What is a Distributor?

According to Wikipedia:

“A distributor is a device in the ignition system of an internal combustion engine that routes high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct firing order. The first reliable battery operated ignition was developed by Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. (Delco) and introduced in the 1910 Cadillac. This ignition was developed by Charles Kettering and was considered a wonder in its day. A. Atwater Kent invented his Unisparker ignition system about this time and competed with the Delco system.”

How much does a used Distributor usually cost?

The cost of a used Distributor can range from $25-$30 upto $75-$100 for some vehicles.


Vehicle Rebuilt/New Recycled Savings
1997 Chevy Suburban $98.00 $25.00 $72.00
1988 Nissan Maxima $316.00 $45.00 $271.00
1996 Honda Accord $235.00 $50.00 $185.00
1998 Ford Escort $173.00 $35.00 $138.00
1991 Toyota Camry $186.00 $35.00 $151.00
1988 Dodge Truck 150 $88.00 $25.00 $63.00

Things to keep in mind when buying

Make sure wires are in good shape and nothing is broken.

Installation Tips

It is recommended to replace the cap and rotor. It’s easy to do when the distributor is out and it’s good maintenance.

Ongoing maintenance

No real maintenance here other than what might be noted in your owners manual.