Know Your Car Better: The Car Starter SystemKnow Your Car Better: The Car Starter System

Car starter problems can be considered as one of the most annoying things encountered by car owners and drivers. When you turn the key to ignite your car, you will eventually expect it to start instantly and when the opposite happens, you surely turn into one cursing machine. Although there are some people who are gifted with the basic knowledge on what to do once this unfortunate happens, there are a lot others who end up panicking, losing all their stored patience because the least thing they expect to happen is for their car to let them down in such an important day. If you are one of those who are not yet capacitated with car troubleshooting knowledge, you might find yourself exasperated and disappointed. This is why you should know your car more and learn about the signs that your starter already needs some checking.

The function of a car starter
For you to fully understand and recognize the signs of a malfunctioning car starter, you must of course know what its exact function is. Basically, the car starter is made up of a motor, solenoid and the essential electrical circuitry. For your car to start, a series of things happen in a fast and simultaneous succession. Essentially, car starting is the process of triggering the engine to function. For the engine to ignite, the flywheel must turn. Without a flywheel, the car engine will not start. This function is also known as engine cranking, and it is mainly served by the car starter system. Upon turning the ignition key, a relay mechanism turns the starter solenoid. The solenoid then starts the starter motor. The motor will engage a gear for the flywheel to turn. The flywheel turning is the one mainly responsible for the starting of engine.

Signs of a bad starter
Symptoms of having a bad car starter are very similar to that of having a bad battery. Thus, it is recommended that the car battery itself be in good working condition and fully charged. Once you do this, detecting a bad starter will be easier.

Basically, a car with a bad starter will not start but there will be a clanking, and then nothing. This sign points towards either complete or partial failure of the car starter system. You may also notice delayed cranking. Upon turning on the ignition, when you hear the car cranking slowly as if it is labouring before the engine finally starts, then there is a problem with the starter system.

What to do with a malfunctioning car starter system
Most often than not, the initial reaction of a car owner will be to call a mechanic to deal with what needs to be repaired or replaced. Of course, this can be the best you can do especially if you are not trained about car troubleshooting, but there are minor problems that can be easily fixed on your own. All you need to do is research and see what parts of the engine must be checked. Articles over the Internet will most probably provide you with the necessary observations that you must perform.
by John Schofield
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