liked. ran across the farmer who bought it one day, and found out that guy claimed it was the best car he'd ever had. "oh, yah, sure, it stopped when it got damp, but them Fords all had funny coils, I put in a new one from Coast to Coast and never had another problem with anything."

    moral: you can make a million parts in a row, and if they were all bad, marginal, or crappy any service guy with two eyes to see will figure out this is a high-failure part. maybe this coil is one of 'em.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    True, and a coil is hard to test. But it's still guessing.....let's call it "educated guessing".
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    but at least trading out a coil is more or less inexpensive enough to try, unlike the high golliwoggery confusers and sensors and such, which generally fail out hard or can be tricked (freeze spray, heat gun) to fail if a tech really wants to look for faults.
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