Why Perform a Starter Inspection Every 5,000 Miles?
To make an engine start it must be turned at some speed, so that it sucks fuel and air into the cylinders, and compresses it. The powerful electric starter motor does the turning. The starter needs a heavy electric current, which it draws through thick wires from the battery. No ordinary hand-operated switch could switch it on: it needs a large switch to handle the high current. The switch has to be turned on and off very quickly to avoid dangerous, damaging sparking. So a solenoid is used – an arrangement where a small switch turns on an electromagnet to complete the circuit.
All the components are earthed to the metal car body. Only one wire is needed to carry current to each component. The starter switch is usually worked by the ignition key. Turn the key beyond the ‘ignition on’ position to feed current to the solenoid. The ignition switch has a return spring, so that as soon as you release the key it springs back and turns the starter switch off. When the switch feeds current to the solenoid, the electromagnet attracts an iron rod. The movement of the rod closes two heavy contacts, completing the circuit from the battery to the starter. The rod also has a return spring – when the ignition switch stops feeding current to the solenoid, the contacts open and the starter motor stops.
Schedule an appointment with an Otobots mechanic today for a starter diagnosis!