What Is a Distributor in a Car?
A distributor is an essential part of any mechanical ignition. They’ve been in use since 1910, on millions upon millions of vehicles.
If you’re younger than a certain age, there’s a high likelihood that you have never seen a distributor because mechanical ignitions have fallen out of favor since the late 1990s. Most modern vehicles today use a computerized engine control unit (ECU), which controls either a capacitive or inductive electronic ignition.
That being said, there is still good reason to understand what a car distributor is and how it works, not the least of which is that they’re an essential component of any classic car. The following is a short guide to help educate you on what exactly a distributor is.