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Electronic Ignition Pickup Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your electronic ignition pickup replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your electronic ignition pickup replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does an electronic ignition pickup replacement cost?

The average total cost for an electronic ignition pickup replacement is $134, including $30 for parts and $104 for labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The total parts cost includes a new electronic ignition pickup but you might also need a new ignition coil, ignition cable, or set of spark plugs. As for the labor costs, it takes around 0.9 hours hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, diagnose the problem, and complete an electronic ignition pickup replacement.
Here’s how much you’ll pay to replace an electronic ignition pickup in some popular vehicle models:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 20, 2024
Ford Econoline
$191
$60
$132
1.2 Hours
May 15, 2024
Genesis G80
$212
$60
$153
1.2 Hours
May 12, 2024
Fiat 500L
$206
$60
$147
1.2 Hours
May 8, 2024
Maserati Quattroporte
$224
$60
$164
1.2 Hours
May 8, 2024
BMW Z4
$210
$60
$150
1.2 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do you need for an electronic ignition pickup replacement?

With fewer moving parts, fewer emissions, and greater reliability, the electronic ignition system grew to replace the old “contact breaker” (aka “breaker points”) ignition system in the 1970s. As the name suggests, most of the major parts are electronic.
Here’s a map of what happens under the hood when you start a car with an electronic ignition system:
  1. The
    ignition switch
    ($5-$2,800) completes the ignition system circuit and fires up the engine when you push the ignition button. Hitting the ignition switch again will interrupt the circuit and shut down the engine.
  2. The
    car battery
    ($90-$700) supplies the raw power in the ignition system. When the circuit is completed by the switch, the car battery sends a low-voltage current towards the electronic control module to distribute to the ignition coil.
  3. The
    ignition coils
    ($15-$910) transform the 12-14V current of the car battery into 60-120,000 volts of raw power.
  4. The electronic ignition pickup (also known as the “pickup coil”) ($6-$250), armature, and rotor are part of the distributor or distributor cap, which controls the timing of your engine firing. If the distributor was a lock, the armature would be the key, and the pickup coil the barrel. As the rotor turns the armature, it contacts the pickup coil and opens and closes the paths to the spark plugs, sending electricity in well-timed bursts.
  5. Ignition cables ($4-$805) are the wire pathways between the ignition coils and the engine cylinders. The voltage created by the ignition coils and timed by the distributor pass through them to the spark plugs.
  6. Spark plugs
    ($2-$65) shoot a high-voltage bolt of power across a small gap in each of the vehicle engine’s cylinders, igniting the mixture of air and fuel inside at just the right time. These electrical explosions bring your car’s engine to life like a mechanical Frankenstein.
You can buy all the parts you need at auto part stores such as AutoZone or NAPA Auto Parts. You could also purchase them online from websites such as Amazon and eBay. 
Some popular brands of ignition switches are Standard Motor Products, ACDelco, and Dorman. For car batteries, Optima, ACDelco and DieHard are reputable brands. When shopping for an ignition control module, you may want to consider ACDelco, Standard Motor Products and Delphi. Bosch, Delphi and ACDelco are recommended ignition coil brands, and NGK Denso and ACDelco are recommended ignition cable/spark plug wire brands. NGK, Denso and Bosch are popular spark plug brands. The correct parts for your vehicle depend on the type of vehicle you drive. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to ensure you’re purchasing the proper parts. 
Keep in mind To repair your car’s electronic ignition system, you may require a new ignition pickup coil, as well as a replacement ignition coil, set of ignition cables, or set of spark plugs.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts cost much more than aftermarket parts but often include better warranties. For example, if a certified Toyota mechanic installs a genuine electronic ignition pickup in your car, you’ll get a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty. The average cost of parts is even higher for luxury makes like Audi or Mercedes-Benz. That being said, some aftermarket performance parts manufacturers offer as much, if not more, quality as OEM parts.
You can buy replacement parts at automotive body shops, parts shops, dealerships, or online stores like Autozone or Amazon. If you prefer OEM parts, you can also try your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Just about every automaker sells OEM parts online. Check your owner’s manual for any crucial specifications so you don’t buy the wrong part.
Some popular brands of ignition switches are Standard Motor Products, ACDelco, and Dorman. For car batteries, Optima, ACDelco and DieHard are reputable brands. When shopping for an ignition control module, you may want to consider ACDelco, Standard Motor Products and Delphi. Bosch, Delphi and ACDelco are recommended ignition coil brands, and NGK Denso and ACDelco are recommended ignition cable/spark plug wire brands. NGK, Denso and Bosch are popular spark plug brands.

Where can I get my electronic ignition pickup replaced?

Finding the right place to get your timing belt replaced can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a go-to mechanic. Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can help you compare costs from over 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates* from each shop using their real hourly labor rate. With Jerry's GarageGuard, you can find out if you’ll need to budget for diagnostic fees (and if it’s included in the service cost), and you’ll receive real reviews to help you choose the best service.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
117 Reviews
Sandalwood Car Care
address
10675 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL
Electronic Ignition Pickup Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$178
(Parts - $35, Labor - $143)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$125
153 Reviews
John Nolan Auto Service
address
15 E 4th St, Newport, Cincinnati, OH
Electronic Ignition Pickup Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$165
(Parts - $35, Labor - $130)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
171 Reviews
Vandorn Auto Repair
address
4938C Eisenhower Ave, Springfield, VA
Electronic Ignition Pickup Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$220
(Parts - $35, Labor - $185)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$170
171 Reviews
AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care - Hackensack
address
254 River St, Alpine, NJ
Electronic Ignition Pickup Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$195
(Parts - $35, Labor - $160)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my pickup coil?

A skilled mechanic should be able to complete your pickup coil replacement in a little time with the right equipment. Take your car to a garage and they will:
  1. Disconnect the car battery and remove the distributor cap and rotor from the ignition coil
  2. Remove the distributor cap and rotor from the ignition coil with the faulty ignition pickup
  3. Remove the old pickup coil by disconnecting the wires
  4. Install the new pickup coil and reconnect the wiring
  5. Replace the distributor cap and rotor
  6. Reconnect the car battery
  7. Test the car’s electronic ignition system and driving

What happens when a pickup coil goes bad?

If your electronic ignition pickup isn’t working properly, your engine may not run properly and you may feel surges of power. 
Eventually, if you don’t do an electronic ignition pickup replacement, it will stop working altogether and your engine won’t start. This could leave you stranded until you can get your car in for service.
You don’t need to pull over and call a tow truck right away. But if you’re feeling intermittent surges or power loss, take your car to a mechanic at your earliest convenience. They can diagnose and repair the problem before it becomes worse.

What is an electronic ignition pickup replacement?

An electronic ignition pickup replacement is a service related to your car’s electronic ignition system. It involves replacing the coil that directs and times bursts of electricity to the spark plugs, which then ignite fuel in your car’s engine cylinders. If the pickup coil of an ignition coil is damaged or doesn’t work properly, your engine won’t be able to fire consistently or run smoothly. In this case, you’ll need to get an electronic ignition pickup replacement.

How can you tell if a pickup coil is bad?

Because pickup coils help regulate the firing of engine’s cylinders, a faulty pickup coil will result in inconsistent car power and engine performance issues. Here’s what to watch for:
  1. An engine that turns over but won’t start
  2. Surges of power while driving
  3. Sudden losses of power while driving
  4. Backfiring or stalling
Key Takeaway A failing ignition pickup coil doesn’t always trigger a check engine light; if you can’t start your car, or you experience surges and losses of power while driving, take your car to a mechanic.

How long does an electronic ignition pickup coil last?

Electronic ignition pickup coils have no definite life expectancy. Check them when you check your spark plugs; 30,000-50,000 for copper and nickel plugs, and 60,000-150,000 miles for platinum or iridium plugs. Spotting and replacing a faulty pickup coil will preserve your car’s condition better than if you wait for a problem to develop and then address it.

Can I replace an electronic ignition pickup coil myself?

Assuming you have some experience (or detailed instructions) regarding electronic ignition systems, you can complete an electronic ignition pickup coil on your own. It’s a simple DIY job that requires only basic equipment. The biggest challenge, as with any repair concerning electronic parts, is keeping track of the wires and making sure you don’t shock yourself.

FAQs

Pickup coils can be repaired, but the difficulty of said repairs varies. External wires are easy to restore, but inner corroded wires aren’t. You might have to remove the entire length of wire, from beginning to end, and rewind it for a repair.
You can probably still drive your car with a single faulty ignition coil, but it could eventually result in engine damage. Most cars have one ignition coil per engine cylinder. If you’ve got an inline-four, that means your engine could misfire 25% of the time—much more noticeable than a problem in a V6, for example. Regardless of how smooth your ride is, a misfiring cylinder can eventually cause damage to your engine and catalytic converter (both of which are very expensive to fix).
We recommend replacing all your spark plugs and ignition coils at the same time, especially if you’re using a garage for the service. Barring any unexpected and localized damage, these parts generally wear out at about the same time, and replacing them proactively can prevent engine problems from developing. Plus, it’s cheaper to ask a mechanic to replace several parts at once rather than making multiple visits to the garage.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.