How to Replace an Ignition Coil on an Aircooled VW (Volkswagen) Beetle


The ignition coil is a crucial component of any vehicle’s ignition system. It is responsible for converting the low voltage from the battery into the high voltage needed to create a spark in the spark plugs, which in turn ignites the fuel and air mixture in the engine. Without a functioning ignition coil, your car will not start or run properly. In this article, we will discuss how to replace an ignition coil on an aircooled VW (Volkswagen) Beetle.

Understanding the Ignition System of an Aircooled VW Beetle

How to Replace an Ignition Coil on an Aircooled VW (Volkswagen) Beetle

Before diving into the steps of replacing an ignition coil, it is essential to have a basic understanding of the ignition system of an aircooled VW Beetle. The ignition system consists of several components, including the battery, ignition switch, distributor, spark plugs, and of course, the ignition coil. The battery supplies power to the ignition switch, which then sends power to the coil through the distributor. The coil then amplifies the voltage and sends it to the spark plugs, creating the spark needed to start the engine.

Signs of a Faulty Ignition Coil

There are a few signs that may indicate a faulty ignition coil in your aircooled VW Beetle. These include difficulty starting the engine, misfiring, stalling, and a decrease in fuel efficiency. If you experience any of these issues, it is essential to have your ignition system checked, and if necessary, replace the ignition coil.

Steps to Replace an Ignition Coil on an Aircooled VW Beetle

How to Replace an Ignition Coil on an Aircooled VW (Volkswagen) Beetle

Now that we understand the importance of the ignition coil and its role in the ignition system let’s move on to the steps of replacing it. Please note that these steps are specific to aircooled VW Beetles and may vary slightly for other vehicles.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before starting the replacement process, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. These include a stock ignition coil, a socket wrench set, a screwdriver, and a ballast resistor (if your vehicle has points or a points replacement device).

Step 2: Locate the Ignition Coil

The ignition coil is usually located on the engine’s side, near the fan shroud. It is a cylindrical-shaped component with two wires attached to it.

Step 3: Disconnect the Wires

Start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery to prevent any electrical accidents. Then, take note of which wire goes to the negative (1) side of the coil and which goes to the positive (15) side. You can mark them with tape or labels to avoid confusion later.

Step 4: Remove the Old Coil

Using a socket wrench, loosen the bolt on the mounting bracket and remove the old coil from its position. Be careful not to damage the wires while doing so.

Step 5: Install the New Coil

Install the new coil in the same way the old one was removed, making sure that the negative and positive sides face the same direction as before. Tighten the bolt on the mounting bracket to secure the new coil in place.

Step 6: Reattach the Wires

Reattach the wires to their respective terminals on the coil, ensuring that the negative wire goes to the negative (1) side and the positive wire to the positive (15) side. Make sure they are securely connected to avoid any loose connections.

Step 7: Check for a Ballast Resistor

If your vehicle has points or a points replacement device, it is crucial to check if the ignition coil has a ballast resistor. This resistor is essential as it prevents the distributor from burning up due to the high voltage produced by the coil. If your old coil had a ballast resistor, make sure to transfer it to the new one. If not, you can purchase a new one and install it before reattaching the wires.

Step 8: Reconnect the Battery

Once everything is securely connected and in place, reconnect the negative terminal of the battery.

Safety Precautions

How to Replace an Ignition Coil on an Aircooled VW (Volkswagen) Beetle

When working on any vehicle, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some essential safety precautions to keep in mind while replacing an ignition coil on an aircooled VW Beetle:

  • Always disconnect the battery before starting any work on the vehicle.
  • Use proper tools and equipment to avoid injuries.
  • Exercise caution when dealing with electrical components.
  • Make sure the engine is cool before starting the replacement process.
  • If you are unsure or uncomfortable with any step, seek professional help.


The ignition coil is a vital component of an aircooled VW Beetle’s ignition system. If you experience any issues with your car’s starting or running, it is crucial to have the ignition system checked, and if necessary, replace the ignition coil. By following the steps mentioned above and taking necessary safety precautions, you can easily replace the ignition coil on your aircooled VW Beetle and ensure that your car runs smoothly. Remember, regular maintenance and timely replacements can go a long way in keeping your vehicle in excellent condition.


  • Christian Eriksen

    Christian Eriksen is a talented and passionate automotive expert. With a deep interest in vehicles and engines, he has become a reputable source of information in writing news about the auto industry. Christian is not only a talented journalist but also a car enthusiast, always infusing his passion into every line of news and articles. With patience and in-depth knowledge of new brands, models, and trends in the automotive industry, Christian Eriksen ensures that his readers are always provided with the latest and most accurate information. He has given the automotive enthusiast community a detailed look at the world of cars, and helped build a common understanding and passion for this field. With his enthusiasm and talent, Christian Eriksen has made an important contribution to promoting the development and progress of the automotive industry.