Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Buy a Good Quality Distributor Rotor and Cap

When your distributor cap or rotor goes bad you could be left stranded and unable to start your vehicle. The rotor is a whirling dervish of power distribution, transferring energy from the ignition coil, through the distributor cap, and finally to the spark plugs which initiate combustion. In other words, you need the distributor’s parts to function properly in order to start your car.

You may also experience other issues if the rotor or cap malfunctions, such as the car shaking or the engine struggling to turn over when you turn the key. Time, wear, and tear can affect the electrical contacts and other components of these crucial parts and cause failure. If it’s time to shop for a new distributor rotor and/or cap, there are some factors to take into consideration.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality distributor cap

  • Look for brass terminals. Aluminum terminals are cheaper but they tend to be more unreliable and don’t last as long.

  • Don’t sacrifice function for appearance. Some distributor caps may be slick looking but cost more than a more durable, plainer model.

  • Look for a warranty – you want a minimum of at least 3000 miles or 90 days in case there’s a problem with the part.

How to make sure you’re getting a good quality distributor rotor

  • Go for the brass contacts here too.

  • Choose a distributor rotor that minimizes electric over-arcing. This extends the life of the rotor.

  • Look for corrosion-resistant springs in spring-loaded rotors.

  • Choose a rotor that is impact-resistant, particularly if you’re an off-roader or engage in other high-intensity driving.

  • Make sure there’s a warranty. The better the part, typically the better the warranty. This is where you’ll have to balance your budget with quality and guarantee.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality distributor caps and rotors to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install distributor caps and rotors that you've purchased. Click here for a distributor cap/ rotor replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: Truck won't start -1997 GMC C1500

Hello. The description of the pop and then your car dying makes me check to see if the timing is correct. Distributors will sometimes shear their roll pins and the gear on the end of the distributor will spin. Sometimes...

Q: car shakes when put on brakes. is that rosters or pads? gonna need to get it fixed regardless

Vibration and/or shaking on application of the brakes is often due to faulty rotors (warped, or irregularly worn). If the rotors are replaced, of course the brake pads will have to be replaced as well. The recommended services to request...

Q: Camaro iroc z sat for 17 years... Won't start

The fuel in the tank is bad from sitting so long. The entire fuel system may need to be flushed and the carburetor rebuilt. This means that the fuel tank should be removed and cleaned. The fuel pump should also...