A starter motor is a device that is used to start an engine before its operation allows it to generate power for itself. Starter motors are a vital component within automotive engines where they induce rotation in the engine so that the automobile can move. Starter motors taken in electrical energy and convert it into mechanical energy which is used by the rotor to turn and start the engine. A starter motor disengages once the engine starts generating power for itself, or is up and running. They provide the initial power surge to the engine so that it starts generating power for its operation. Like with most automotive parts, it is important that starter motors should also be of good quality and make.
The Need for Starter Motors
Starter motors evolved from the hand-driven crank or hand crank of old times. Visuals of black and white pictures with gentlemen stepping out to crank up a car through a hand-held shaft in the front of its bonnet are examples of manually starting motors. However, manual starting of motors was not a risk-free enterprise and if the crank backfired, it resulted in serious injuries such as fractured fingers or wrists of the person operating it.
However, the problem that arose in the initial years was also one of how to develop an electric starting system or a power generating device that could deliver enough power to kick start a machine out of inertia and into motion. Modern starter motors were born out of this challenge.
The Modern Starter Motor
Modern day starter motors are direct current electric motors with a starter solenoid that draw current from a battery. Once current is drawn, this solenoid helps engage the gears that finally make the engine rotate and begin operating. The solenoid plays another important role; it helps pull away the pinion gear attached to the starter motor assembly. This disengages the starter motor from the engine flywheel and helps bring it to a stop.
Problems in Starter Motors
A starter motor can also face mechanical issues and give rise to unexpected problems. For this reason, it is important to understand the requirement of your vehicle as well as the different components within a starter motor. Also, because of the diverse components within it, what appears like a starter motor problem may actually be related to something else altogether. For example, starter motors need direct current sources and draw their power from a battery. If your battery is dying, or the connections are unclear or weak, the motor will have difficulty operating.
Each component within a starter motor is designed for a separate function. The pinion gear, the clutch assembly, the starter driveshaft etc, are all parts that comprise the starter motor. The well-being of the starter depends on the health of these different parts. Slow turning of the motor, jamming of operation, or noise coming out of the motor, all of these can be considered as warnings for problems for starter motors.