Ignite your vehicle the way it should be/ Equip your distributor with a sturdy distributor rotor and transmit high voltage pulses at the right time.
Your car's ignition system produces the high voltage electricity needed to start the engine. Its ignition coil amplifies the low current from the battery into tens of thousands of volts. The distributor then transfers these high-volt pulses to the spark plugs at the cylinders. But to transmit current to the spark plugs at the right time, the distributor needs a rotating part called the distributor rotor.
Mounted on the distributor shaft, the ignition rotor spins inside the distributor cap as fast as the camshaft or at half the speed of the crankshaft. As it rotates, the rotor arm transmits the electric current to a number of points in the distributor cap. Because there's really no contact between the rotor and these points, the electrical spark only "jumps" from the tip of the rotor to the cap terminals, all the way to the spark plugs. Given this crucial function, the distributor rotor must always be in tiptop condition. A rusty or worn-out rotor will just create misfires in your ignition system.
The success of the ignition process heavily depends on the rotor. So if you notice that your rotor is acting up, it's about time to have it inspected and probably replaced. It's ideal to replace the rotor together with the distributor cap for ensured performance. And lest you risk your ignition system, get only original equipment replacement parts from trustworthy stores.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Distributor Rotor
Understanding how your automobile produces its own power is easy once you're familiar with the ignition system. The ignition system is an assembly of auto parts that initiates the operations of your vehicle's engine, setting your entire vehicle into motion. Before high-voltage electricity from the ignition coil can make it to the spark plugs (and into the engine's cylinders for fuel ignition), the electric current first passes through the distributor rotor. The rotor is responsible for sending electric sparks to the spark plug wires connected to the distributor cap. More importantly, the distributor rotor transfers energy to the spark plug wires in the correct order and at the right timing. Properly-timed fuel combustion allows your vehicle's engine to perform at its best. So when the engine starts producing less power, check the distributor rotor for signs of damage. And if the damage happens to be beyond repair, don't worry. We've got the best choices for your vehicle's next distributor rotor waiting at our online catalogs.
• Works as the actual distributor of high voltage from the ignition coil
• Rotates past each terminal in the distributor cap without actually touching the terminal, for safe voltage transfer
• Guarantees properly-timed fuel ignition
Finding the Right Distributor Rotor for your Ride
Underneath the distributor cap, the rotor spins to distribute the spark to respective cylinders. If the rotor fails to spin properly, spark timing will be disrupted, causing your car to stall. A bad distributor rotor also makes your car shake drastically and your engine unable to turn over. You don't want to experience such driving inconveniences, do you? So, you'd better replace your distributor rotor at the right interval or as soon as you observe the first sign of failure. Since it is crucial to your ignition system, you have to make sure that the replacement you'll get is efficient enough and will offer the best value for your bucks.
Contact material: brass vs. steel
The rotor spins past several contacts to pass on the high voltage coming from the coil into the right cylinder, so you should purchase a replacement that's outfitted with high-quality contact material. It must be corrosion resistant and precision machined to ensure precise gap for accurate delivery of spark. The most common distributor rotor contact materials are:
Brass. Since brass is a tensile metal, rotor contacts made from it won't easily break and succumb to corrosion. Compared to steel, brass is also better in conducting heat and energy.
Steel. Distributor rotor contacts that are made out of steel are more durable, and they ensure longer fatigue life.
Other factors to consider
If the rotor is spring loaded, make sure that the springs are resistant to corrosion and are able to provide unrestricted flow of energy. Rotors with features or materials that protect them against arcing and cross firing are a great buy.
If you often use your ride in demanding driving conditions, such as racing and off-roading, you should purchase an impact-resistant rotor.
Most of the time, a rotor that's backed by longer manufacturer warranty is more durable than the ones that are offered with the industry-mandated standard warranty for auto parts.
If you're a novice DIYer, it pays to get a rotor that ensures easy installation, with no modifications required.
The product's features, quality, and warranty will determine if it is worth your bucks. While high-quality and durable units come more expensive, they can save you from frequently replacing your rotor in the future. So if you don't want to end up spending more in the long run, you'd better shell out extra bucks now for a superior-quality rotor.
Distributor Rotor: Getting Rid of your Gone-Bad Unit to Make Way for a New One
Is your car shaking more than normal when in idle? It could be because the rotor within the distributor cap has gone bad. If the rotor fails to spin properly, ignition timing will be disrupted, making your vehicle stall or the engine unable to turn over. If this happens, you'd better get rid of your gone-bad rotor and have it replaced with a new one.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you'll need:
- Replacement rotor
- Socket set
Step 1: Park your vehicle in a well-lit, clutter-free area. Put your gloves on and open the hood.
Step 2: Disengage the negative battery cable. Using a wrench, loosen the bolt and detach the clamp that secures the spark plugs in place. Pull out the spark plugs. Mark the wires first before you take them off the cap. Slowly remove the cap from the distributor.
Step 3: Remove the rotor from the distributor by dismantling it. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws. Lift the rotor from the shaft and set it aside.
Step 4: Check the new rotor before you place it in the shaft. It must be clean and all its parts must be intact. Install the replacement rotor in place and secure it with screws.
Step 5: Reinstall the cap onto the distributor. With a screwdriver, securely snap the cap into its place. Reconnect the wires you've taken off in Step 2. Since they were marked, it will be easy for you to plug these wires into the right slots.
Step 6: Reconnect the cable to the battery's negative terminal to reestablish connection with the battery.
Step 7: Insert the spark plugs into their respective spots. This is actually the most crucial part of distributor rotor installation because it can harm the engine if not done properly.
Step 8: Put the clamp back into its place. Using a wrench, tighten the bolts to secure the clamp.
Step 9: Close the hood and start the engine to find out if your new distributor rotor works well. Take your ride out for a test drive.
Replacing the distributor rotor should actually be part of your routine maintenance. It pays to replace the distributor cap and rotor every time you change your spark plugs and ignition wires. It's a good thing that in most vehicles, this task can be accomplished in a breeze even by a novice DIYer.