Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Electronic Ignition Pickup

electronic ignition pickup

Bad or Failing Electronic Ignition Pickup Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

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.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

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.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: Rear bank of cylinders has no spark.

Hello. A no spark condition can be caused by a wide variety of issues. If the issues appear to be affecting an entire bank, that is an entire side of the engine, then it may be possible that there is...

Q: How do you calibrate the electronic compass?

Your car’s electronic compass (if equipped) should be calibrated when you buy it, but it may lose its calibration due to interference from power lines, strong magnetic fields or even from replacing the battery. When this happens, you need to...

Q: Overheated now cranks but won't start

This could mean a few different problems. However, it is likely depending on how hot your car's engine got as a result of the overheating may have been a blown head gasket, which will cause the vehicle to not start....