Brushcutter Coil: How it Works

Understand it better

Inspirations / Evergreen tips

29/07/2020

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Does your petrol engine brushcutter fail to start? Does the engine start but perform poorly and consume more fuel than usual? The cause could be the ignition coil: if worn or damaged, it prevents the brushcutter ignition system from working properly. The ignition coil is an essential startup component and should be checked if the brushcutter fails to start.

We think it’s helpful for you to understand in more detail how your gardening tools work, so today we’ll tell you what the brushcutter ignition coil is and how it works. This explanation applies to brushcutters as well as any other gardening tools with an internal combustion engine, such as chainsaws or lawnmowers.

What is the ignition coil of a brushcutter?

The coil is part of the ignition system of an internal combustion engine and helps to trigger combustion. The ignition system consists of these elements:

  • Starter rope, or alternatively, a start button.

  • Flywheel with magnets: gives power to the ignition system, thereby energising the coil, just like a car battery.

  • Ignition coil: we will explain how this works below.

  • Spark plug wiring and cap: these provide an electrical connection between the coil and the spark plug.

  • Spark plug: this is the component that generates the spark needed to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber

How a brushcutter’s ignition coil works

In the ignition system, the coil’s job is to transform the low voltage produced by the magnetic flywheel into high voltage so that the spark plug will emit a spark. Inside the coil are two windings of copper wire called the primary winding and the secondary winding: it is the secondary winding that generates the high voltage. Once the engine has started, the coil continues to generate the high voltage needed by the spark plug to keep triggering the combustion that makes the engine run.

You can see the ignition coil if you remove the casing of your petrol engine brushcutter, whichever type it is. It might be a lightweight brushcutter like the Oleo-Mac BC 241 S with 0.9 kW power rating, or a medium power brushcutter like the 1.3 kW SPARTA 381 S, the 1.4 kW BC 350 S or the 1.6 kW SPARTA 441 S, or even a professional model.

The models in the Oleo-Mac BC series—the BC 241 S and the BC 350 S, for example—come with a digital ignition coil which, compared with a conventional coil, has a microprocessor that regulates its operation. So what advantages does a digital coil give you? It makes the brushcutter easier to start and improves its performance, while the engine runs healthier and consumes less fuel.

What if the brushcutter coil stops working?

If the engine has ignition problems, the finger of blame is usually pointed at the spark plug, although it’s actually not always the cause of malfunctions. The problem might instead be that the coil has stopped working or produces insufficient voltage to generate a spark between the spark plug’s electrodes.

So, is your brushcutter failing to start or performing less well than usual? Have you already checked that the tip of the spark plug is clean and the electrodes are at the correct distance? Are the wires and the contact of the spark plug cap intact? If so, all that remains to do is to test the operation of your brushcutter coil. For testing the coil, we advise you to trust in the experience and instrumentation of the technicians at our service centres.

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