In order to extract the best performance and economy from your engine it is essential that it be properly tuned at regular intervals. Although computerized engine controls and more durable components have reduced ignition maintenance, a regular tune-up will keep your Toyota's engine running smoothly and will prevent the annoying minor breakdowns and poor performance associated with an untuned engine.
Electronic ignition systems offer many advantages over the conventional breaker points ignition system. By eliminating the points, maintenance requirements are greatly reduced. An electronic ignition system is capable of producing much higher voltage which in turn aids in starting, reduces spark plug fouling and provides better emission control.
The system Toyota uses consists of a distributor with a signal generator, an ignition coil and an electronic igniter. The signal generator is used to activate the electronic components of the igniter. It is located in the distributor and consists of three main components; the signal rotor, the pick-up coil and the permanent magnet. The signal rotor (not to be confused with the distributor rotor) revolves with the distributor shaft, while the pick-up coil and the permanent magnet are stationary. As the signal rotor spins, the teeth on it pass a projection leading from the pick-up coil. When this happens, voltage is allowed to flow through the system, firing the spark plugs. There is no physical contact and no electrical arcing, hence no need to replace burnt or worn parts.
Service consists of inspection of the distributor cap, rotor and the ignition wires, replacing them as necessary. In addition, the air gap between the signal rotor and the projection on the pick-up coil should be checked periodically. The resistances of the coil and pick-up circuits should be measured periodically.