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This is a common problem in GM vehicles. GM knows about it, and refuses to fix this problem. Depending on your year make and model, this problem might be fixable yourself. This link should guide you in the right direction. Ya these anti theft systems have been around since 1982 and they still install these failed systems today. I guess its a kind of job security.
Your best bet is to go to the library and find Motors Manual that covers your vehicle. Not the answer you necessarily wanted. This is a relatively quick and easy way to get the information you wanted ... considering you ar not sure the year of the vehicle.
There is little to go wrong electrically. Replacing the points and condenser covers it; https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2057872.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.X1982+Volvo+240+distributor+.TRS0&_nkw=1982+Volvo+240+distributor+&_sacat=0
I worked at the library and you can go to the Reference section ( those books can't be checked out) but you can copy what you need, they have old repair manual that are extremely detailed at the professional level, pictures of schematics, complete brake down on repairs much better than you can find in any book today that you buy at the local auto parts store. if one library does not have them then go to the next library in your area.