MAHLE’s guide to preventing starter motor failure

Crucial advice on avoiding permanent damage to starter motors

MAHLE’s guide to preventing starter motor failure

Starter motors work on the simple principle that when the start button or ignition key is turned, current from the battery flows to the solenoid, switching on the starter motor, which turns over the engine and fires it into life. After that, the starter motor is no longer needed.

MAHLE has highlighted that thermal overload of the solenoid, often linked to incorrect use, can lead to premature starter motor failure.

Alan Povey, quality, warranty and technical manager at MAHLE, explains that the starting process puts the engine under significant load.

If the starter motor is operated repeatedly without sufficient breaks, the solenoid’s windings can overheat and burn out. This thermal overload is evident in the discolouration of the indicator paper wrapped around the solenoid during manufacture.

Povey further adds that no starter motor should be used continuously for more than 30 seconds or thrice in a row before being allowed to cool down for at least two minutes.

Technicians can find more information in the latest technical bulletin from MAHLE, or watch this explanation video.

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