Starting Motor


Over time, inventors and mechanics have been working to create cars that are easier to drive, and because of this, automakers have done their best to create and manufacture simple but fundamental elements. One of these elements is the starter motor , through which the propellant of a car is given the ability to start by transforming the electrical energy that is produced at the moment into mechanical energy , which will later be transformed into motion. .

What is a starter motor?

The starter motor is responsible for providing the energy necessary to start a vehicle, it is responsible for activating and turning the steering wheel . It is a type of auxiliary electric motor that moves the end motor until the vehicle is able to start.

  • Starter motor characteristics
  • Types
  • Parts of a starter motor
  • How does it work
  • What is it for
  • How do you know if it is in bad condition
  • Starter motor maintenance
  • Importance

Starter motor characteristics

The main characteristics of starter motors include the following:

  • They have an electromagnet that is activated by means of a direct current.
  • Starters are powered directly from the vehicle’s battery .
  • It is a kind of auxiliary electric motor .
  • It is powered by means of a continuous electrical current .
  • It is used to make it easier to start the engine through internal combustion .
  • It can work properly thanks to the motor battery .
  • Today’s starter motors are small , light, and very fast to operate.
  • They have a level of consumption of energy fairly low power.


There are several types of starter motor which are:

  • Electromagnetic switch: they work thanks to an electromagnetic effect that occurs in the electromagnet located in the switch.
  • Motor with movable pinion : this is known as pendix and is one of the most used systems for motor starting. It is based on the inertia produced by the motor shaft at the moment it starts up.
  • Armature starters : they have an auxiliary winding and a clamping winding, this added to the excitation winding that is connected in series.
  • Engines with a mechanical circuit that is operated by hand: this is a system composed of a sliding pinion that is placed on the armature shaft which is displaced producing an impulse by means of a lever that connects the electric current by engaging the pinion.
  • Switches : it is the device that connects the electrical circuit to one or two batteries that are placed in parallel series.
  • Electromagnetic switches : they are a system that can provide a two-stage start.

Parts of a starter motor

The parts that can be found inside a starter motor are the following: a general cover , a commutator cover , the commutator itself, the springs of the brushes also known as carbons . You can also find the brushes and carbons, a pole piece , the cover or armature, inductors , the retaining flange , the pinion , the spring in charge of the coupling, the cover that protects the clutch , the clutchbrake plates , return springs , shift lever, and spools. It has several types of coils which are traction and clamping. In addition, the terminal screws, the terminal, the solenoid or relay as it is generally known and the contact plate are also part of the starter motor.

How does it work

The operation of the starter motor starts when it is activated by the application of energy from the battery , just at the time when the driver of the vehicle gives a twist to the key to turn on the engine. Subsequently, the circuit is closed causing the crankshaft to rotate which makes the engine start to work, in this regard it is important to mention that the starter motor is connected to the crankshaft by means of the pinion . This union is made using a reducing denture which is incorporated into the steering wheel .

When the flywheel rotates faster than the pinion does, the starter motor disengages , and this occurs by means of a free wheel that disengages it to avoid damage. In some cases it can also be deactivated by means of a lever . The electric current then passes the solenoid wherein a lever type effect on the sprocket occurs which causes the wheel of inertia is coupled to the drive block . When the key returns to the rest position again, the contact does the same and then the circuit is open again.

What is it for

The starter motor is used to overcome the initial resistance that occurs in the kinematic components that are part of the engine when it starts. It is in charge of generating the first turns in the crankshaft , the place where the pistons begin to move in order to start the intake , compression , exposure and exhaust process . It also serves to transform the electrical energy that comes from the vehicle’s battery into kinetic energy .

How do you know if it is in bad condition

There are several signs that may appear that indicate that the starter motor is damaged. Some of these signs are:

  • Noises when starting the vehicle . These noises usually appear as a click which is present at the moment in which the key is turned to start the vehicle.
  • Burning odors or smoke coming out when starting the vehicle. This situation may indicate the presence of an electrical problem in the cables or in the connections that exist in the motor. Be very careful with this signal as it could indicate the possibility of a short circuit.
  • When the key is turned, the vehicle cannot start .

Starter motor maintenance

Good maintenance of the starter motor is essential for the proper functioning of a vehicle and to be able to counteract possible failures in the future. To improve the useful life of the starter motor, avoid, firstly, avoid forcing the key to turn as this can cause internal damage .

Another important aspect is the proper cleaning of this type of engine, and for this, it is essential to use a brush that is soaked in gasoline , this is the best method to make the dirt that is accumulated can be removed more easily. The pieces must be lubricated very well before being placed again, in addition, they must be dried with a microfiber cloth .

At present there are many types of spray that fulfill the function of cleaning and lubricating the elements that make up the starter motor. If an engine change is necessary, it is always best to go to a specialized mechanic to avoid damaging other parts of the vehicle.


The starter motor is considered one of the most important parts in vehicles as it is responsible for their ability to function properly. It is responsible also be able to start the whole movement of the automotive conventional combustion, which is part of most of today ‘s vehicles.

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