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Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

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  • Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

    I have had the coil packs burn out several times on my 2004 GX. Both times they were replaced under warranty, thankfully. I had always imagined it was a coil pack defect of some sort... or something peculiar to that series of GX... until now.

    I was recently talking with Prof. John Frala at Rio Hondo College. He runs their Alt Fuel Vehicle program there and he had the answer. My last plug replacement (some years back) I did myself, with OEM plugs, to avoid issues that often arise with other name brands. What I didn't know was that the plugs have to be torqued to 13 ft. lbs. (Specs may vary from year to year and for other models) to maintain the proper resistance and NOT burn out the coil packs.

    Too tight, or too lose and the resistance changes. You will have an issue with the coils sooner or later. My problem seemed to arise at 94k mi and again at 140k mi. The prior owner had all his work done at the dealer, who should be torquing the plugs as SOP.

    I hope this helps someone out there and saves you a few dollars.

    I also talked to him about posting to the group when he was doing the CNG portion of his course, that members with issues might bring in their cars and have repairs made under his watchful and well educated eye. He has taken it under advisement.
    Last edited by Curtis; 09-02-2012, 11:14 PM. Reason: Incorrect torque spec originally posted.
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

  • #2
    Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

    Originally posted by Curtis View Post
    What I didn't know was that the plugs have to be torqued to 26 - 28 ft. lbs. to maintain the proper resistance and NOT burn out the coil packs.
    Interesting ..

    Note: I have corrected the torque spec originally posted. It should read 13 ft. lbs.
    Curtis
    Last edited by Curtis; 09-02-2012, 11:17 PM. Reason: Update information in the quoted portion of this post.


    “Innovation is driven by having access to things.” -- Gleb Budman, CEO of backblaze.com

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    • #3
      Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

      New cars are so touchy about small things like torque, unlike the cars I grew up working on. Just a small reason to go to an expert on new vehicles to get repairs. Your average shade tree mechanic, unless following a factory shop manual to a tee, would find similar issues arise. I just had to share this.
      [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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      • #4
        Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

        Originally posted by Curtis View Post
        ...the plugs have to be torqued to 26 - 28 ft. lbs. to maintain the proper resistance and NOT burn out the coil packs.
        Curtis - I have to take issue with the numbers he quotes. I have attached the relevant page from my GX service manual (2001-2003) regarding the specified spark plug torque. It clearly says 13 ft. lbs.. Perhaps either you or he simply remembered the exact number incorrectly??? You are not saying he suggests going against the Honda spec, right? Could his number be for 2004-2005 or even other model years? Perhaps he is exactly correct regarding carefully torque-ing the plugs correctly, but the actual number got messed up somehow.... What do you think?

        Cover Page.pdfTorque Spec.pdf
        02 GX

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        • #5
          Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

          Rodney, I quoted him exactly. It is possible this torque setting might be correct for a different CNG vehicle. Since I don't have a copy of the shop manual, I appreciate your clearing that up. I will edit my original post as to remove any confusion.

          I think you are right about one thing. The correct torque setting is the crucial point. The shade-tree approach of hand tightening a plug is a thing of the past. Cars are far too technological for any bolt, nut, or plug to be randomly torqued down. A good Honda Tech will even torque the lug nuts. Every torque setting on the car was engineered that way for a reason. Please accept my regret for posting innacurate information, and by all means, follow the manufacturers settings and procedures when working on any car you may own.
          [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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          • #6
            Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

            I've recently purchased a used 2003 civic gx with 150,000 miles on it. I got a pretty good deal on it because the guy who sold it to me said that it was burning though ignition coils fairly quickly... every few months one would go... I read this thread before I purchased the car and figured that by torquing the spark plugs to the mentioned spec I could resolve the problem.

            After buying the car I checked all the spark plugs and found they were tightened to spec (I used a cheap torque wrench though). This worried me because I thought this was going to be the cars problem! I called the local dealer up here in Salt Lake City and asked them about this kind of problem. They said that it was probably the injectors and that it would cost $2600 to get them replaced. I'm a little panicked now because I don't think the car is worth putting that much into.

            Does this sound like a probable issue? What are my other options if it is an injector problem? What do you think?

            Also... this car has pretty new NGK PFR7N-D spark plugs that look fine. It is a little difficult to start in the cold and sputters a little when starting up and when stopping does that also point to the injectors?

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            • #7
              Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

              Matt , we moved your question to a new thread, see it here http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread....tart-when-cold

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              • #8
                Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                So what is the correct torque setting for the plugs?....
                Sold GX

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                • #9
                  Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                  You should refer to your owners manual for correct specs. It should be listed in the Specifications section. A call to your Honda dealers maintenance dept can yield solid info, if you don't have a manual with your car/vehicle.

                  As to Matt's question, there may be some issue with the injectors. I would recommend a second opinion prior to any cash outlays. FYI, injectors can be cleaned, with about a 75% success rate. Changing fuel filters is critical to keep the injectors free of oil, which they are very sensitive to. An old compressor blowing a bit of oil past the rings can be an issue. You would never know until it was too late. Injectors can also be bench tested. Try a performance shop for this option. This may help you identify the problem more precisely.

                  Another issue with the '03 is slippage (judder) in the tranny, which could be misidentified as a miss in the engine. In a CNG vehicle, you don't want to drive with a miss. The unburned fuel can damage the catalytic converter, another pricey repair, as the cat is 3 stage, not 2 stage, like you see in gasoline cars. All this is nothing to panic over, rather be aware of it, find a good solid CNG tech and do preventative maintenance, like change tranny fluid every 30k mi. Adjust valves every 30k mi, etc. In fact, adjust the valves before you do anything. This can be the source of your miss.
                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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                  • #10
                    Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                    Yes, I found the torque spec for plugs in owners manual (2002 GX), it's 13 pounds.
                    Sold GX

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                    • #11
                      Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                      Now I am thoroughly confused. Your '01-'03 GX service manual clearly states 13 ft lbs. While my '02 Civic owners manual says 13 ft lbs (and not PFR7N-D spark plugs), my '02 GX Manual Supplement says 11 ft lbs (and PFR7N-D spark plugs). Now I don't know what to trust. I'm planning on putting these in this weekend.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                        I would think that if you call customer care, they will advise you that the purpose of the supplement is to provide more up to date information than was available at the original time of printing the OEM manuals. This would lead you to conclude, 11 Ft-Lbs and the plug listed.
                        '11 Fusion Bi Fuel & FMQ2-36 VRA
                        (Former owner '09 Civic GX)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                          Originally posted by raskell View Post
                          I would think that if you call customer care, they will advise you that the purpose of the supplement is to provide more up to date information than was available at the original time of printing the OEM manuals. This would lead you to conclude, 11 Ft-Lbs and the plug listed.
                          I agree that the GX owner's manual supplement should take precedence over the standard owner's manual. But shouldn't the 01-03 GX service manual (that rodney_kranz posted) list the correct information?
                          Rodney, is there any chance that the page you posted is specific to a year other than 2002?

                          If 11 ft lbs is correct it sounds like a lot of owners are putting the plugs in at the wrong torque.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                            mechanic's rule of thumb: hand tighten plus 1/4 turn

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                            • #15
                              Re: Coil Pack burn out Problem Resolved on '01-'05 Models

                              Originally posted by claytonkimball View Post
                              Rodney, is there any chance that the page you posted is specific to a year other than 2002?
                              No. I even included the cover page of the manual supplement. It's the first attachment further back in this thread. You should be able to download it.
                              02 GX

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