Newer vehicles now use individual coil packs, however, if you drive an older car, it may still contain an ignition distributor. The ignition distributor sits at the center of the ignition system and triggers the ignition coil which provides the spark plugs the voltage necessary to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine. The ignition distributor also ensures that the timing of all the individual ignition components is correct and that everything fires when it should.
The ignition distributor first sends battery voltage to the ignition coil. The ignition coil amplifies this voltage and sends it back to the ignition distributor. The distributor then sends this higher voltage to the spark plugs through an ignition wire, where it is used to ignite the air-fuel mixture. Inside the ignition distributor, a rotating rotor divides and delivers the electric voltage among the various spark plugs. There is also a distributor cap which protects the internal rotor and helps keep the connections to the spark plugs in place.
Signs of a bad ignition distributor
- Vehicle won’t start
- Engine misfires
- Engine stalls
- Check engine light illuminates
Ignition distributor maintenance
If you notice any of the above signs, get your engine inspected by a car care professional right away. A faulty ignition distributor will always be replaced. After replacement, your technician will likely run a test to ensure the ignition timing is correct.
The best way to get maintenance done on your ignition distributor is to book your appointment through CarAdvise. CarAdvise makes car care simple and guarantees that you’ll pay less than retail price on all car maintenance services.