Ignition Coils

Hi Folks,

My son is away at school with our 1999 Nissan Maxima. The Check Engine light came on and a local mechanic told him that he needs to have the ignition coils replaced and it would cost about $1200. Does the price sound legit? What are the consequences if we don’t do this for a while? He is planning on driving home 500 miles each way over Thanksgiving. Thanks for your input.


It is unlikely that he would need all three or six at once. That also seems high. He needs to get a second opinion. Have him go to a nearby AutoZone or other car parts store that offers free code reading. When they read the codes, they should give him a cash register receipt with the code and its interpretation. The code will be in a format with a P followed by 4 numbers, like P0303. Post that code here, forget their interpretation. Someone here is likely to have a good answer for you.


I just spoke to the service guy on the phone. He said the engine code was a 1320. Mentioned something about a service bulletin from Nissan and that the exact cylinder was hard to isolate because the car currently was not misfiring. He wants to keep it overnight and look at it some more. My son didn’t say anything about the CEL flashing – it was just on.

Thanks for your assistance.

RockAuto has a variety, most expensive is $63. http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1356780,parttype,7060 Looks like you need 3 (maximum).

Probably not too hard to change these.

Is he experiencing any other symptoms? If it’s running ok, you could change these out when he gets home.

My GOD…thats way too expensive. Trust me you and your son could replace the coils on the Max no problem… I believe Nissan divided up your 6 coils into packs of 2…at least I hope they did. If not then you have to replace the entire coil block of 6 coils in one… They SHOULD have divided the packs up though. Should be a cheap and easy fix.

Also as to the severity or immediacy of this repair…HOw is the Max running? Does it run roughly? No change in running? Is this just a recommendation? If it had a miss you would know it for sure…the engine would not run as smooth as you are used to.

If it has a miss…you can then pull one spark plug wire at a time…the plug wire that you pull that makes no change in engine idle at all…is the wire that points to the coil pack that you need to swap out

If its not missing, take it to an autoparts store and have them read it. There should be a code P030x with x being a number between 1 and 6. For more information, check this


Thanks to all who responded. You saved me from being overcharged.

Hopefully the following link will help you troubleshoot the problem.