Why would you need to replace your distributor rotor?
Compared to the time it takes to properly diagnose a faulty distributor rotor, replacing it is actually quite easy. The symptoms are the same as a bad cap, spark plug, or ignition wire, but you will usually get some indication that one of these parts is bad by looking at, and listening to, them as the engine is running. Funny clicking noises that don't sync with your cars timed ignitions are usually a good indicator that the spark that is responsible for igniting the air/fuel mix in the combustion chamber is having a difficult time making all of its connections. Sometimes this is caused by either corrosion or heat exposure. You might see that same crusty white or green residue that old batteries develop if moisture gets to them. And if you see a crack in the cap, then you are almost in need of other ignition parts as well. If this is left unchecked, then eventually one of your cylinders simply won't fire at all. This will rob your engine of much-needed power, making it far less efficient and harder to drive. And since a new distributor rotor is relatively inexpensive, there's no good reason not to fix it at the first sign of trouble.
How important is the rotor inside your distributor?
The distributor shaft rotates along with the camshaft, and as it does it triggers the points to release the ignition pulse to the distributor rotor. As it turns, it makes contact with the underside of posts on the distributor cap. At each of these posts a wire is connected which leads to a spark plug at the cylinder that ignites the air/fuel. This process is repeated thousands and thousands of times during each trip you take in your car, and its efficiency is partially dependent on the contact surface of the distributor rotor being in a precise location at the appropriate time. If it's not, your engine timing will surely suffer.
D.I.Y., as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Have no fear; replacing a distributor rotor is super simple. There are a few important steps to take to prepare for the job, but it should only take a few minutes.
First, you want to label each spark plug wire that leads away from the cap. Put a small sticker around the wire, and write the number of the cylinder that it leads to on that sticker. This will make it easy to reconnect the cap once you have put it back on.
Next, unplug all the wires and pop off the cap. It should be held in place by one or two clamps.
Now the rotor should be exposed. You can simply pull it off the post. Take note of the index slot on the bottom, as your new distributor rotor will have to be replaced in the same position.
Finally, reinstall all the components in reverse order. Often times, a new cap is installed at this time.
Get your ignition going, head out on the highway.
Just because distributor rotors are simple and inexpensive, doesn't mean they are all created equally. Electrical components, especially the ones in your ignition system, all serve a precise function and must be of the best quality. Keep in mind, your engine operates at a very high temperature. The last thing you want is a super cheap distributor rotor that will melt after only a few months. At Car Parts Discount, we carry top quality aftermarket parts from name brand manufacturers as well as original equipment parts. So when you need to get replacement parts for your car or truck, look no further.