How To Tell If Traeger Hot Rod Is Bad [Hot Rod Test]

Want to find out if your hot rod (aka Traeger igniter rod) has gone bad? Luckily for you, I’m going to explain how to tell if your hot rod is bad and what you can do about it.

Table of Contents

How to Tell if A Traeger Grill Hot Rod Is Bad? [Hot Rod Test]

It’s really easy to test your Traeger hot rod and tell whether it’s bad. It is so easy that you will not even need to disassemble your grill.

Follow the test procedure below, and you’ll be golden!

Step 1:

Remove the grill grates, and set them aside.

Step 2:

Remove the drip tray, and set it aside.

Step 3:

Remove the heat baffle that covers the firepot, and set it aside.

Step 4:

Plug in your grill and flick the power switch.

Step 5:

Turn your grill onto the highest setting.

Step 6:

Open the lid and take and take a look at the hot rod.

Is the igniter rod glowing red (like the element in a toaster)? 

  • Glowing: the hot rod is good.
  • Not glowing: the hot rod is not working as it should and has probably gone bad.

Step 7:

Shut down your grill, unplug it, and reassemble it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should It Take For The Hot Rod To Glow Red?

Your hot rod should only take a couple of minutes (max. 5 minutes) to reach temperature and turn red.

For this to happen, you must ensure that the Traeger has been turned on and cranked up to the highest temperature.

How Long Should A Traeger Hot Rod Last?

According to Traeger, a hot rod should last between one and two years.

It’s safe to assume that the more you use your grill, the quicker the hot rod will burn out. Also, keeping your grill clean, some simple maintenance, and storing it away from the elements can help prolong the life expectancy of the hot rod.

Do Traeger Hot Rods Have a Warranty?

Traeger offers a one-year warranty on the hot rod from the date of purchase. The warranty covers “material and manufacturing defects”.

However, if the defective hot rod is due to neglect or misuse (e.g., the grill wasn’t maintained or sheltered from the elements), the warranty will likely be void.

How Do You Fix a Traeger Hot Rod?

If your hot rod is bad, it’s not worth trying to fix the defective part. It likely burned out and is good for the trash can. You should replace the defective hot rod instead.

In fact, trying to repair a defective hot rod is a bad idea! You could injure yourself (risk of electrocution or burn), damage other electrical and electronic grill components (if you cause a short circuit, for example), and you may void the warranty on the entire grill.

If your hot rod is still under the 1-year warranty, contact Traeger. They should send you a replacement part, which you can easily replace on your own.

If your hot rod is no longer under warranty, source a replacement hot rod yourself – preferably an original part from Traeger. At roughly $20, it’s a small price to pay to get your grill working again.

My Final Thoughts

A bad hot rod is a bummer! But before changing it, use the simple hot rod troubleshooting test above.

If a bad hot rod is confirmed, don’t try to fix the damaged component. It’s not worth it and could, in fact, do more harm than good. Replace the part with a new one instead.

If your hot rod is still under warranty, Traeger will supply you with a replacement. If your warranty has lapsed, you can source a replacement directly from Traeger (or elsewhere).


I’m Glen, an ordinary guy with an extraordinary passion for grilling. I was recently gifted a Traeger wood pellet grill for my birthday. I knew little about setting up, operating, cooking with, or maintaining a Traeger grill. I started this website to document my findings as I learn to "master the flames".

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