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What Are the Impacts of a Bad Distributor?

November 17, 2021
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What Are the Impacts of a Bad Distributor?


A distributor is a rotating shaft that is used for spark-ignition and for sending currents to the spark plug which eventually starts the engine. Hence, because it has such an important function, it is essential to ensure that the condition of a distributor is always in a good working condition.

A distributor that is out of order often showcases several signs that can be identified easily. Following are some of the signs you need to look out for if you have a bad distributor. Looking out before time can be helpful in many ways so continue reading and find out more!

How do you know that your distributor is out of order?

  1. Engine Misfiring:

If your engine starts to misfire you can check your distributor and see whether or not it is in order. The distributor is a very important part of the automotive ignition system as it regulates the engines firing order and hence due to this, it can lead to misfiring when it is out of order as not enough power is being supplied.

  1. Difficulty in Starting the Car:

When the distributor has malfunctioned the spark plug will automatically make it difficult for the vehicle to be started as it will be unable to send the spark and power. Moreover, it can also put drivers in a situation where they can experience rough idle or cause extreme difficulty in starting the car or not let it start at all.

In low-temperature areas, this is quite common due to a lack of protection. Hence keep checking and inspecting the distributor to ensure this doesn’t happen.

  1. Inexplicable Shaking:

If your car starts shaking inexplicably and unusually then know that your distributor is out of order and is faulty. This shaking could either be a slight vibration or a fully-fledged shaking of the vehicle. Hence shaking is common when there is a bad distributor.

  1. Squealing at a High Pitch:

Another symptom of a bad distributor is when your vehicle makes a squealing noise at a high pitch. Often this happens due to contamination of the distributor cap by various pollutants and grease. This problem can be resolved by simply cleaning the distributor, however, if it continues to squeal despite this then you may be required to replace your distributor with a new one.

  1. Check Engine Light Comes On:

Lastly, when you can see that the check engine light of your vehicle has come on then it could be because of a bad distributor. Hence, this is the time when you need professional help and need to get your vehicle inspected.

How to inspect a bad distributor?

Here are some ways through which you can check whether or not your vehicle has a bad distributor.

Firstly, inspect the distributor cap to see the sparks and check them. The cap should not have been contaminated neither should it be rusted nor worn out. Sometimes the problem is due to a buildup of carbon that occurs inside the distributor.

Secondly, inspect the contact points. The condenser needs to be inspected thoroughly as a broken condenser does not allow the engine to work.

Thirdly, the arc should be inspected as well. Each wire of the distributor should be inspected and checked.

How can you replace a bad distributor?

The first step in replacing a distributor is by preparing all the material and equipment that you require. Then go ahead and crank the engine. Once this is done you can remove the bad distributor and change it with the new one. In the end, check if it is all working smoothly whether the task has been done correctly.

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