Car and Truck Distributors and Parts
The distributor houses the igniting process that is necessary for an internal combustion engine to run. Specifically, this auto part manages the secondary voltage transfer that burns the fuel the vehicle requires to operate. When your car and truck distributors and parts no longer operate in a particular order and according to a specific time frame, there are replacements available.What does the distributor do?
The distributor is responsible for passing the electrical current from the ignition coils to the engine cylinders. This process ignites the mixture of fuel and air located inside and powers the engine. In some cars, the distributor shaft may also operate the oil pump.
The following automotive parts handle the bulk of the responsibility for the voltage transfer:
- Cap: The cap covers and protects the internal auto parts of the distributor.
- Rotor: The ignition coil connects to the rotor, and the rotor rotates inside the cap.
The auto parts used in a distributor are continually subjected to high levels of electricity. Such exposure can cause the parts to deteriorate. A faulty distributor will display certain symptoms that can alert you to a part's problem. Look for these issues to determine whether your vehicle needs service.
- The car won't start: The spark can't be sent, and thus, the ignition cannot complete if the cap is loose or malfunctioning.
- The check engine light comes on: A check engine light can be used to alert a driver to any number of parts issues. When combined with engine misfiring or engine noise, it can indicate a distributor problem that needs to be addressed.
- The engine misfires: Check the cap and rotor to ensure everything is working properly.
- The engine becomes noisy: Tapping, sputtering, or clicking sounds may occur when the cylinders can't fire. This can be caused by an issue with the cap or rotor parts.
How you remove a cap will depend on the way the cap is held in place. Some caps are tightened with screws and others with clips. Always refer to your automotive service manual for exact details on parts removal as there are possible variations.
However, here are the basic steps for removing the cap.
- Disconnect the battery.
- Release the cap by prying apart the retaining clips or removing the screws.
- Detach the rotor arm and remove the dust shield. Replace the rotor arm, but only if the vehicle has a dust shield.
- Check to ensure you've marked the position of the high-tension lead connected to the body of the distributor, which is the lead that is used for timing and is usually the number one cylinder. Variations can occur depending on the make and model.
- Take off the distributor cap and the spark plug cables.