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Automotive Q & A

Starting and Charging Systems

Question: What is a starter?

Answer: Car starters are electrical motors in charge of starting your vehicle’s engine. In order to work, the starter receives a tremendous amount of electricity from the battery. When you turn your key in the ignition, the battery sends an electrical current to the starter solenoid, which is located on the starter motor, and then the starter solenoid actually powers the starter. When the starter receives the electrical current from the battery, a small gear extends out of the starter and engages the vehicle’s flywheel. The small gear will begin to turn the flywheel, and then the flywheel turns the crankshaft, which powers the engine. Once the engine starts, the small gear from the starter will disengage from the flywheel and will retract back into the starter.

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