The ignition system is something that most drivers take for granted, rather focusing their focus on adding power or refining the suspension package, but it’s vital to keep things running smoothly. Below, we get into the essential components of your Tacoma’s ignition system and their functions.
Alternator: An alternator is a pulley-driven type of generator that provides electrical power to the vehicle once the engine is running, and recharges the battery after the short burst of power that was needed for the starter.
The inside of an alternator consists of a stator—a set of wire coil windings—inside of which an electromagnet rotor powered via a drive belt from the engine’s crankshaft revolves. This revolution creates an alternating current, which is rectified and used to power the truck’s electrical systems.
Starter: To get an engine started, air and fuel have to be sucked into the cylinders to be ignited—this is done via an electric starter motor. So, what actually happens here? When you turn the ignition key, the battery sends power to the starter solenoid starter, which then provides a current to power your starter motor.
The motor begins rotating a gear that is connected to the flywheel. Because the flywheel is connected to the crankshaft, the pistons begin moving in their stroke, sucking air into the cylinder where it is mixed with fuel and ignited.
Spark Plugs: In simple terms, a spark plug is a small electrical component fitted to each cylinder head of the Tacoma’s engine. The spark plug is always located at the top of the cylinder head. When the piston moves downward, it draws in a mixture of air and fuel. As it travels back upwards, it compresses the mixture, where the spark plug ignites and burns it, producing engine power.