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An ignition coil is essential to the ignition system to ensure satisfactory performance. You can continue your drive with a few DIY ideas, even if you have a bad ignition coil. But how long can I drive with a bad ignition coil?

A bad ignition coil can cause damage to the catalytic converter, reduce fuel efficiency, cause engine stalls, and damage spark plugs. You may face heavy expenses if you continue your drive. Fixing the issue if your ignition coil becomes faulty immediately is essential.

Stay tuned to know the potential risks and how to replace the ignition coil if your vehicle’s ignition coil becomes faulty.

The Risks of Driving with a Bad Ignition Coil

is it bad to drive with a bad coil
bad to drive with a bad coil

You may try DIY ideas to start your vehicle, but driving with a bad ignition coil can be risky. Here, I have listed a few common issues you may experience driving with a bad ignition coil.

  • Engine misfires are a common issue that you may experience while driving with a bad ignition coil. It can affect an overall vehicle’s performance. You may notice poor fuel efficiency, rough idle, reduced power, and uneven sounds from the engine.
  • Moreover, it may result in incomplete combustion, which lowers engine mileage. 
  • Incomplete combustion can also damage your catalytic converter. It is an expensive component that cannot be repaired if damaged. You will need its replacement.
  • You may also notice poor response to acceleration. Running on the highways or driving in traffic may make you more likely to get into an accident.
  • Your engine can also stall unexpectedly if the ignition coil fails. It can be dangerous if your engine stalls in congested traffic.
  • Another common issue that arises when your ignition coil is malfunctioning is increased emissions. It occurs due to poor combustion of fuel. Increased emissions may contribute to environmental pollution.

Does your Ignition coil have no power? Read this blog to fix the issue: No Power to the ignition coil of Dodge Ram 1500.

How Long Can I Drive with a Bad Ignition Coil?

how long can i drive with a bad ignition coil

You may hear from experts that you can drive your vehicle even if the ignition coil is bad. It can be implemented in an emergency, but in the long run, it is a bad deal. 

When you drive with a bad ignition, your vehicle remains at potential risk. The failed coil pack can disrupt the spark delivery to the cylinder. It can cause poor burning of fuel/air to enter the engine’s crankcase and exhaust system. If it happens, it can damage your catalytic converter and trigger the “Check Engine light” to illuminate.

Moreover, your engine performance is also affected; you notice uneven engine performance. If you continue to drive longer, the raw fuel from the injector can strip the coil film. It protects the cylinder from piston rings, and you may experience cylinder damage.

This condition leaves you in a position to make the right decision. You can immediately replace the bad coil with a compatible coil or face heavy repair expenses. If you go for replacement, I recommend the SCITOO Automotive Replacement Ignition Coil Pack for your vehicle. It offers excellent and long-lasting performance.

Furthermore, driving with a bad ignition coil also presents safety hazards. You may experience engine failures, and your engine stalls suddenly on the road. It can cause severe accidents, especially when driving on rushy roads.

So, the best solution is to go for an immediate replacement to protect your vehicle and you from unwanted instances. You can replace it alone or get professional help to get back on the road safely.

With a little care, you can prevent your ignition coil from serious issues. Learn from here: How to keep ignition coil cool.

How to Replace the Ignition Coil?

If you have basic mechanical skills, follow the instructions below and replace your ignition coil.

  • Switch off your vehicle and disconnect the battery for safe job completion.
  • Now, locate the ignition coil. It may vary from vehicle to vehicle. Usually, it is located near the engine cylinder head or engine block. It is better to consult the user manual for the exact location of your vehicle.
  • Remove the coil wires and unbolt the coil to remove it.
  • Remove the coil and set it aside.
  • Now, take a compatible ignition coil and mount it in the previous ignition coil position.
  • Reconnect the wires and reconnect the battery.
  • Switch on your vehicle and ensure the coil is working properly.

If your ignition switch is faulty, read this blog to fix the issue: Dodge Ram 1500 ignition key won’t turn.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Ignition Coil?

The choice of coil pack and labor costs affect the cost of replacing an ignition coil. If you replace an ignition coil yourself, it may cost you between $13 – $20. However, taking the professional services may cost you between $50 to $150.

Can a Bad Coil Pack Cause Transmission Problems?

Yes, a bad ignition coil on your vehicle can also affect the transmission system. You may experience transmission problems. A bad ignition coil causes the engine to misfire, reducing power, overheating problems, and poor fuel efficiency. These issues can also affect the transmission system. Your transmission system performance may need improvement.

Fix your MAZDA ignition switch issues after reading this blog: Mazda ignition switch problems.

Can a Bad Ignition Coil Ruin Spark Plug?

Yes, a bad ignition coil can also damage your spark plug. The reasons are inadequate spark, overheating, misfire, and increased wear and tear, which may also damage your spark plug. Over time, your spark plug performance may also need improvement.

It may also help you fix ignition switch problems on your VW Jetta. Volkswagen Jetta Ignition Switch Problems and Fixes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Do ignition coils go bad at the same time?

It may happen, but not most of the time. Each coil operates independently. So, if one coil becomes faulty, there is no effect on the other coil. But if the problems continue for a long time, it may cause overheating issues that may make other coils faulty.

What kills ignition coils?

Your ignition coil can become faulty for various reasons. However, overheating and excessive vibration are the two major reasons for bad ignition coils. Vibration makes its components loose, which may damage them over time.

Does the ignition coil affect speed?

Yes, the ignition coil affects the vehicle’s speed. The ignition coil causes acceleration issues. Due to low power, vehicle speed also decreases. You may experience jerking when you press the accelerator and fail to attain the desired speed.

Can an ignition coil fail suddenly?

It depends because the ignition coil can last for years. But a few issues, such as a bad spark plug, faulty coil wiring, fuel leakage, and overheating, can make your coils faulty at any time. So take care of such issues to make your ignition coils long-lasting.

What is the life of the ignition coil?

There is no exact lifespan for the ignition coil. Because it depends on driving stress and other factors such as engine or spark plug issues; however, if you maintain the ignition coils well, they can last around 100,000 miles.


Driving with a bad ignition coil can cause several problems for you and your vehicle. Driving is unsafe because if it remains longer, it can cause severe issues in your vehicle. You may need to spend 1,000 dollars to repair it. So, it is better to replace it to prevent damage to your vehicle immediately and save you from serious expenses or injuries.

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