Starter Motor

Your starter motor (aka. starter), is a very important part of your car that must be kept working. Many cars have problems with the starter motor and whenever an issue with your starter is found, it must be fixed immediately. Your starter motor is what makes your engine power up, and is essentially needed for you to drive your vehicle.

How the Starter Motor Works
The starter motor has a very important job, which is to start your engine. The starter functions as one of the first parts of many that make your car turn on and run properly. The starter motor has a strong DC electric motor which needs a high current to be capable of powering the engine.

What's the Starter Motor Connected to?
The starter motor is connected to various different parts which all play a role in making sure the starter works properly. The starter motor is directly connected to the battery via large cables so a strong enough current can be provided to crank the engine. Other parts, such as the starter solenoid, starter control circuit, and starter relay, all play a major role in powering the starter motor, and eventually the engine.

The starter motor is connected to the battery with a large negative ground cable which plugs into the negative terminal of your car battery. The positive cable connects the positive terminal of your car battery with the starter solenoid.

How the Starter Solenoid Works
The starter solenoid is basically a switch which controls the electricity. Once the circuit is closed, the starter motor becomes connected to the battery, all while the starter solenoid forces the starter gear to go ahead and intervene with the engine's flywheel.

How Everything Works
Once you turn your key in the ignition and start your car, the current will travel through the control circuit and turn on the starter solenoid, which as previously mentioned will power the engine. The starter motor is basically the component which is responsible for cranking the engine.

When the Starter Motor is Functional
You can't operate the starter motor at all times. The car will have to either be in park or neutral in order for the starter motor to be able to activate. If you have a manual transmission, the starter motor can only be activated if the clutch pedal is depressed. A neutral safety switch is incorporated into the automatic transmission, or clutch pedal, so the car can only be started in certain positions.

Problems with Starter Motor
The most common mistake people make is that they assume all problems with non-starting vehicles are to blame on the starter. This is definitely not true. If your car makes the normal cranking noise when you turn your key in the ignition, but doesn't turn on, it's probably not an issue with your car's starting system.

If there's a problem with your starting system, you'll rarely hear any noises when you turn your key to start the car. Usually if there's an issue with the starting system, there will be no noise, or a short click, when attempting to start your car. If that's the symptoms your car is showing, you'll have to determine what’s wrong with your starting system. Usually the problem is either related to the car battery or the starter motor.

When dealing with non-starting car problems, it's unlikely that you'll be able to easily resolve them yourself. You can run various tests to determine which component(s) may be the cause of your car not running, and run a trial and error to fix them. For example, you can test to see if your battery still has any juice in it, and if it seems like its nearly dead, try replacing it.

There is a lot of information available online that will help you with identifying the problem with your starting system, whether it's the starter motor or not, and you can also find advice for repairing it as well.

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