Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Buy a Good Quality Distributor Rotor and Cap

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

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Timing Belt
Common signs include a ticking noise coming from the engine, an engine that won't turn over, engine misfires, and oil leaking in front of the motor.
How Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...
How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...

Related questions

Q: Distributor cap missing screw so I put a hex self tapped screw

You probably did not install the distributor correctly. The position of the rotor must be noted and matched to the engine block before distributor removal, otherwise the timing will not be correct. To make things right, the #1 cylinder will...

Q: Above 40mph, steering wheel shakes. Rear brakes replaced 10k miles ago, front serviced at the time. Do I need new brakes or rotors?

Hi, thanks for writing in. Brakes will usually cause a vibration at any speed that they are applied. If the rotors, or drums, are warped bad enough, they will cause the vibration at all speeds. I would lean more toward...

Q: with the#1 piston up were should the rotor button be pointing

The rotor button should be pointing to the number 1 position on the distributor cap when the number 1 piston is at top dead center (on the compression stroke). The pistons come up two times during the combustion cycle. Once...