How To Test The Pick-Up Coil (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 2.5L Dodge Dakota)

This tutorial will help you test the pick-up coil located inside the distributor on the 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 2.5L SOHC Dodge Dakota.

The pick-up coil can easily be tested with just a multimeter and in this tutorial I'll show you how. With your test result you'll be able to find out if it's defective or not.

En Español You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar La Bobina Captadora (1990-1995 2.5L Dodge Dakota) (at: autotecnico-online.com).

The following wiring diagrams may come in handy:

  1. Ignition System Wiring Diagram (1990-1993 2.5L Dodge Dakota).
  2. 1994-1995 2.5L Dodge Dakota Ignition System Wiring Diagram.

Symptoms Of A Bad Pick-Up Coil

When the pick-up coil fails in your 2.5L Dodge Dakota, the engine is not gonna' start due to a lack of spark.

This is due to the fact that the fuel injection computer needs the pick-up coil's signal to start activating the ignition coil.

If the pick-up coil's signal is not present, then the fuel injection computer does not activate the igntion coil and your Dakota's engine does not start due to a lack of spark.

OBD I Trouble Code 11: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM

When the pick-up coil fails on your 1994-1995 2.5L Dodge Dakota, you may see the following trouble code registered in the fuel injection computer's memory:

  1. Code 11: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM.

Here's a brief explanation of what this trouble code is trying to tell you.

Trouble Code 11: No Crank Reference Signal At PCM: Tells you that your Dodge Dakota's fuel injection computer is NOT receiving a crankshaft position sensor signal (from the distributor's pick-up coil) when the engine is being cranked.

Trouble code 11 usually sets when the pick-up coil fails and does not generate its signal.

What Tools Do I Need To Test The Pick-Up Coil?

You don't need any expensive diagnostic equipment to accurately test the pick-up coil on your 2.5L Dodge Dakota. Here's a list of the things you'll need:

  1. Mulimeter.
    1. If you don't have one, check out my recommendation here: Buying A Digital Multimeter For Automotive Diagnostic Testing.
  2. Wire piercing probe or a back probe.
    1. You can see an example of this tool here: Wire Piercing Probe.
  3. Hand tools.

Circuit Descriptions Of The Pick-Up Coil

The pick-up coil is a 3-wire Hall Effect sensor. The connector on the pick-up coil itself has round male terminals (see photo 1 of 2). The engine wiring harness connector has round female terminals (see photo 2 of 2).

Below is a brief description of the three wires that connect to the distributor's pick-up coil (crankshaft position sensor).

Pick-Up Coil Connector
Pin Wire Color Description
1 Orange (ORG) 8 Volts
2 Black with light blue stripe (BLK/LT BLU) Sensor Ground
3 Gray with black stripe (GRY/BLK) Crankshaft Position Signal

You can check out the ignition system wiring diagram here:

  1. Ignition System Wiring Diagram (1990-1993 2.5L Dodge Dakota).
  2. 1994-1995 2.5L Dodge Dakota Ignition System Wiring Diagram.