Back to basics: Starter motor diagnosis explained

The most common starters used in vehicles with internal combustion engines are electric starters.

These can be otherwise known as DC motors, which turn the crankshaft of the engine and give it enough speed to start running on its own.

The starter draws most of its electricity from the battery when the engine starts.

The starter can suffer from various faults.

These can be electrical or mechanical in nature.

Electrical problems

One of them may be the starter not responding when you turn the key to idle.

It continues to work while it should stop.

This could be: Defective ignition switch or electronic system switching on the starter (in the case of
cars, in which we do not need the key to start), that is the final power stage (relay or
transistor keying this relay).

The solution to this problem should be sought in the electrical starting system.

If we have eliminated the failure of the ignition switch, then further diagnostics will be necessary.

A starter (solenoid switch contacts) that has become stuck/short.

The solution to this problem is to buy a new one.

If the bendix has taken on the color of black burnt steel, it also indicates its damage and should be replaced.

If we have eliminated the causes of electrical failures, we should look at the mechanical side of these components as well.

Mechanical problems

Mechanical causes of continued starter operation includes a damaged bendix pinion, especially if it will jam into the flywheel pinion.

A damaged and worn solenoid switch in the bushing or in the fork, which can be caused by contamination with dust or thickened old grease.

In this case, the electromagnetic switch must be cleaned or replaced with a new one.

A damaged flywheel rim pinion that is sticking in the bendix pinion or the sum of the damage to both.

Damage to the pinions does not always cause the starter to run continuously.

Sometimes it can also come to a delayed disconnection.

Nevertheless, if you notice any problems with the starter, it is worth conduct a detailed diagnostic.

It may be necessary to replace the flywheel rim or even the bendix.

Regardless of the nature of the cause of incorrect operation of the starter, for an accurate diagnosis and possible replacement of the damaged components, it is worth to go to the workshop of car mechanics.

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