How To Clean Distributor Cap?

Distributor caps can easily become clogged and dirty over time, hindering the performance of the engine. But do you know How To Clean Distributor Cap? It’s possible that your car is equipped with a distributor, which is one of the essential parts in managing an engine.

Distributors route high voltage coming from ignition coils to spark plugs at just the right time and order so they can fire correctly. The distributor has a rotor and shaft that is connected to the ignition coil with an elastic brush.

Clean Distributor Cap

What Is Distributor Cap And How Does It Work?

This is what causes current flow when electricity gets sent through wires, which then creates voltage at other ends in order for it all to come together really quickly so we can have action.

Maintenance is crucial for ensuring your engine runs smoothly and without any issues. Serious damage can be done by neglecting these repairs, so it’s important for you to know what causes distributor cap problems as well as how to avoid them when possible!

For starters, the high voltage produced from an ignition coil creates enough electricity into the rotor armature near each spark plug contact point. This answers what distributors are and explains why they need maintenance too. But we’ll get more into all those details later on.

One of the problems that can develop over time is a dirty or clogged distributor cap. This will cause your engine to run poorly and can even lead to damage. Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy problem to fix.

Step By Step Guide For How To Clean Distributor Cap?

Here are some tips to help you clean your car’s distributor cap:

  1. First, remove any dirt or debris from around the area where the wire meets the cap. This will ensure that it is not interfering with its movement when rotating.
  2. Use compressed air if possible to loosen up any dirt or debris that may be stuck in there.
  3. Spray a lubricant like WD-40 on all areas of contact (including threads), and rotate several times to work it in well and make sure everything is moving smoothly again.

If this does not do anything, then you may need to remove the distributor cap and clean it properly. You can do this in one of the following ways:

  • Soak it in a cleaning solution overnight.
  • Use steel wool or fine sandpaper to clean it well. Make sure not to damage the metal contact inside by using too much pressure or scratching up the surface.
  • After getting it nice and clean, you can put some lubricant on all contact points again to make it work smoothly.

By following these steps, you should be able to get your distributor cap working properly again! It is recommended that you keep it clean on a regular basis to avoid any potential problems in the future.

Symptoms Of A Bad Distributor Cap

You may realize that you have a dirty or clogged distributor cap if your car starts to run poorly. The symptoms can include:

  • Your car starts slower than usual.
  • There is an inefficient performance of the engine, like stalling out or jerking without warning while driving along.
  • An exhaust pipe is emitting black smoke.
  • The engine misfires when a plug doesn’t fire correctly and creates a jerky motion.
  • The transmission may become harder to shift because the pressure isn’t being released properly from the distributor cap or rotor armature, which can also cause the engine to stall out.

If you are experiencing any of these problems, it’s a good idea to have your distributor cap inspected and see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced.

What Causes Dirty Or Clogged Distributor Caps?

There are a few things that can cause your distributor cap to become dirty or clogged over time:

  • Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate over time and cause problems.
  • Oil or other liquids can spill over onto the cap and damage it.
  • The contacts inside can become corroded over time, which can cause them to work poorly.
  • If you are using the wrong type of oil or lubricant on your distributor cap, this can cause it to not move properly.

How To Fix Moisture In A Distributor Cap?

If you have moisture in your distributor cap, it can cause a lot of damage and will require some special steps to fix.

  • The first thing you need to do is remove the cap and dry it out completely. You can use a hairdryer on low heat or place it in the sun to dry it out.
  • You should also completely remove any oil or other lubricants on the cap, as this can attract moisture and worsen the problem.
  • Once it is completely dry, you can apply a light coat of petroleum jelly to all contact points and reattach it to the engine.

This should help keep the moisture out, but if it continues to be a problem, you may need to replace the distributor cap. Keep in mind that distributor caps can only be used once, so you will need to replace them if it becomes damaged.


When you’re done using the distributor, it is important to clean off any excess fuel. A simple way for How To Clean Distributor Cap? It is by removing the cap and spraying down all areas with a high-pressure washer.

This will also ensure that there are no leaks in your system or on your engine block before putting things back together again for storage. Be sure not to use too much pressure, though, as you could damage sensitive internal parts if they aren’t properly lubricated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a good way to clean a distributor cap?

To remove built-up material from the cap, take a squirt of WD-40 and use an old rag or paper towel to scrub the cap. Once it’s dry, reinsert it onto the distributor shaft and tighten screws close securely.
WD-40 is a potent water displacement agent that will help to free any gunk around the contact breaker facades etc. It will also help to clean contacts on distributor terminals meaning maximum spark benefit making for easy starts & less wear & tear on car components over time.

What is the best way to clean the inside of a distributor?

You can clean the inside by removing it and cleaning it in a bath of solvent. It’s best to put the distributor in a vice before pulling off the spark plug wires so that one doesn’t take out all the hamster gears while you’re at it.
When placing in your vice, place two steel blocks under the distributor body, which will support only up to 6 lbs or 20 kgs of pressure. Having said that, you should never allow anyone to put an uneven amount of pressure on an automotive part during any operation, including taking off spark plugs.

Can you clean distributor points?

You can clean distributor points, but it’s best to replace them if they’re worn. Because dirt accelerates load voltage drops in the field coils, their efficiency is diminished right away when the contacts are dirty.
And wasted electricity results in higher operating temperature and accelerated aging of the points themselves. Especially at high RPM conditions like an overdrive car. The input current surges on startup, which also reduces contact life (pitting) and erodes terminal pressures too.

Leave a Comment