Sketchy ignition coil diagnosis



Almost two weeks ago the e-brake on my subaru let go and it rolled down the driveway, and crashed rear first into my neighbors garage. All the damage was just to the rear bumper and door. After having my car for about a week and half, the auto body shop called to say they were almost done, but that my car was running really badly. They had the mechanics look at it, who said the ignition coil, spark plugs and wires all needed to be replaced. Before I could even come pick it up and see for myself, they called again to say the ignition coil had failed completely, and the car would now not start at all.

Before the accident, my car was running fine. No misfires, back fires, stuttering or loss of power. I had no problem with it until after it went into the autobody shop. They even pointed out what a great and well maintained car it was when they first got it. It is a 1999 subaru legacy outback by the way. What are the chances the ignition coil and stuff would go out like that? Could it have been from the impact from the accident? Or something the guys in the autobody shop did?


Ignition coils can fail without prior notice, unrelated to anything else.


I agree with Kit on this. On an 11 year old vehicle this could easily be a simple coincidence.


Thanks, I understand what your saying. One thing I was curious about though. The guy behind the counter mentioned that at one point they were having a hard time starting it, and apparently flooded it so bad that fuel was actually pouring out from underneath. Where would the fuel have been coming from? Isn’t kind of a bad thing to crank it that much, and if the ignition coil wasnt out at this point, could this have killed it?


You have backup systems for the parking brake. If it is a manual transmission, you should leave it in reverse or first gear. You can’t leave it running in neutral because you can’t trust the parking brake alone.

Sometimes an automatic in park will fail even with the parking brake on but it is rare.

Body shops aren’t always the place to have the problems diagnosed. Have a tow truck bring it somewhere else if you can. They probably stole too much of your fuel.


Yeah it’s funny I had just heard that disagreement between that man and wife on car talk about using the ebrake alone on a manual transmission. Mine is a manual too. Ever since I had been making sure that I used both. That day it rolled down the hill, I either forgot or it slipped out of gear.
And for the record, I never asked the body shop to do a diagnosis. The car began running badly in their care, so they took it to the auto repair shop next door without asking me.


If you had car insurance, which covers the body repairs, they MIGHT cover repairs needed which are uncovered during body repair. You can ask.


I have full coverage. They won’t cover this unless its proved to have been part of the accident. Or something the shop did incorrectly.