One common culprit that can put a damper on your BMW driving experience is ignition coil failure. The ignition system is a crucial component of any BMW model. It is responsible for generating the spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine cylinders, enabling the vehicle to start and run smoothly.

The ignition coil is an essential part of the ignition system, as it transforms the low voltage from the battery into the high voltage required to create the spark. When the ignition coil fails, it can lead to so many problems. Get ready for a quick trip on how and where you can conquer ignition coil failure in your BMW.

These are the Most Common Causes of Ignition Coil Failure

The Most Simple Cause – Wear and Tear

Ignition coils, like many other components in a vehicle, are subject to the effects of age and wear. Over time, the constant exposure to heat, vibrations, and electrical currents can cause the insulation around the coil windings to deteriorate. This deterioration can result in short circuits or coil failure. Additionally, the internal components of the ignition coil can wear out over time, compromising its performance and eventually leading to failure.


Excessive heat is a common culprit behind ignition coil failure. The ignition coil is located near the engine, where temperatures can become extremely high. If the engine operates for extended periods, such as during long drives or heavy traffic, the ignition coil can be subjected to prolonged exposure to heat. High ambient temperatures, especially in hot climates, can also contribute to overheating. Insufficient airflow around the ignition coil, caused by blocked or damaged cooling ducts, can further exacerbate the heat buildup. Overheating can make the insulation around the coil windings become damaged or weakened.

Voltage Spikes

Voltage spikes or electrical surges occur when the electrical system experiences sudden, brief increases in voltage. These spikes can be caused by various factors, such as a faulty alternator, defective voltage regulator, or damaged wiring. When a voltage spike occurs, the ignition coil may receive an excessive amount of voltage, surpassing its designed capacity. This overload can strain the coil and its internal components, leading to malfunction or failure. Voltage spikes can occur sporadically or be persistent, depending on the underlying issue in the electrical system.

Do You Recognize These Symptoms of Ignition Coil Failure?

  • Engine Misfires: One of the most common symptoms of ignition coil failure is engine misfires. Misfires occur when the spark plug does not receive the appropriate amount of voltage from the failing coil, resulting in incomplete combustion. This can lead to rough idling, hesitation, and a loss of power during acceleration.
  • Check Engine Light: When an ignition coil fails or malfunctions, it often triggers the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system, causing the check engine light to illuminate. The system detects the issues and stores fault codes, which can be retrieved using a diagnostic scanner.

Fixing your BMW’s Ignition Coil Failure

When ignition coil failure is suspected, a diagnostic test should be performed to confirm the issue. The codes will indicate which cylinder or cylinders are experiencing misfires, helping to pinpoint the affected ignition coil.

  • Coil Replacement: Once the faulty ignition coil has been identified, it should be replaced with a new, high-quality coil that is compatible with the specific BMW model. It is generally recommended to replace all ignition coils at the same time, as the remaining coils may also be near the end of their lifespan. This helps to prevent future coil failures and ensures balanced performance across all cylinders.
  • Inspection and Maintenance: Along with ignition coil replacement, it is essential to inspect and maintain other components of the ignition system. This includes checking the spark plugs for wear or damage and replacing them if necessary. Additionally, the spark plug wires or boots should be inspected for any signs of degradation and replaced if needed.

Talk to Our Mechanics at Marlow Mercedes-Werks About Your BMW Issues

If you want to resolve ignition coil failure or BMW Ignition Coil Checkany other problem in your BMW, you can rely on our expertise and dedication at Marlow Mercedes-Werks. Our team of skilled professionals is committed to providing quality service to drivers from Seaside, CA, and neighboring areas. We understand the importance of maintaining the reliability of your BMW, and we have the knowledge to tackle ignition coil failure and other automotive issues with precision and care. Book an appointment with us today.

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