I had an old 64 Fairlane that died in rush hour traffic one day. I called a buddy who worked near me-- he pulled up to the side of the road with a bag of ice, and held it to the ignition coil.

The car fired right back up.

I always thought this was some crazy black magic he worked-- I've never heard of this trick before and haven't been able to figure out what had happened.

Anyone seen this or know why cooling a coil could get a car back on the road?

  • While I'm not saying this would work or wouldn't work, I've never heard of it nor seen it done in real life ... I've been at this a long time. I'm glad he got your car back on the road easily! Aug 7, 2015 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


Like @ Paulster2 I have never heard of this. I suppose it is possible if you had a coil on the edge of failure that it might fail while overheated. Resistance is a function of temperature. The more heat the more resistance, more resistance generates more heat and so on. It just seems odd that he knew to bring the ice. Maybe he was also being prepared for a vapor lock condition, where the fuel boils in the fuel line. For what it's worth, I had a car with a small block Chevy and exhaust headers that came close to the starter. It refused to crank while hot. The starter would get so hot from the exhaust that the resistance was so high it would not spin. I carried a spray bottle of water and soaked it down to restart. After installation of a heat shield no more issues.

  • 1
    Yes, and if @user101289 has the same issues with the coil, he may want to put a heat shield on his coil as well, or just get a new coil which can stand the heat. Aug 8, 2015 at 0:25

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