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2nd Gen (93-97) I4 2.0L Discussion of Maint Issues for I4

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Old April 24th, 2002, 02:24 PM   #1
vasilli
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Age: 37
Posts: 317
what is a distributor cap and rotor?

i hear a lot of references to distributor cap and rotor and how ppl replace it at tune up. what are these two? what do they do (functionality)? should i replace mine? i.e. is it just a good idea to, or is it of utmost importance that i do, like say oil change.

does it improve performance in any way, or is it just a way to maintain the car?

tx.
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Old April 24th, 2002, 03:09 PM   #2
Dayv
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Oxford, OH
Posts: 632
I don't see how you could miss it when you did your plugs and wires but.....

Disty cap: round and usu. black w/ 5 posts - connected to the plug wires and coil.

Disty rotor: located under the cap. Spins (as the name implies) and makes contact w/ the posts to "distribute" the electric energy from the coil.

Either of these items can become worn or dirty causing a loss of the energy generated by the coil. This may cause a weak spark or worst case...no spark in one or more cylinders.

They should both be checked frequently but not as frequently as you change your oil. I usu. only replace mine once a year.

If you are going to do a major tune up, both should be near the top of your list. Neither is an expensive item.

I think there is some more info on items to be included in a tune up in the archive and in the sticky at the top of the page.
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