Melted ignition coil on 2005 honda civic

My 2005 honda civic ex broken down on me the other day. It started to shake really bad whilst idling and eventually shut off. Got my car home and my neighbor [who is a mechanic] checked it out and found out that i had a melted ignition coil. The spark plug is also melted and still in the engine . . .

My car is no longer under warranty but with only 58K miles on it, should that even happen? especially if I shouldn’t have to worry about spark plugs until many more miles?

I’m trying to have Honda cover whatever the costs such damage the spark plug has caused but they keep telling me its past the 3 year/36k mile warranty. The have told me the threads on the head are stripped which means I need a new head. Also, if there are pieces in the engine that is going to require them to take it apart and make sure there isn’t any damage to the piston.

So basically my question is, should this be even happening to a relatively new car with not many miles? and what are my options, should I continue to talk to honda or just have it fixed and pay for it myself??

Some more info would help. Any rough running before this happened; even slightly?
Any Check Engine Light on at any time?
Define “eventually”. Couple of minutes? 300 miles?
Buy the car brand new?

While something like this should not happen, it’s also possible that it could depending on further info.
Honda is under no obligation to repair this for you. When the warranty is up it’s up and if Honda went in and covered every problem that people experience when their car is out of warranty then Honda Motor Co. would cease to exist. They would be broke and gone.

I don’t understand why you would need a new cylinder head. There are several methods of repairing damaged spark plug threads. Heli-Coil is one of them for example. Most do not even require removal of the head.
Unless the end of the spark plug broke off and fell into the cylinder the engine should not be damaged.

An ignition coil is an electical component encased in plastic. To melt either the electrical wiring inside the coil shorted out and that caused the heat, or the engine was running very hot, in which case other coils should have similar “melting” problems.

So was it just one coil and plug? or are some of the 3 other plugs showing any similar damage?

I’ve not heard that this is an especially common occurance with Honda or any car for that matter. It sounds like an isolated failure of an electircal component in this case either the coil, or the spark plug.

What is this about the stripped threads, a new head, and metal in the engine? Was the spark plug melted so much that the metal base of the plug melted into and fused with the head? This is a mystery until you provide some more information.

There are ways to fix heads where someone has stripped the threads in the removal and replacing of a spark plug. But this case sounds different due to the “melting”. What melted the coil only, or both the coil and the spark plug?

How long was the motor not running well or normally before all this happened? Was it a sudden failure? Or, had the car been running poorly for a while prior to the failure? It shut off, and you were able to restart it? Did you get the car home by driving it home, or was it towed home?

The check engine light came on about 3 miles from my house when I noticed it was running a little odd and eventually began to shake a lot when I was idling [at a stop light]. Once I got to my house and parked, the car shut off. I did not buy the car brand new. I did buy it used about 1 year ago. When my neighbor [a mechanic] checked it out the day it happened he noted that they were the original spark plugs.

I understand that the car is not under warranty, but it just seems so rare for it to have occurred.

The spark plug did indeed melt and break and they want to open the engine to check if there are pieces inside. Honda gave me an estimate of $600 to just open and check the engine for possible spark plug debris.

I am going to call the Honda service rep tomorrow to have it all explained to me again now that I’ve thought of some questions since talking to the service advisor.

It was just one coil and one plug. The other ones were checked and are intact.

The spark plug did indeed melt was still stuck on the inside which I believe is what stripped the threads. Both the coil and spark plug were melted. This is all new stuff to me as I don’t know much about the mechanics of cars. Honda wants to open the engine to check if there are pieces inside and see if there has been any damage to the cylinder.

To answer your last set of questions, the car was running normal. I was having no issues and was planning on taking it in for the 60K mile tune up soon. I would say it was a sudden failure because there was no indication that there were any issues before.

Like I mentioned above, I was about 3 miles from home when it began to feel strange while it was running. When I was at the stop light [about a mile from my home], the car began to shake a lot and eventually shut off. I restarted the car and it was struggling through 1st and 2nd gear after passing the stop light, but once in 3rd gear it would run back to normal. I got to my house and it died again once I got home.

Again, it just seems like such an uncommon issue and in retrospect, I wish I would have not waited to get a tune up, because they may have found something before this would have happened. Bleh.

I’ll second what OK4450 said: your problem looks like a “random” failure rather than a design flaw. Maybe your luck with getting some consideration from Honda will be better than the luck you had with the car.

But was it the actual spark plug that melted, or was it some plastic/rubber boot or connector? The plug itself is ceramic and metal, and both of types that can withstand the combustion temperatures inside the cylinder.

Have it fixed and pay for it yourself.

The damage. The debris. The repair. The cost.
The inside of the cylinder can be inspected with a borescope which inserts through the spark plug hole.
Debris (if any) inside the cylinder can be sucked out through the spark plug hole.
One to two hundred $$$ should be enough for the repair.
The threads can be replaced in several ways. Leave the particulars to the mechanic/shop.

This seems to me a very unique case. A few posts below this one hellokit provides a good action plan.

I think that driving it that last few miles home is when the melting and fusing occurred. Hindsight is not good for much but if this should ever happen again pull over stop the motor and get a tow.

The big charges from the dealer are to pull the head, replace the head, and insect the cylinder wall and piston for damage. As hellokit states there are modern tools that are derived from medical surgical tools that are mini cameras and lights on a small flexible tube. Put one of these down inside the plug hole and you can move it around and see everything very clearly on a TV like monitor. The dealer doesn’t have one of these tools.

The part about the spark plug is still unclear. Stripped threads is not a reason to remove a cylinder head much less replace it.

Has the spark plug been removed, even if it stripped the threads?
Even if the tip of a plug broke off, the ceramic gave way, etc. and pieces of it fell into the cylinder this may not be damaging. Inspect with a Bore Scope or crank the engine over with the spark plugs out. Any debris should blow right out of the plug hole.

Just theorizing here, but it’s possible the spark plug could have gone completely dead. Usually a misfire is erratic but a plug going totally dead is not unheard of.
This means the spark produced by the coil is going to have to go somewhere and the shortest route to ground is through the spark plug boot or through a broken insulator around the plug tip.
This could be what killed the coil and plug boot.

The 2005 Civic EX has the D17A2 VTEC engine, which is an interference engine. If sparkplug debris did enter the cylinder chamber, might that also damage valves as well?

Without having a photo of that engine in front of me it’s hard to visualize, but is it possible that you have a crack in the exhaust manifold that could be blowing hot exhaust onto these locales?

Just a thought.

Or, what if the plug was not screwed tightly in?