Car Problem Reports

Toyota Camry "No start" Due to Pickup Coil Failure Inside Distributor

Toyota Camry Problem
42 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

Engine Affected: 2.2L 4 Cylinder

Average Mileage: 194,708 mi (100,000 mi - 345,768 mi)


The pickup coil inside the distributor can fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributor which can short out. It is recommended to replace the whole distributor with a complete genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 140,000 mi

    Tricky to diagnose coil failure because you may still have a spark at the plug and think it is some other problem, but in fact the spark is too weak to provide ignition. At 190,000 miles I had the same symptoms (car cranks normally, sounds like the engine wants to catch but never does) So I replaved the coil again, didn't fix it, and after further research learned about the stupid radio filter capacitor inside the distributor will overheat, and the potting will melt. This allows the capacitor to ground out the whole ignition system so the car won't start. Rather than removing the coil again to gain access to the capacitor, I just cut the wire lead from the capacitor going to the terminal connection. Thuis solved the problem. Crazy. For those old enough to remember mechanical distributors, this capacitor was called a condesor and served the same purpose - eliminate radio interference from the distibutor. By the way, cutting the lead did not affect the radio at all!!

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  • chef d, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 140,000 mi

    the car runs great but only for about 10 miles. then it shuts down as if there is no ignition. after it cools dow for awhile it starts again

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 157,000 mi

    I was driving on the freeway (rush hour traffic, of course) when all of a sudden the engine just died. Will not start. Turns over. Further checking reveals not only no spark at the plug, but also no spark going into distributor. AHHHHH!!!

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 274,000 mi

    blown fuse on am2 circuit, traced short to noise suppressor in distributor, replaced distributor w/reman.

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 298,000 mi

    Engine couldn't start, no spark

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 172,000 mi

    starts runs fine for 2-ten mins. then dies ; wait 2-3 min restarts then dies. removed capacitor inside distributor

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 250,000 mi

    While driving the car after it was warmed up it would just stop. Could not start again until it cooled down. Let car idle in driveway for about a half hour and it stopped. Checked for spark and there was none. Waited about 15 min and it was back. Replaced complete distributor and car runs great. This has happened twice to this car. First around 140,000 mi and then around 230,000 mi.

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  • speedrover, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 163,522 mi

    Ran like it was onlt using 3 cylinders. Replaced Distributor

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder, 100,000 mi

    Also had this problem right after I bought car (used). $200 plus $50 tow for a $10 part.

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  • Visitor, , 2.2L 4 Cylinder

    car turned off while driving, will try with new distributor.

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