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- Rotorarm HT lead The distributor directs the flow ofhigh-tension current from the coilthrough the rotor arm, anddistributes it to each sparkplug inturn. A device called acondenser, fitted on thedistributor, ensures thatwhen the points are openthere is no sparkingacross them, which wouldtend to burn the faces. The HT current from thedistributor passes downthe central core of thesparkplug, then produces aspark as it jumps the gap tothe side electrode. Thisignires the fuel-air mixturein the cylinder. The coil consists of a metal casingcontaining two sets of insulated wirewindings on a soft-iron central core.The collapse of the magnetic fieldsgenerated around the primarywindings produces the HT current inthe secondary winding which goesthrough the distributor to thesparkplugs. LT lead Camshaft Distributor cam Contact-breakerpoints Plug cap onterminal Plug lead The battery is the source ofelectric power when theengine is stationary. It alsosupplements the power fromthe generator when it is notturning fast enough toproduce 12 volts. Battery The ignition switch isusually mounted on thesteering column ordashboard, andcontrols the flow ofcurrent between thebattery and ignitionsystem. Ignition switch Drive The distributor isusually driven directfrom the camshaftand is geared to turn athalf engine speed. Coil Sparkplug Distributor

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How the ignition system works

The ignition system This article explains how the ignition system of a car works to start the en...

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