The pulse then arcs across the small gap between the rotor and the contact. The ending result is the distributor distributing the high voltage from the coil to the correct cylinder.
The process I just laid out above is generally for modern vehicles and distributors. However, there is a slightly different process that occurs if you have an older distributor. If you have an older distributor with breaker points, there is another section in the bottom half that does the job of breaking the current to the coil.
In this case, there is a cam that is in the center of the distributor pushing a lever connected to one of the points. As you may have presumed, when the cam pushes the lever the points open. Just as the points open, the coil loses its ground as a result and a high-voltage pulse is generated.
The points that are in distributors are also responsible of controlling the timing of the spark. This can be done by one of two mechanisms; either a vacuum advance or a centrifugal advance. Both of these mechanisms contribute to advancing the timing in proportion to engine load or engine speed.
Spark timing is probably the last thing you care about, especially when you are talking about the distributor. But the spark timing actually is a big part of your vehicle whether you know it or not. The spark timing is so critical to an engine’s performance that most cars do not even use points. In replace of points, most cars use a sensor that tells the engine control unit, which tells the exact location of the pistons.
The distributor within your vehicle has a great deal of importance to your vehicle, as it takes on several different tasks. While each task may seem rather minute, the overall picture results in a fine engine performance that would otherwise be rather bleak.