The electronic ignition (EI) system produces a high energy secondary spark. This spark is
used to ignite the compressed air/fuel mixture at precisely the correct time. This provides
optimal performance, fuel economy, and control of exhaust emissions. This ignition system
uses one coil for each pair of cylinders. Companion cylinders are a pair of cylinders that are at
top dead center (TDC) at the same time.
The GM 3.4L V6 electronic ignition system is responsible for producing and controlling a high
energy secondary spark. This spark is used to ignite the compressed air/fuel mixture at precisely
the correct time. This provides optimal performance, fuel economy, and control of exhaust
emissions. This ignition system uses one coil for each pair of cylinders.
Each pair of cylinders that are at top dead center (TDC) at the same time are known as
companion cylinders. The cylinder that is at TDC of its compression stroke is called the event
cylinder. The cylinder that is at TDC of its exhaust stroke is called the waste cylinder. When the
ignition coil is triggered, both companion cylinder spark plugs fire at the same time, completing a
series circuit
This ignition system consists of a separate ignition coil connected to each spark plug by a short
secondary wire. The driver modules within each coil assembly are commanded ON/OFF by the
powertrain control module (PCM). The PCM primarily uses engine speed and position information
from the crankshaft and camshaft position (CMP) sensors to control the sequence, dwell, and
timing of the spark
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Vehicle Ignition Systems Explained