Nology Warning

The warning that follows is based on my own personal experience using Nology HotWire spark plug wires in my 95 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, and web research. Your own experience might differ.


In late 1997 I purchased a set of Nology HotWire spark plug wires for my 95 Eclipse GSX, on the recommendation of a fellow performance enthusiast. Once installed in my car, it seemed that my car performed slightly better than it had with the old, stock wires. I later learned that this was more likely the result of replacing old, worn wires with a new set of wires than it was the type of wire used. At any rate, I was fairly happy at this point.

Now, less than two years later, my car is in the shop for repair. It is cutting out very badly and the check engine light has come on. After a full day of diagnostics the repair facility has informed me that everything is pointing to my coil packs, and that they need replacing. I agree with their assessment, but ask them to wait a day before ordering the parts. I told them that I wanted to do a little research on coil packs to find the best possible replacement for the defective ones.

In the process of my research I learned a great deal about ignition systems, coils, plugs and plug wires. One bit of information from this research that stood out in my mind was a cautionary note about capacitive discharge type plug wires, specifically their tendency to go bad due to dielectric breakdown of the insulation. With this in mind I gave the repair facility a call and asked if the plug wires had been changed out during their diagnostics. They replied that they had not been changed out due to the wires being so new (less than two years) and "High Performance" wires. So I asked them if they would go ahead and change them out with a different set of wires (my original stock wires, which I had saved).

The call I received back from the repair facility was both good news, and really upsetting. The good news was that my car ran great with my old, stock plug wires. When the Nology HotWires were reinstalled, the problem returned. The upsetting part was that it took $216 of diagnostic time to find out that my $130, fairly new, "High Performance" plug wires had gone bad!! I had expected that plug wires in this price range, and of the "High Performance" category would last longer than they did!! Needless to say, I have now replaced my plug wires with a new set of non-capacitive discharge plug wires (Magnecor KV85's).

All of this information I have sent to Nology, and as of this time I have not received a reply to my complaints.

From all of this I have learned a couple things, First off, if it is a simple item to change, such as spark plug or wires, change them yourself first before taking your car in for diagnostics, even if the parts are fairly new. This could save you lots of money, in my case $216. Second, do your research. If I had replaced the coil packs it would have cost over $350 and would not have fixed the problem, leading to even more diagnostic time and $$$. Lastly, be very weary of capacitive discharge plug wires! In my case they proved to be VERY expensive!!

UPDATE:  2/23/2002

After almost 3 years I have been contacted by Nology. This was not in response to my original attempts to contact them, but rather in response to this web page (it appears that this page is at the top of most search engines if a search is done on "Nology Hotwire"). They have asked what they can do to get me to remove this page. Click Here for a look at the on going correspondences.

UPDATE:  9/15/2002 (latest update 1/22/2004)

Well, if you have read the e-mails in the above update you might be wondering what happend, why has the correspondence with Nology stopped. The answer is simple, my web page is still here and I am still not inclined to remove it. I have received a fair amount of e-mails in support of this page, thanking me for the warning and encouraging me to keep this page on-line. Click Here to read some of the e-mails.


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