There are many ceramic capacitors failure modes that a device can experience. These include over-heating, overheating, over-shorting, over-clipping, thermal failure, chemical failure, and mechanical failure. We will go over each of these to help you determine the most common cause and how to handle it.
Ceramic Capacitor Failure Modes
Over-heating happens when one or more parts of a device get hot and start to overheat. This normally occurs when a device is being overvolted. Overheating occurs even on a relatively cool part of the device’s high voltage resistors. Overheating usually occurs on devices that have an AC dependency, such as servos and relays. Although a thermal failure will cause ceramic capacitors to fail, the most common way to fail ceramic devices is mechanical.
Over clipping happens when a capacitor charge becomes too high and will try to charge again. The problem often comes from thermal expansion in an area that is void of any electrical energy. This means that the electrolytic plates within the area will try to jump back to their resting point which can cause them to burn-up and fail. The third failure mode is mechanical failure, which can occur when a part will just keep breaking down. If this happens, you should consider replacing the part with a new one.