85 citation tuneup

How often should the cap and rotor be replaced?

Can they cause radio static?

If the cap and rotor have never been replaced, now would be a good time to replace them, along with the spark plug wires.

Faulty ignition parts can cause radio static.

I agree.
These parts should be replaced every 25 years–whether they need it or not.


I would recommend replacing plugs and wires every 5-10,000 miles. It should be cheap and easy on your car, but some of those mid 80’s cars were a problem getting to those parts.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays

I replaced the cap and rotor about 3 years ago.
Just replaced the wires.
was told not to use platinum plugs. and that my plugs look good.

I really think you will see a longer interval between plug and wire replacement than 5-10K. These are figures for a 60’s VW Bug not a 85 Chevy Citation, the fine example of modern automotive engineering that it is.

Unless the cap and rotor terminals are badly burned or there is carbon tracking (may appear as faint lines between terminals inside the cap) the rotor and cap should be fine.

The caps and rotors on GM HEI systems will generally last forever unless a bad misfire that is neglected kills them.

“a 85 Chevy Citation, the fine example of modern automotive engineering that it is”


Thanks for the chuckle!
As a former Citation owner, I really got a laugh out of that one, oldschool.

Still, it was a much better piece of automotive engineering than my '74 Volvo!

I once saw an argument over who would get a 85 Citation that was going for 200.00 and it was in 1995. The car even had dents at both ends.

Ah yes the flagship for the GM front drives. Turbo 125 trans with the non unlocking torque converter clutch. And if you were “lucky” enough to have the 2.8 V6, it came standard with an oil leak at the distributor.

I had a manual transmission 4-cylinder Citation.
Other than having to have the transmission rebuilt (bad synchronizers), having the car repainted twice (primer showing through the paint in several areas), having to have the clutch replaced (faulty self-adjusting mechanism), having a “ping” that was apparently unfixable, and having to replace the e-brake cable several times (frozen in place by rust, despite daily use), it was a decent car.

Yeah, I know–Other than that incident Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

Luckily, I had opted for the Extended Warranty on that car, so I did not have to pay for most of the repairs.

The cars get bashed a lot but they weren’t much worse than anything else at the time.
Matter of fact, I was actually impressed with the front seat comfort and replaced the 2 front seats in a Subaru I once owned with a pair that I removed from a Citation. Huge improvement.

On a humorous vein, some may remember seeing a dealer ad for a Citation on a Jay Leno headlines bit.
The car was listed for 2995 (at the time) and was advertised as a “rolling embarrassment in which a potential buyer could ride around in utter shame”.
At least the dealer had a sense of humor.

They had HEI ignition and could easily go 20,000 miles between tune-ups…The rotors needed to be changed long before the caps…The 4 cylinder Iron Duke powered cars were only a shade slower than the 2.6 V6’s but drove much better and were much easier to work on…

With an air conditioned V6, a skilled driver could lift the rear tires off the road under heavy braking…

What spark plug company do you work for?