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Ignition Ignitor Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your ignition ignitor replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get a fair cost estimate for your ignition ignitor replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does an ignition control module replacement cost?

The average total cost for an ignitor replacement is $272, including $168 for parts and $105 for labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The total parts cost includes a new Ignition Control Module (ICM) but might extend to a new set of ignition coils and spark plugs as well. As for the labor costs, it takes around 0.9 hours hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, diagnose the problem, and complete an ignition ignitor replacement.
Here’s how much you’ll pay to replace the ICM in some popular vehicle models:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 16, 2024
BMW 330
$437
$326
$111
1.0 Hours
May 14, 2024
Chevrolet Equinox
$440
$326
$114
1.0 Hours
May 13, 2024
Dodge Dakota
$129
$60
$69
0.7 Hours
May 10, 2024
Volvo V70
$453
$326
$127
1.0 Hours
May 6, 2024
Saab 9-7X
$442
$326
$117
1.0 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my ICM replacement?

There are three broad categories of ignition systems. From oldest to newest, they are the conventional (or “contact breaker” or “breaker point”) ignition system, the electronic ignition system, and the distributorless ignition system. 
Ignition control modules have been gradually phased out, but they’re still found in many vehicles from the early 2000s.
Here are the major parts of the electronic ignition system and what they do:
  1. The
    ignition switch
    ($5-$2,800) completes the circuit and fires up the engine when you turn the key or push the ignition switch. Hitting the ignition switch again will interrupt the circuit and shut down the engine.
  2. The
    car battery
    ($90-$700) supplies the ignition coils with a low-voltage current once the circuit is completed.
  3. The ignition control module ($20-$1,500)—also known as the ignitor, the igniter, the ignition control unit, or the power output stage control—is part of the distributor. It calculates and signals the precise moment the coils should fire, and in what order, to achieve maximum engine efficiency.
  4. Ignition coils
    ($15-$910) transform the 12-14V current of the car battery into 60-120,000 volts of raw power.
  5. Ignition cables, or spark plug wires
    , ($4-$805) pass the voltage created by the ignition coils and timed by the distributor caps to the spark plugs.
  6. Spark plugs
    ($2-$65) shoot a high-voltage bolt of power across a small gap in each of your vehicle engine’s cylinders, igniting the mixture of air and fuel inside at just the right time. These electrical explosions bring your car’s engine to life like a mechanical Frankenstein.
Keep in mind Bringing your car back to life might require a new ICM and a replacement ignition switch, ignition coils, and spark plugs.
You can buy all the parts you need at auto part stores such as AutoZone or NAPA Auto Parts. You could also purchase them online from websites such as Amazon and eBay. 
Some popular brands of ignition switches are Standard Motor Products, ACDelco, and Dorman. For car batteries, Optima, ACDelco and DieHard are reputable brands. When shopping for an ignition control module, you may want to consider ACDelco, Standard Motor Products and Delphi. Bosch, Delphi and ACDelco are recommended ignition coil brands, and NGK Denso and ACDelco are recommended ignition cable/spark plug wire brands. NGK, Denso and Bosch are popular spark plug brands. The correct parts for your vehicle depend on the type of vehicle you drive. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to ensure you’re purchasing the proper parts. 
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts cost much more than aftermarket parts but often include better warranties. For example, if a certified Toyota mechanic installs a genuine ICM in your car, you’ll get a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty. 
The average cost of parts is even higher for luxury makes like Audi or Mercedes-Benz. That being said, some aftermarket performance parts manufacturers offer as much, if not more, quality as OEM parts.
You can buy replacement parts at automotive body shops, parts shops, dealerships, or online stores like Autozone or Amazon. If you prefer OEM parts, you can also try your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Just about every car maker sells OEM parts online. Check your owner’s manual for any crucial specifications so you don’t buy the wrong part
Some popular brands of ignition switches are Standard Motor Products, ACDelco, and Dorman. For car batteries, Optima, ACDelco and DieHard are reputable brands. When shopping for an ignition control module, you may want to consider ACDelco, Standard Motor Products and Delphi. Bosch, Delphi and ACDelco are recommended ignition coil brands, and NGK Denso and ACDelco are recommended ignition cable/spark plug wire brands. NGK, Denso and Bosch are popular spark plug brands.

Where can I get my ignition control module replaced?

With the rundown on 2,500+ vetted repair shops nationwide, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can make the search for a mechanic to replace your ICM a lot easier.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates from local shops using actual hourly rates. You’ll be able to budget for diagnostic fees and see reviews from previous customers to make sure you’ll be happy with your service.
Here’s a look at some of our vetted shops below—and you can download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
153 Reviews
John Nolan Auto Service
address
15 E 4th St, Newport, Cincinnati, OH
Ignition Ignitor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$265
(Parts - $159, Labor - $106)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
176 Reviews
Kenny and Billy's Auto Center
address
473 Iselin, NJ
Ignition Ignitor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$291
(Parts - $159, Labor - $132)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$130
137 Reviews
Expert Auto Centers
address
5351 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL
Ignition Ignitor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$265
(Parts - $159, Labor - $106)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$145
155 Reviews
CT Auto and Towing LLC
address
42 Jansen Ct, Hartford, CT
Ignition Ignitor Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$260
(Parts - $159, Labor - $101)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$120
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace an ICM?

Replacing the ICM requires basic tools and some knowledge of the ignition system and electrical systems in general. Ask a garage for a fix and they will:
  1. Disconnect the car’s battery
  2. Remove the engine cover, open the distributor, and remove the distributor cap and rotor
  3. Uninstall the old ICM, inspect the connections, clean them (if necessary), and install a new ICM
  4. Replace all the other parts, reconnect the battery cables, and test the vehicle’s ignition

What happens when the ignition control module goes bad?

Ignition coils are an integral part of your car’s ignition and powertrain systems. Depending on the severity of the problem, your ability to drive may be impacted by:
  • Ignition problems: Obviously, if the ICM can’t fire the coils and start the engine, you won’t be going anywhere. Don’t let it be; an inactive car can easily get stuck in place.
  • Engine misfires: A faulty ICM won’t activate the ignition coils at the right time or at all. Misfires can cause stalling, rough idling, shaking, and they risk damaging the engine the longer they continue.
  • A faulty catalytic converter: If fuel floods the engine cylinders, but doesn’t get ignited, where does it go? Well, it follows the path of the exhaust to the catalytic converter. Needless to say, the converter isn’t equipped to handle raw gasoline, and it could be damaged the longer you neglect a bad ignition control module.

What is an ignitor replacement?

An ignitor replacement is a simple service to replace an electrical component of your car’s ignition system that is responsible for timing the ignition coils. 
The ICM is a small plastic piece with several wiring connections that contains a small circuit board with simple programming. It can fail if it overheats, shorts, or gets wet.

When should I replace my ignition ignitor?

In the absence of clear damage, it can be hard to determine whether your ICM is failing or not. Here are some warning signs to watch for:
  1. Engine misfires, rough idling, unexplained vibrations, and sudden losses of power: If your ICM isn’t working, your engine cylinders won’t fire correctly or at all. This can produce unbalanced shaking, knocking, and stalling.
  2. Poor gas mileage: Reduced fuel economy goes hand in hand with a misfiring engine.
  3. Increased emissions: Without activated ignition coils, the unfired fumes in your cylinders will pass out the butt of your car and make the air stinky.
  4. A check engine light: The check engine light indicates a multitude of errors, but an OBD code reader (or a mechanic) can tell you if it relates to the igniter.
Key Takeaway Any problem related to the timing of your car engine’s cylinders may indicate a failing ignition control module.

How long does the ignition control module last?

The ICM is intended to last the lifetime of your vehicle, but like most electrical car parts, it’s susceptible to power surges, power shorts, moisture, and heat. If another ignition component fails (like the ignition coils or wiring), it can leak onto or fry the ICM. Vibrations and wear can also cause the electrical connections to fail.

Can I replace the ignition control module myself?

The ICM is usually easy to access and simple to replace, making it a great DIY job. However, as with services concerning your car’s electronics, you need to be careful about handling wires and preventing shocks. Try and find a detailed repair manual or instructional video before you begin, and remember your protective glasses.

FAQs

Power surges, power shorts, moisture, and heat can all cause the ignition control module to fail. If another ignition component fails (like the ignition coils or wiring), it can leak onto or fry the ICM. Vibrations and wear can also cause the electrical connections to fail.
No, the ignition control module is not the same as the ignition coils. The ICM is a plastic, electronic component located within the distributor that controls the timing of the ignition coils firing. The ignition coils supply the high-voltage spark that ignites the fuel in the engine cylinders.
The ignition control module is located inside the distributor, beneath the cap and rotor. The distributor is usually located to the side of inline-four and inline-six engines and on top of V6 and V8 engines. The ICM has a ground wire and both male and female connections.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
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