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And should I try it? The deal told me that if I unhook the wrong thing, it may not start again. I am a computer tech and from experience, if I just map out what goes where I'll be fine. Does anybody know if I can clean the piston coils or the distributor? I am losing power due to age and would rather not pay $200 for the 3 coils, $200+ for the distrbutor and the spark plugs, if I don't have to...
 

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I don't believe that there is a distributor, at least not a high voltage one as there is on most other cars. I don't believe that the ignition coils could berconditioned other than claening or replacing them. The spark plugs are indexed (labeled A, B, or C so that when they are tightened the metal contact faces in the correct direction) and the contacts are iridium. They are supposed to last many times longer than a normal plug. I think the service interval is over 100,000 miles. Just get the connectors back on the correct ingnition coils or the engine will not start, or will try to run on one cylinder!. That is true for any engine. If you have the plugs out you could do a compression test, and check the colour of the plugs to see if the engine is running hot or rich. If the compression is bad it could indicate a piston ring problem or a valve problem. If everthing looks good then low mileage could be caused by injectors, oxygen sensor, or something else related to fuel delivery. On a hybrid low mileage is sometimes attributed to a bad 12 volt battery placing a constant drag through the IMA system. Try pushing the car on a level surface to make sure you don't have a dragging brake shoe or pad.

If you don't want to get into heavy diagnostics, a new 12 volt battery, some injector cleaner in the gas, a new set of plugs, and some extra air in the tires might help.

If you want to go deeper into this you should have a shop manual and a friend who has basic tools, spare time, and decent place to work on the car. Working on a car without the shop manual is like working on a circuit without a schematic. (difficult, time consuming, and risky)

I'm not trying to disuade you but rather hoping that your experience will be a good one.
 

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You should be fine as long as you keep track of what goes where - but I don't know what sort of improvement you can get by taking it apart and cleaning things. As far as I know the coils are not really a part that suffers much wear given that it has no moving parts. I'm not sure what problem you are trying to rectify but I somewhat doubt that your ignition system is to blame. When the ignition fails, the symptoms are usually very noticeable. (sputtering, shuddering, etc.)
 
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