Can a loose wire cause an ignition coil short?

I am the owner of a 2005 Chrysler town and Country with an aftermarket remote car start.

The dealership claims a loose wire from the remote car start shorted the ignition coil and caused a $700.00 repair. I purchased an extended warranty from chrysler which would cover said repair but of course it won’t pay because the aftermarket part caused the damage. Can This be??

$700 seems rather high. I would not be surprised with $70.00 damage.

I would demand a schematic of the system noting the short and explaining how the short would damage the ignition coil. And tell the service manager that the explanation should be written so a man with an 8th grade education can understand it… make that 12 men with 8th grade educations.

While this seems at first glance unlikely, I’m not so sure this is impossible. Aftermarket remote car start systems improperly installed can cause all mode of havoc. But I would want to see a detailed explanation, especially for $700. Yikes!

For many years I did all the alarm installs at the GM Dealer I worked at. I presented to my manager and he accepted the idea that as a policy we would not tie any part of an alarm into any part of the ignition system or into the fuel pump circuit. Doing these things just opens you up to finger pointing that your product or install caused issues like you present.

We did and without issue open up and place our prouduct in line with the starter cranking circuit. This is fine but stay away from the ignition or fuel system with your alarm, even if technically there is no reason, as at times the technical explaination carries no weight.

To answer your question directly, a loose wire will not cause a short circuit, there are more conditions to be met for a short circuit to exist than a mere loose wire.

  1. Re-read Joseph Mehan’s comment. If the ignition coil were “shorted” (whatever they mean by that), how does that do $700 worth of damage? And even if the damage really is there, you might be able to get a better price from a (good) non-dealer mechanic.

  2. Regarding the posted question, I used to do circuit failure mode analysis where we were looking to see, e.g., what “short circuits” could cause, e.g., the rocket to launch prematurely, or the warhead to arm or fire prematurely. Then we would try to figure out what wire(s) would have to come adrift and “short” to what points to effect the failure mode. My experience is that loose wires can do all kinds of bad stuff. HOWEVER, I’d have to see a competent analysis before I’d accept that it “cause[d] an ignition coil short”. Yeah, it might be possible, but it sounds hokey. But can you afford to fight it?

As Rod Knox suggested you could get them to fully lay this out for you - sort of a “show me and prove it” sort of thing.

What, exactly, is in this $700 repair. You can change out the coil pack in about 20 minutes for about $70-100.

Maybe this took out the ECM too as it’s tied into the ignition system?

It would be interesting to know the details about this remote starter and whether this unit was on the vehicle from Day One or if it was something that was added on by the OP with problems showing up soon afterwards.

I’m in agreement with oldschool there are many electrical areas that should be avoided when installing anything. Some grab a test light, probe wires until they find a hot or ground, and consider it fair game for a Scotch Lock or the proverbial classic Two-Wire Twist.