My car had been missing and in general running quite poorly. It was bad enough that I always had to give myself lots of room when pulling out into traffic and had trouble getting up to speed on onramps. Up hills, I sometimes had to slow down to 25 mph in second gear to make it up.
A while back, I had looked at my distributor cap to see if it could be the problem. The points in it were rather rusty, they they still looked like they’d work. I bought a new cap anyway, especially since it came with new spark plug cables and boots. My old boots were feeling rather loose on the plugs, and I wasn’t sure how old the wires were. I planned to install that, but didn’t. I decided I oughta install the rotor at the same time, so the old rotor wouldn’t mess up the new cap (though I’m really not sure if this is possible, I wanted to be safe), and hadn’t bought one with the cap.
Finally, just recently, I bought a rotor and installed the cap. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done on the car. Three easy bolts plus the boots on the wires held the cap on, and the rotor just pulled right off. The old rotor actually looked better than I remembered, but I replaced it anyway. After replacing, it started right up and I took it for a test drive. It seemed to be running better, but I couldn’t tell for sure.
After several days of driving, though, I was sure the car was running much better. It hasn’t missed once since then, runs smoother, and accelerates much faster. Hills are where the biggest difference is: I can now drive up and even accelerate with no problems. It is great. It feels like a new car (as long as I don’t look at it). If I had known such a simple fix would have such a great effect, I would have done this long ago.