What Causes Ignition Coils to Keep Going Bad (Hot Ignition Coil Problems)

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 08:33 pm

A lot of vehicles currently on the road have internal combustion engines which need fuel, electricity and air to run properly.

In this post let’s talk about some of the common overheating ignition coil symptoms, what causes ignition coils to keep going bad, hot ignition coil problems, what would cause an ignition coil to burn up and finally what happens when driving with a bad ignition coil for long.

What Happens when driving with a bad ignition coil

It is true that in modern cars, their ignition coil are very vital since it supplies the electrical component.

So once there’s a faulty ignition coil, the engine will not run properly. The engine may even completely stall. This makes it very vital for you to know how to identify bad ignition coil symptoms.

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What Causes Ignition Coils To Keep Going Bad?

Anytime your engine is having repeated coil failures, it simply means that the coils might be working too hard. One of the causes might be high secondary resistance such as an excessive spark plug gap or a worn spark plugs, and in some cases a lean fuel condition which is caused by vacuum leak or dirty injectors.

One of the leading causes of bad ignition coil is because of a bad spark plug or worn ignition cable.

Note that a bad spark plug ignition cable has more than normal resistance. It has maximum voltage which produces a high amount of heat that most time melts the coil’s wire insulation.

Note that your car ignition coil is meant to last for about 100,000 miles or more. But a lot of factors can lead some of its parts to become damaged prematurely.

A lot of modern cars on that is available comes with hard plastic cover which is made to secure the coil from damaging.

Overheating Ignition Coil Symptoms

Anytime your vehicle is having intermittently behaviour and is giving you issues in driving smoothly, then this shows that the ignition coil might have gone bad.

Indeed, weak or failed ignition coil symptoms might vary and this depends on how severe the ignition coil failure is to the vehicle. Here’re some of the common overheating ignition coil symptoms.

#1. Car Backfiring

Any faulty or bad ignition coil will always lead to unused fuel going into the exhaust system.

Whenever this fuel torches the hot metal of the catalytic converter or exhaust, this can cause it to ignite and explode instantly, making a back-fire which is like a loud noise coming out of the back of your car.

This is definitely caused by a bad ignition, just make sure that the problem is examined by your mechanic.

#2. Wear And Tear

One of the common reasons for ignition coils failure is wear and tear. This has the ability to cause degrading of the insulation which is between the secondary and primary coil windings. Also, note that the reduction in insulation has the power to cause the coil to overheat.

#3. Vehicle Stalling

The stalling of your vehicle happens to be one of the results of ignition coil failure. The causes of this are due to the irregular sparks that is sent to the spark plugs by the bad coil.

Note that due to this, your car might completely shut off whenever you stop the car, and this may leave you with the trouble of restarting the car again.

#4. Oil Leak

Due to lots of current and charge that is transformed inside your vehicle’s ignition coil, this could lead to heat dissipation. Anytime the part is working well, the oil normally helps in getting rid of this thermal energy. But once the coil is broken, it could cause the car to overheat, and this will lead to cracking of the engine housing unit making the oil to leak out of its chamber.

#5. Difficulty Starting The Vehicle

You should examine the high tension leads (HT Leads). It runs between the spark plugs and distributor.

It is the ignition coil failures that result in one or more spark plugs issues of not getting the right amount of charge.

So anytime you have an issue with starting your vehicle in the cold, then it can be a symptom of ignition coil failure.

What you can do is to run a simple check on the HT leads to see if there’s a spark going from each lead to each spark plug.

Hot ignition coil problems

The issue with an ignition coil have the possibility of making an engine not to start whenever it is warm, and most time this happens on engines of motorbikes which is an issue of breaking in the HT coil.

This makes a carbon track to form inside the coil in the very place the wire is broken.

Whenever the engine gets cold, this makes the carbon track to have low resistance which conducts correctly so that the spark will be strong enough to start the engine.

However, whenever the engine becomes warmer, there’s a possibility for the track resistance to be greater making the sparkless strong.

Note that this issue sometimes gets worse at the long run as the carbon tracks grows bigger, but the only solution is to replace the coil or electronic ignition system.

What Would Cause An Ignition Coil To Burn Up?

In case your vehicle is having difficulty in starting or the car engine is shaking, then some of the reasons this happen include:

  • The spark plugs: Sometimes it might be that your spark plug gap is too big or the carbon fouling could lead to the coil overloaded, this will then cause it to overheat and have short circuit.
  • The battery power supply: By having an unstable battery power supply can make the ignition coil to burn out.
  • The car’s computing system: In case you have a vehicle that the computing system has failed signal, make sure you take it to a repair shop for testing.

But if you take up an ignition coil with better insulation, then the damaging of the ignition coil has the possibility to be minimized whenever this happens.

Here is the main cause of ignition coil burnout

What causes the ignition coil to burn out is the ageing of the insulating material. Whenever the ignition coil has a higher voltage, for example, there’s the possibility that it won’t output smoothly.

This is because the current turbulence that is found inside the coil will happen, and this will cause the temperature to get higher and accelerate the insulating material ageing.

 When this happens, it will make the ignition coil to burn and a short circuit will occur.


Note that you need ignition coils that work properly if you want to keep your vehicle running perfectly whenever you notice any overheating ignition coil symptoms.  Observing for any bad ignition coil symptoms is vital and changing the ignition coils according to your vehicle’s manufacturer’s instructions will help you avoid more complicated car issues.

I hope with this post you should know what to do when driving with a bad ignition coil and what causes ignition coils to keep going bad

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