How to Install a Honda Civic Distributor Cap Rotor


The distributor rotor and cap on a Honda Civic are important parts of the engine’s ignition system. As the engine turns, so does the rotor inside of the distributor. The distributor cap has corresponding contacts on it that the rotor touches as it spins around, sending a signal to each of the spark plug wires. Over time, these components wear out and need to be replaced as part of a routine tuneup to ensure trouble free running.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Screwdriver
  • Open the hood and locate the distributor on the passenger side of the engine. The distributor itself is bolted to the engine. The spark plug wires will be running from the engine itself to the distributor.

  • Remove the three 8mm bolts that hold the distributor cap to the distributor with an 8mm socket and ratchet. Set the bolts aside so they are not misplaced. Without removing the spark plug wire from the cap, set the cap on the engine block and out of the way.

  • Locate the small screw that holds the distributor rotor in place on the distributor drive. If you cannot see the screw, get in the car and turn the ignition briefly so the engine turns over. The rotor will turn. Repeat this process until you can locate the screw on the rotor. Remove the screw that holds the rotor on with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the rotor by pulling it straight up.

  • Install the new rotor by sliding it back onto the shaft of the distributor. The rotor will only go on one way and has a groove that corresponds to the distributor to ensure the proper orientation. Reinstall the small screw that holds the rotor in place with the screwdriver.

  • Place the new distributor cap onto the distributor and reinstall and tighten the three 8mm bolts that hold the cap in place. Remove the spark plug wires from the old cap, one at a time, and place the wires on the matching terminals of the new cap. Do not mix up the order of the wires, as the car will not run correctly if they are out of order.

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