How Often Should the Ignition System Be Inspected? | YourMechanic Advice

How Often Should the Ignition System Be Inspected?

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Your ignition system is a critical part of both your car and daily driving experience. If it isn't working correctly, you could experience anything from poor engine operation to engine stall or failure to start. It’s critical that you keep your ignition in good shape, and part of that is having it inspected on a regular basis.

How often should the ignition be inspected?

First, understand that there’s no hard and fast rule here. There are several types of ignition systems out there, and each has its own service interval.

  • Conventional Ignition: If you have an older car that still uses a distributor cap and points, then you’ll need to have your system inspected (and tuned up) roughly every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. These are the most maintenance intensive systems, but they’re very rare these days.

  • Electronic Ignition: If your car has an electronic ignition, meaning that there’s an electronic ignition module, and you have no points, then you should have the system inspected and tuned up roughly every 25,000 miles or so.

  • Distributor-less Ignition: After about 1990 or so, many automakers switched to using a distributor-less ignition system. There are no mechanical components here, and the system is controlled by the car’s computer. Service intervals vary significantly, but many automakers recommend every 100,000 miles.

If you have a conventional ignition, you can count on having it inspected with every other oil change. However, if you have an electronic ignition or a distributor-less ignition, things are less clear. The best rule of thumb in this instance is to have your system inspected when you notice the engine not running correctly. These symptoms include:

  • Rough idling
  • Stalling
  • Spitting and sputtering under acceleration
  • Difficulty cranking
  • No start (with a known good battery, starter and alternator)

Make sure to have your ignition system inspected by a professional mechanic who understands the type of ignition your car uses.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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