Ignition Control Module Symptoms (9 Things To Be Aware Of)

When people think of their cars not starting, they often point to a dead battery as the reason behind this.

While there could be an issue with the battery or other parts, the issue could also be caused by a car’s ignition control module. Here’s what we found!

Ignition Control Module Symptoms

1. Car Isn’t Starting

If your car doesn’t start, it may be because of a faulty ignition control module.

Generally, the ignition control module produces and regulates the energy needed to ignite the spark plug; this is achieved through a jolt of electricity to the ignition coil.

However, a problem with the ignition control module may prevent the ignition coil from igniting the spark plug, which can cause the ignition to fail and prevent your car from starting.

As such, this can be indicative of a failing ignition control module.

2. Stalling Car

Aside from difficulty starting, a bad ignition control module can also cause your car to stall.

In this case, the engine won’t burn the air-fuel mixture if the ignition control module doesn’t create a spark properly, which means your car will stall if combustion fails while driving.

Additionally, the engine might also pause before restarting or stopping entirely.

Furthermore, corroded connections, excessive heat, or loose wiring could all be indicative of problems with the ignition control module.

3. Rough Engine Idling

Aside from my points above, rough idling may be another symptom of a failing ignition control module.

Normally, the ignition control module calculates the timing with which the ignition coils are meant to ignite the spark plugs.

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However, when the ignition control module fails, this can cause the ignition coils and spark plugs to fail.

This can result in your car shaking or rattling when you’re idling.

4. Engine Misfire

Aside from rough idling, an engine misfire may also indicate problems with your car’s ignition control module.

If this happens, the engine might falter, or your car may even decelerate; the engine misfire may occur when the ignition wires that hold the spark plug in place have become fried from wear and tear.

Fortunately, the engine doesn’t take long to recover from a misfire.

However, engine misfires can be taxing on your car and must be brought to a service center for repair immediately.

5. Overheating


Unusually high temperatures on the module body may also indicate problems with the ignition control module.

In this case, a broken distributor could cause extra heat.

Furthermore, the module will eventually malfunction if it continues to operate over its ideal temperature.

Additionally, issues including electrical shorting, decreased gas mileage, and engine stuttering may occur from this.

Therefore, if you notice that your engine is overheating, it may be caused by a bad ignition control module.

6. Check Engine Warning Light On Dashboard

Another symptom of a failing ignition control module is the presence of the check engine warning light on your dashboard.

Generally, there are various sensors on your car that monitor the health of its parts, and these can illuminate the warning lights on your dashboard to indicate issues.

Among these, the check engine light may start blinking if the sensors detect a problem with the ignition control module.

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Therefore, if the check engine light blinks on your dashboard, the ignition control module may be the cause.

7. Excessive Fuel Consumption

If you discover that your vehicle is getting less mileage than usual from a full tank, you may have a faulty ignition control module.

In this scenario, the system will attempt to make up for the underpowered spark plugs—caused by the malfunctioning ignition coil—by injecting more fuel.

As such, this implies that fuel leaks may also be an indication of a problematic ignition coil.

However, these potential problems must be ruled out because a faulty mass air flow sensor or a filthy engine filter can also contribute to poor fuel economy.

8. Black Smoke From Exhaust

Similarly, dark exhaust fumes may also be a symptom of problems with your car’s ignition control module.

As I mentioned previously, a bad ignition control module may cause your car’s engine to misfire.

During a misfire, not all the fuel gets burned off in the cylinders; this excess fuel gets fed to the catalytic converter, turning the fuel into pollutants.

When this happens, the converter may also be damaged by the excess fuel over time.

As such, the smoke may be a sign of a faulty ignition control module.

9. Hesitation When Accelerating

Your automobile may jerk, tremble, or shake when you press the gas pedal as a result of a malfunctioning ignition control module.

This indicates that your engine has trouble supplying the additional power required to gain speed.

Additionally, every time you attempt to speed, you may experience hesitation.

Consequently, this may raise the engine’s temperature and potentially cause the car to lose power.

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As a result, if the engine won’t start, you could become stranded.


There are several symptoms to note if you suspect a faulty ignition control module, including issues when starting or accelerating your car.

Furthermore, a faulty ignition control module can also affect the catalytic converter, which may cause further damage to your vehicle.

As such, getting your car looked at as soon as possible is essential to solving the issue.

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