Why Ignition Modules Burn Out in Subarus: Causes, Signs, and Solutions

Are you a Subaru owner experiencing trouble starting your car? Does your engine run rough or stall? One possible culprit for these issues could be a burnt-out ignition module. Ignition modules play a crucial role in starting and running your vehicle, and when they fail, you can experience a host of problems. In this article, we’ll explore why ignition modules commonly burn out in Subarus, how to identify the signs of a burnt-out module, and offer solutions to fix the issue and prevent it from happening again.

Key Takeaways

  • Ignition modules play a critical role in the starting and running of your vehicle.
  • Subarus are known to experience ignition module failure due to design flaws and environmental factors.
  • Signs of a burnt-out ignition module include difficulty starting, rough idling, and engine stalling.
  • Solutions to fix a burnt-out ignition module include replacement, cleaning, and upgrading to a more reliable aftermarket module.
  • Regular maintenance and addressing other engine issues can help prevent ignition module failure in the future.

Causes of Ignition Module Failure in Subarus

Subarus are known for their reliability, but they are not immune to ignition module failure. There are several reasons why ignition modules commonly burn out in these vehicles, including design flaws and environmental factors.

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Design Flaws

One of the primary causes of ignition module failure in Subarus is a design flaw that affects certain models. The ignition module is located near the exhaust manifold, which exposes it to excessive heat. Over time, this heat can cause the module to fail, resulting in difficulty starting the engine or misfires. The issue is most common in Subarus manufactured between 1990 and 2003.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also contribute to ignition module failure in Subarus. Moisture and corrosion can damage the module, especially if it is not properly sealed. If the module is exposed to excessive moisture or corrosive chemicals, it can short out or malfunction, resulting in engine issues.

Signs of a Burnt-Out Ignition Module

If your Subaru is experiencing ignition module failure, you may notice several signs that indicate something is wrong. These signs can include:

  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • Rough idling or misfires
  • Engine stalling
  • Reduced power or acceleration
  • Check engine light on the dashboard

If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is essential to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. A burnt-out ignition module can lead to more severe engine problems and leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Solutions for Fixing a Burnt-Out Ignition Module

If your Subaru is experiencing ignition module failure, several solutions can fix the issue and prevent it from happening again.

Replacement

The most common solution for a burnt-out ignition module is replacement. This involves removing the old module and installing a new one. Replacement modules can vary in price, depending on the manufacturer and quality, but generally, they are affordable and readily available for purchase.

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Cleaning

Sometimes, a burnt-out ignition module can be fixed by cleaning it. This involves removing the module from the vehicle and cleaning it with a solvent or electrical cleaner. However, cleaning a module may only provide a temporary fix, and it may fail again in the future.

Upgrading to a More Reliable Aftermarket Module

If you are experiencing repeated ignition module failure, upgrading to a more reliable aftermarket module may be the best solution. Aftermarket modules are designed to be more durable and reliable than OEM modules, and they often come with a warranty. However, they can be more expensive than replacement modules, and you may need to have them installed by a qualified mechanic.

Preventing Ignition Module Failure

Preventing ignition module failure in your Subaru involves regular maintenance and addressing other engine issues that could contribute to module failure. Here are some tips to help prevent ignition module failure in your vehicle:

  • Regularly scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, tune-ups, and inspections.
  • Addressing engine issues promptly, such as misfires or rough idling.
  • Checking and replacing spark plugs and ignition wires as necessary.
  • Keeping the engine and ignition module clean and free of debris.
  • Installing a heat shield to protect the ignition module from excessive heat.

By following these tips, you can help prevent ignition module failure and keep your Subaru running smoothly.

FAQ

Q: What does an ignition module do?

A: An ignition module is an electronic component that controls the ignition system in your vehicle. It regulates the spark timing and voltage in the spark plugs, allowing the engine to start and run smoothly.

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Q: How long do ignition modules last in Subarus?

A: The lifespan of an ignition module in a Subaru can vary depending on several factors, including the age of the vehicle, driving conditions, and maintenance. On average, ignition modules can last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles.

Q: Can a bad ignition module damage the engine?

A: Yes, a bad ignition module can lead to more severe engine problems if left untreated. It can cause misfires, leading to unburned fuel in the engine, which can damage the catalytic converter and other engine components.

Q: Can I replace the ignition module myself?

A: It is possible to replace the ignition module yourself if you have the necessary tools and knowledge. However, it is often best to have it replaced by a qualified mechanic to ensure it is installed correctly and prevent further damage to the engine.

Conclusion

Ignition module failure can cause a host of issues in your Subaru, from difficulty starting the engine to engine stalling. By understanding the causes of ignition module failure and identifying the signs of a burnt-out module, you can take steps to fix the issue and prevent it from happening again. Regular maintenance, addressing engine issues promptly, and upgrading to a more reliable aftermarket module can help keep your Subaru running smoothly and prevent ignition module failure in the future.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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