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Home >   How To >   How to Repair Distributor

How to Repair Distributor


The distributor repair "How To" section of our site is here to help when you need that little bit of extra knowledge to get your project up and running. From the list below select the video or article that is related to info for the product line desired.


  How does a Distributor Work
  Understanding Ignition Timing




The ignition distributor is a crucial electrical component in your car's engine. The distributor carries out several functions. The first and foremost responsibility of the ignition distributor is to distribute the high voltage from the ignition coil to the appropriate cylinder. The voltage is distributed with help from the cap and rotor mechanism. The coil is attached to the rotor, which spins inside the cap. The rotor spins inside the distributor passing each contact for each corresponding cylinder. When the rotor spins past one of the contacts, it distributes an electrical pulse from the coil. The pulse continues down the spark plug wire to the spark plug of the respective cylinder.


Defective caps and rotors are a common problem in most vehicles. They begin to wear down over time from spinning and passing the electric charge to the cylinders. When you are getting your engine serviced, it is important to have your mechanic inspect and ensure that your ignition distributor is in good working condition. The insulation on spark plug wires will also wear down over time. Problems with your ignition distributor can cause all sorts of engine problems such as engine misfiring and stalling.


In older cars, there was a single ignition coil that provided the electrical pulse to all the different cylinders. That is why an ignition distributor was necessary. The distributor took the power from one coil and passed it to all the cylinders. However, in modern cars, the ignition distributor has been removed and the ignition is controlled electronically. Each spark plug has one ignition coil, or one ignition coil controls two spark plugs.


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