In a car, the distributor is responsible for distributing the high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct order.
It also houses the ignition module and pickup coil, which control the timing of the spark. Together, these components help ensure that your car starts and runs smoothly. Without a properly functioning distributor, your engine will misfire and may eventually fail altogether.
That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of what your car’s distributor does and how it works. By familiarizing yourself with this crucial component, you can help keep your car running like a well-oiled machine!
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How Does A Distributor Ignition System Work?
A distributor ignition system is a type of ignition system that uses a central distributor to provide the spark for each cylinder in an engine.
The distributor is driven by the engine’s camshaft, and it has a set of contacts that open and close as the camshaft turns.
As the contacts open, they allow current from the ignition coil to flow to the spark plugs. This current produces a spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders, providing power for the engine.
There are several advantages to using a distributor ignition system, including improved reliability and better performance at higher engine speeds.
However, one downside is that it can be more difficult to service than other types of ignition systems.
What Does The Distributor Do?
The engine’s distributor is responsible for sending the correct amount of electricity to the spark plugs at the right time. It is connected to the coil, which stores electrical energy until it is needed. The distributor has a rotating arm with contacts that connect to each spark plug in turn.
As the arm rotates, the contacts open and close in sequence, sending electricity to each plug in turn. The distributor also contains a device called a points plate, which controls the timing of the sparks. The points plate is opened and closed by a set of moving parts called a cam and followers. The cam is connected to the engine’s crankshaft, so it rotates at the same speed as the engine. As it rotates, it opens and closes the points in time with the engine’s cycles. This way, each spark plug fires at the correct moment, providing power to ignite the air-fuel mixture in each cylinder.
What Are The Different Types Of Ignition Systems?
There are three main types of ignition systems in use today: conventional, electronic, and computerized. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your car.
Conventional ignition systems
In a conventional ignition system, the voltage from the ignition coil is sent to the distributor, which in turn sends it to the correct cylinder. The distributor is basically a rotating switch that routes the voltage to each cylinder in turn. As the rotor spins, it makes contact with each of the spark plug wires in sequence, sending a high-voltage pulse to the correct spark plug at the correct time.
The firing order is determined by the sequence in which the cylinders are connected to the distributor. So, if you know the firing order of your engine, you can simply count around the distributor cap to find out which wire goes to which cylinder. In most cases, the firing order is stamped right on the engine itself, so it’s easy to find.
Electronic ignition systems
They were introduced in the 1970s, and they improve upon the conventional system by using a magnetic field to create a spark. This makes the system more efficient, but it also means that it’s more susceptible to interference from outside sources.
Computerized ignition systems
They use a computer to control the timing of the spark, which allows for greater precision and efficiency. We’ve come a long way since the days of the old mechanical ignition systems. Today’s computerized ignition systems are much more sophisticated, and they offer a number of advantages over their predecessors.
For one thing, they’re much more accurate, so you can be sure that your engine is getting the spark it needs at the precise moment. They’re also more fuel-efficient, so you can save money on gas. And because they’re computer-controlled, they’re also easier to tune and maintain.
What Sends A Spark To The Coil?
The ignition system in a car provides the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinders. In older cars, the ignition system consisted of points and a coil, while newer cars have replaced points with an electronic ignition.
Regardless of the type of ignition system, the basic principle is the same: A high voltage current is sent to the spark plug, causing a spark to jump across the gap and ignite the fuel. The coil is central to the ignition system, as it is responsible for generating the high voltage current. The current is generated by passing a low voltage current through a coil of wire. This Coil of wire is wrapped around an iron core, which amplifies the magnetic field and increases the amount of current that flows through the coil.
When the current flowing through the coil is suddenly interrupted, it produces a high voltage spark. This spark is then sent to the spark plug, where it ignites the air/fuel mixture and starts the engine.
What Is A Distributor Coil?
A distributor coil is a key component in a car’s ignition system. Its job is to deliver high voltage electricity to the spark plugs, which in turn ignites the air/fuel mixture in the engine. The coil is essentially a transformer that increases the voltage of the electricity coming from the battery. This higher voltage makes it easier for the spark plugs to ignite the mixture. Without a distributor coil, your car’s engine would not be able to start.
Do Diesel Engines Have Distributors?
The answer, simply put, is no – diesel engines do not have distributors. The reason is that the mixture of air diesel self ignites in the combustion chamber. Diesel engines don’t need spark plugs! That’s why there is no distributors system in a diesel engine.
However, diesel engines do have glow plugs which are used to warm up the combustion chamber when the engine is cold.
Passionate about the symphony of engines and the dance of gears, John is a car enthusiast-turned-wordsmith. With a penchant for transforming asphalt tales into captivating narratives, he navigates the lanes of automotive journalism with a blend of technical insight and poetic flair. Buckle up for a ride through his articles, where horsepower meets storytelling.