Cheap Ignition Coils vs Expensive: Which Way to Go!

Although ignition coils are pretty small components, they definitely are not insignificant. Many get frustrated when the ignition coils fail. And it’s mostly due to their poor decision of choosing not the right one. 

But there are so many options out there! And the prices vary too much between cheap and expensive ones.

So, which way should you go between cheap ignition coils vs expensive?

The build quality is definitely better with expensive coils compared to cheap ones. You won’t get that plasticky feel with expensive coils. However, cheap ones have their advantages too. For a fuel-injected system, cheap ones can provide similar support. So, there are strong points for both of them.

You probably aren’t satisfied with knowing only that much, are you? That’s why I’m here to dive further into these two coils.

So, start your engine now!

A Quick Look at Cheap Vs Expensive Coils

Before heading on to the full comparison, it’s better to get a brief look at the differences. Obviously, the build quality is a major plus for high-end ignition coil packs

Along with that, you also get lower resistance and higher heat tolerability.

Although the cheap coils are made poorly, they can provide long support. But there’s a catch! You need to be careful with them. Otherwise, a few months will be the most you will get out of them.

Here’s a table showing different factors and how they compare to each other-

Subjects of ComparisonCheap Ignition CoilsExpensive Ignition Coils
Build MaterialsBad, Cheap MaterialGood, Premium Quality
Durability Less Durable with No WarrantyMore Durable with Warranty
ResistanceMore resistant Less resistant
PerformanceMostly ConsistentBetter and Consistent 
PriceAround $10-50Around $50-80
Where to BuyOrder From AmazonOrder From Amazon

Still not satisfied with what you learned so far? It’s okay not to be because you’ll get to know more in a while. 

So, let’s get going!

Cheap Vs Expensive Coils: In-Depth Comparison

A quick analysis can only make you understand the surface. But don’t you want to know what goes on the inside? I know you have a curious mind. 

So, have a look and find out what you want to know.

Build Quality

Let’s open the discussion with build quality and materials. Because that’s one of the most important selling points for every car component. 

You even saw this on suntek ultra film vs xpel ultimate ultra comparison!

Source: Motor Verso

Build quality is significantly better in high-performance ignition coils. They use better internal wires, so they don’t get stretched easily. On top of that, no resin is used to make these types.

Not the same can be said for cheap coil packs. They use low-grade resin, and recycled materials to reduce the costs. So, the build will probably disappoint you.

Winner: Expensive coils because of their better build quality.


A durable ignition coil goes a long way. And that’s exactly what the premium ones offer! They are more heat resistant and less likely to get damaged. On the other hand, the cheap ones can get damaged when there’s excess heat.

Here’s a overview of the Denso ignition coil with great durability and high build quality.

On top of that, cheap, non-branded ones don’t have any warranty. So, when they fail to work, you just have to throw them away.

However, most good brands offer a warranty policy. So, the ignition coil brand does matter when you opt to buy some.

Winner: Expensive ones due to better durability and warranty policy.


Perhaps, performance is your priority among these factors. So, let’s see which one comes at the top.

Expensive ignition coils are more consistent with sparks and power output. They don’t misfire and stay consistent with the fuel consumption. So, you get satisfactory performance without any problems.

Cheaps are also good for their price. However, they can cause misfires and loss of power from time to time. So, it’s not ideal to use in the long run.

Winner: Better performance found in expensive coils. Cheap ones can cause some issues in the long run.

Primary & Secondary Resistance

Resistance on the ignition coils is one of the most prominent factors. So, you do need to look at the resistance level of the coils you want to purchase.

To know the resistance, you need to have a multimeter. If you don’t have one, you can look at these trusted recommendations-

AstroAI Multimeter Digital MultimeterBuy Now
KAIWEETS Digital MultimeterBuy Now
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Fluke 117 Digital MultimeterBuy Now

On cheap coils, the primary resistance is around 1.5 Kohms, which is decent enough. However, the secondary resistance is around 9.5-10 Kohms. That is not a good thing as there will be less current flow to the engine.

Expensive coils have around 0.8-1 Kohms of primary resistance. And for the secondary resistance is around 4.5 Kohms. What it translates into are more current flow and less resistance.

So, your car will easily reach higher than 3000 rpm in seconds!

Winner: Expensive coils due to less resistance in both primary and secondary.


While this is the last segment, it’s obviously very crucial for you. You can’t discard the ignition coil costs when you want to purchase one.

Cheap coils are affordable. You won’t get premium-grade quality, but you can save some cash. You will get a decent cheap coil from $10 to $50.

On the other hand, a premium ignition coil is splendidly built and performs exquisitely.

But you will have doubts if they are worth such a lefty price or not. Because they can cost anywhere between $50 to $80!

So, when your budget is tight, there’s no other option than cheap ones. However, if budget is not an issue, go for the high-performance ones.

Winner: Depends on your budget. Looking for affordable coils? Go for cheap ones. Otherwise, expensive ones are the way forward.

Which One Should You Choose?

After considering everything, you might think, “are cheap ignition coils any good?” To answer that question, let’s go through the points again.

In terms of build quality, durability, and performance, expensive ones are on top. They are just better to use and last longer than cheap ones. Resistance is also found less with expensive coils by a significant margin. 

Still, cheap coils have their perks.

For a fuel-injected system, you don’t really need to spend too much on an expensive coil. Because high-performance coils tend to compensate for the poor carburetion system. 

However, that only works on the poor air/fuel mixtures.

Otherwise, you will be fine with cheap ignition coils. So, cheap coils do have some advantages in some categories.

If you are planning to purchase any of them, here are some top-quality products-

Expensive Ignition CoilsPriceCheap Ignition CoilsPrice
Motorcraft DG-549 Ignition CoilGet it from AmazonA-Premium Ignition CoilGet it from Amazon
Denso 673-1309 Ignition CoilGet it from AmazonENA Set of 8 Straight Boot Ignition Coil PackGet it from Amazon
MAS Ignition CoilsGet it from AmazonACCEL 140033 Ignition CoilGet it from Amazon

So, now that you know everything, analyze and decide which one you need. Hopefully, you won’t find any complications with your ignition coils in the future.


What Ignition Coil is Best?

The best ignition coil will be the one that is compatible with your car. There are many brands that sell aftermarket ignition coils. You can look at Denso ignition coils, which are quite famous for their build and performance. Delphi and ENA also make some good quality high-performance coils.

Do Ignition Coils Get Weak?

Yes, the coils do get weak after using them for a long period. The weakness of the coils can come in two different ways. Either compatibility was not good from the start or it got weaker while using excessively. Ignition coils can get damaged quickly if there’s not enough maintenance.

How Can I Test My Faulty Ignition Coil?

You can test the coils by changing them with new ones. Observe if there’s any change in performance. You can also look for any damage on the surface of the coils. Then, bring out a multimeter to test check the resistance level. If the resistance is higher than before, the coils are faulty.


I don’t think you’ll have any trouble distinguishing between cheap ignition coils vs expensive. Because you already know everything!

Still, if you have any questions regarding ignition coils, feel free to reach out.

Now, go on and have fun purchasing your preferred coil!

Robert Lozano

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