The engine is the power machine of a car, literally converting energy, in the form of fuel, into movement, and is known as an internal combustion engine. The engine is made up of several components that all work together to enable combustion to occur and in turn the car to move.
The distributor has an important part to play in this process, helping to ensure that the voltage – needed in the spark plugs in order for ignition to occur – is delivered from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in synch with the firing order of the pistons. In some cases the distributor also powers the oil pump. The distributor is crucial to engine performance.
Usually the distributor is powered by a gear on the camshaft or joined to the camshaft. A distributor is made up of a distributor shaft along with a rotor contained within the distributor cap. The rotor rotates within the distributor cap and is joined to the ignition coil. Within the distributor cap there are a collection of contacts. As the rotor spins around inside the distributor cap, without coming into direct contact with the contacts, it reacts with each contact as it passes them. This connection between the rotor and the contacts causes a high voltage electrical burst in the ignition coil. This burst or pulse of energy arcs across the space between the rotor and the contact, reaching the spark plug wire it travels along this to the spark plug on the cylinder, enabling ignition.
It is not unusual for the cap and rotor to eventually wear out on the distributor. When replacing this part it is important to get a compatible replacement that will work well with your vehicle. Specifically manufactured for the make and model of your car, the distributor is the ideal choice, giving you a part that will install properly, perform well and last longer.