Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Electronic Ignition Pickup

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Electronic ignition pickups are a component found on traditional electronic distributor ignition systems. They are located inside the distributor and function as the trigger for the ignition system to produce spark. The pickup coil monitors the rotation of the distributor and triggers the ignition system at the optimal moment to produce the best timed spark for best engine performance. As the ignition pickup essentially functions as the activation switch for the entire ignition system, when it fails, it can greatly affect the operation of the vehicle. Usually a problematic ignition pickup will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue that should be serviced.

Engine stalling

One of the first symptoms of a bad ignition pickup is an engine that stalls. An old or failing ignition pickup may cut out signal intermittently, which may cause the engine to stall. The engine may suddenly just shut off, almost as if the key had been turned off. Depending on the nature of the issue, sometimes the vehicle can be restarted and driven again after a brief period of time. However, this problem will persist and worsen until it is taken care of.

No start condition

Another common symptom of a bad or failing ignition pickup is a vehicle that does not start. If the ignition pickup fails, it will not provide the signal necessary for the vehicle’s ignition system to operate, and as a result the engine will not start or run.

While distributors have been mostly replaced with coil on plug and ignition systems on newer vehicles, they are still commonly found on many road going cars and trucks. If you suspect that your ignition pickup may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car needs a replacement electronic ignition pickup.


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Anthony

6 years of experience
4 reviews
Anthony
6 years of experience
Ford Edge - Car is not starting - Carmichael, California
Had my doubts about using your service. Anthony was a true professional with excellent communication and integrity which put my concerns at ease! I would/will definitely use Anthony & your mechanic for future mechanic needs.
GMC Sierra 1500 - Car is not starting - Sacramento, California
Anthony was friendly and very knowledgeable and professional and fixed my truck. I would highly recommend him to anyone

Arturo

26 years of experience
93 reviews
Arturo
26 years of experience
Ford Focus - Car is not starting - Chula Vista, California
He wasTimley kind and knowledgeable!! Didn’t overcharge me. This is huge in building trust. Will definitely use this service again
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - Car is not starting - San Diego, California
Very professional. Quickly diagnosed the problem and fixed it. I thought it was a larger problem but he only charged me for the actual problem, which is a testament to his integrity.

Rodric

13 years of experience
350 reviews
Rodric
13 years of experience
Nissan Maxima - Car is not starting - Atlanta, Georgia
Excellent mechanic! Very professional, timely and knowledgeable. He showed up with a can do attitude and diagnosed the problem immediately. I am VERY glad he is the one the company sent out. I am very serious about my car and he understood why the moment he saw it.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
156 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C300 - Car is not starting - Stone Mountain, Georgia
He arrived on time, did the work, made service recommendations, and cleaned behind himself. Can’t ask for much more than that.

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