Car Ignition Problems

mechanic repairing ignition

You depend on your automobiles to run and drive, day in and day out.  If your car is experiencing ignition problems, you should seach for a mechanic near me sooner rather than later.  There is nothing worse than having an unreliable ability to start your vehicle.  You could be late to work if your car doesn't start in the morning, or even worse, left stranded in the middle of nowhere, after a long drive.  Some ignition problems, as just side effects of something else.  It could be all sorts of different, interdependent systems.  Maybe its just a dead battery, or a bad alternator.  It could be time to change your spark plugs, or perhaps you need to replace your distributor.  Having a knowledgeable auto expert is essential.
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How Spark Plugs Work

Spark plugs are one of the most commonly known parts of an automobile.  They are the little magic part that drives the whole engine, and although they are a relatively cheap and easy to replace part, they are absolutely essential for your car to run properly.  Without them, none of your engine's pistons would fire.   How spark plugs work is quite simple really.  Each spark plug is located somewhere on the engine, and its position is directly next to its corresponding cylinder on the engine block.  A charge is applied to one end of the plug via an electrical cable coming from the distributor cap, and this charge creates spark on the other end inside the engine cylinder.
Wow, what a novel idea, spark plugs, well SPARK!
This event, ignites the fuel located within the engine cylinder, causing an explosion, and the expanding gas forces the engine piston to move, and thus giving power to drive the vehicle.  However, all of this happens inside only one cylinder.  In order for the engine to work, each and every other spark plug needs to complete the same task, in an orchestrated way, so that the timing allows the pistons in the engine to fire at a specific time.  The distributor is what what determines at what time the spark plug sparks in each one individually.

How a car's distributor works

When you open up the hood of your car, you may notice the distributor right away.  It is usually on the engine, in an easy to access location.  It is identifiable, because it will have a number of thick electrical wires coming out of it, with the same count as the number of cylinders your engine has.  The wires will resemble a circle pattern.  This pattern is precisely the reason for the timing of the vehicles firing.  On the top of the distributor is the distributor cap.  This is where the wires enter.  Upon removal of the distributor cap, you will see what is known as the rotor.  The distributor rotor sits directly in the center of the distributor, and spins like the hands of a clock.  On the distributor cap sits the contacts for the wires that go to each spark plug.  As the rotor spins, it makes contact, in an exact order, the piston firing order, triggering the spark plug to spark.