What is the Electronic Ignition Pickup?
Electricity is a major player in your vehicle’s operation. A spark of electricity is made by the spark plug which ignites fuel in the engine’s cylinders. The spark is directed to the correct spark plug by the distributor’s electronic ignition pickup. Inside the distributor, an electrical device known as the electronic ignition pickup senses the position of the distributor and communicates that information with the engine control module. The engine control module uses this information to decide when the ignition coil should send an electrical pulse, which is directed to a specific cylinder’s spark plug to ignite the fuel and create engine power.
If the electronic ignition pickup stops functioning, or if wiring to the ignition pickup coil is damaged or corroded, the engine will simply turn over but not run. A no-start condition is usually preceded by an intermittent surging feeling or loss of power before the ignition pickup fails completely. Typically, the Check Engine light will not come on to indicate an electronic ignition problem.
Facts to Note:
The engine can fail to start as a result of the electronic ignition pickup, but the pickup is not the only probable cause. One of your expert technicians will need to analyze your no-start condition for an accurate repair.
A failing electronic ignition pickup can be hard to detect. Any rough running or surging engine conditions should be analyzed for possible ignition pickup problems.
How to Fix:
The battery is disconnected
The old electronic ignition pickup is removed
The new electronic ignition pickup is installed
The vehicle battery is reconnected
The vehicle electronic ignition pickup is checked for proper operation
During your engine’s spark plug replacement and tune-up, the ignition system performance should be checked as well. If the electronic ignition pickup is diagnosed as faulty, one of our expert technicians will need to replace it.
Common signs indicating you may need to change the Electronic Ignition Pickup:
Engine will turn over but not start.
Engine will alternate surging and a loss of power when driving.
Importance of this service:
If the electronic ignition pickup works erratically, your engine will run poorly or surge. Once it fails completely, your engine will not run. To prevent being stranded by a car that will not run, have a suspected electronic ignition pickup problem analyzed and fixed before this happens.