What to know about thePoints & Condenser:
In the days before modern ignition systems came into use, cars used different technologies. A car’s points and condenser served the same role as today’s ignition modules, and were in controlof operating the vehicle’s spark plugs and wires, as well as other elements of the system.
It worked like this: A charge was sent to the ignition coil, which then linked with the distributor cap, to which the condenser was attached via contact breaker points. From there, the distributor cam turned and operated the rotor arms and contacts, which sent voltage through the sparkplug wires to the plugs themselves in order to ignite fuel.
The condenser and points on a vehicle were subject to significant amounts of wear and tear on a daily basis. They were used every single time the car was cranked. While points could be cleaned to deliver a little bit more use life, they would eventually need to be changed. The condenser also needed to replacefrequently. These were actually two of the main aspects of the average automotive tune up.
Today, points and condensers have been changed by electronic ignition parts that offer far better lifespans and reliability.
Facts to Note:
A car’s points and condenser need to be changed regularly as part of normal upkeep.
Points can sometimes be cleaned to provide longer life.
Without operable points and condenser, the car will crank but not fire.
Replacement parts of this nature are becoming more and more difficult to source.
How to Fix:
The hood is opened and distributor cap is detached
The faulty points and condenser are removed
The new points and condenser are fixed and adjusted to specifications
The distributor cap is installed and ignition timing and dwell adjusted
The engine is run and the ignition system operation is inspected
Work with one of your expert mechanics, capable of examining and troubleshooting older ignition systems during regular upkeep, as well as of providing tune ups for cars using older ignition systems. All points and condensers are subject to wear and tear and must be changedfrequently.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Points & Condenser:
Engine cranks well but doesn’t fire
Engine doesn’t start easily, even with a good battery and starter
Engine runs rough and stalls
Importance of this service:
Having a reliable ignition system is completelyimportant. Without steady maintenance and tune ups, it’s possible that you could find yourself stranded, and even a jump start won’t help you get back on the road. We highly recommend working with one of your mechanics experienced with classic cars and older ignition technology to keep your system in good repair.