Dear Doctor: I have a 1998 Chevy Cheyenne 1500 with 170,00 miles. In 2005 it started skipping and my mechanic replaced the distributor cap (which was cracked), rotor, wires and plugs. Since then I have had to replace the distributor cap five times. I went online in 2006 and the chat rooms suggested using OEM parts only. I tried that route but the cap lasted about 18 months. I don’t understand why the original cap lasted seven years and replacements last about a year. Are there any alternatives to this yearly replacement cycle? Terry
Dear Terry: Premature wearing of parts, such as the distributor cap and rotor can be caused from high resistance in spark plug wires and poor quality parts, even though you are buying the best from the parts stores. In some rare cases, a poor engine ground can also be a part of the problem. If I were working on your truck, I would replace all the ignition items with MSD brand parts, available at any performance store or online. You will find the quality of the MSD brand to be above all the other brands.