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The alternator consists of a stator - a stationary set of wire coil windings, inside which a rotor revolves.
The rotor is an electromagnet supplied with a small amount of electricity through carbon or copper-carbon brushes (contacts) touching two revolving metal slip rings on its shaft.
The rotation of the electromagnet inside the stator coils generates much more electricity inside these coils.
The electricity is alternating current - its direction of flow changes back and forth every time the rotor turns. It has to be rectified by a diode rectifier to turn into a one-way flow, or direct current.
A dynamo gives direct current but is less efficient, particularly at low engine speeds, and weighs more than an alternator.
A warning light on the dashboard glows when the battery is not being adequately charged, - for example, when the engine stops.
There may also be an ammeter to show how much electricity is being generated, or a battery-condition indicator showing the battery's state of charge.

Starter Motors

starter motors

Starter Motors

A starter is an electric motor that turns over or "cranks" the engine to start it. It consists of a powerful DC (Direct Current) electric motor and the starter solenoid that is attached to the motor (see the picture).

The starter motor is powered by the car battery. To turn over the engine the starter motor requires a very high electric current, which means the battery has to have sufficient power.

Starting system problems are common and not all problems are caused by a faulty starter motor. To find the cause of the problem the starting system must be properly tested. read more below.

Starter Solenoids

starter solenoids

Starter Solenoids

The starter solenoid works as a powerful electric relay. When activated, it closes the electric circuit and sends the battery power to the starter motor. At the same, the starter solenoid pushes the starter gear forward to mesh it with the engine flywheel (flex plate) ring gear teeth.

A typical starter solenoid has one small connector for the control wire (the white connector in the photo) and two large terminals: one for the positive battery cable and the other for the starter motor (see the diagram below).

What Is Inside the Starter Motor?

starter motor cutaway

Starter Motor Cutaway

A starter motor has several (typically 4) electric windings (field coils) attached to the starter motor housing from the inside. The armature (the rotating part) is connected through the carbon brushes in series with the field coils. On the front end of the armature, there is a small gear that attached to the armature through an overrunning clutch. This part is commonly known as the Bendix.

Many starter motor problems are caused by worn carbon brushes or the armature bearings. The contact points inside the starter solenoid also can fail.

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    East Coast Battery and Electric
    174 Bradley Branch Rd Ste 12
    Arden, NC 28704
    Phone: 828-585-2323
    Phone: 828-772-4513

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    Mon - Fri: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
    Sat - Sun: Closed

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