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Ignition / Preheating: Car parts catalogue

Ignition / Preheating: ignition distributor cap

How to detect the distributor cap failure

If you suspect that the part has failed, examine it. If its surface is cracked or burnt-out, it is indicative of a failure. Besides, assess the state of terminals. If they are damaged or worn out, the cap requires replacement. Sometimes microcracks appearing on the component housing are not visible without special equipment. You have to contact a service station to check for their presence or absence.

You may identify that the distributor cap has to be inspected by the following symptoms:

  • fuel consumption has increased;
  • the engine starts with difficulty, its operation is unstable;
  • while the engine is running, the rpms decrease;
  • condensed water accumulates inside the part.

Causes of the distributor cap failure

Often, the component fails due to the wear of its elements, in particular, eventually a graphite sliding contact can rub off. If the part has been exposed to damp environment for a prolonged time, the contacts can oxidize.

An intensive mechanical impact can lead to damage or breakage of the spring of the graphite contact, as well as cracking of the cap. Mistakes made when connecting the wires to the cap terminals can result in abrasion of the latter or the part burnout.


Replacement of the distributor cap

A faulty distributor cap is not repairable. In case of a failure, the part has to be replaced. You can do it on your own. The replacement procedure is as follows:

  1. Detach all fasteners and wires from the defective part.
  2. Remove the component and place a new one in its place, marking it beforehand. This will help to prevent errors, since each wire leads to a certain engine cylinder, and it is essential to maintain this compliance during installation.
  3. Fasten the part and connect wiring to it.
  4. Treat the part with special sealant. This will help prolong the part service life.
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