How Does a Starter Work?

Without a functioning starter, the engine in a vehicle cannot turn over. Gateway Cable Company offers a high-quality product line including starter cables for a variety of applications. It’s simple enough to understand when a starter requires maintenance, but have you ever stopped and wondered “How does a starter work?” You wouldn’t be the first to ask this question, and we aim to answer it for you in this blog. Read below for details on what a starter does and how it works. 

What Does a Starter Do? 

Before we dive into how a starter works, we should answer this preliminary question: “What does a starter do?” As the name implies, a starter is a device that “starts” a motor. One of the most widely relatable examples would be a passenger vehicle. When you turn the key in a vehicle’s ignition, you will hear the engine turn over and crank. While turning over, the engine creates suction that allows air to flow in, which is necessary for the engine to then crank and come to life. The engine relies on the starter to facilitate the turning motion. Thus, without a functioning starter, an engine cannot turn over. 

How Does a Starter Work?

Now that we’ve formed a basic understanding of what a starter does, we can dive into how a starter works. We’ll break it down into steps for as clear of an explanation as possible: 

  • On the engine is something called a flywheel, which has a ring gear surrounding it. 
  • The starter has a small pinion (or gear) that fits into the grooves on the flywheel’s ring gear.
  • When the ignition switch is turned, it triggers an electric current that travels through a solenoid. 
  • The starter’s pinion gear is attached to an iron rod. When the solenoid is fed the electric current, an electromagnet pushes out that iron rod.
  • When the rod pushes out, the pinion gear engages with the ring gear on the engine’s flywheel. This contact is what gets the starter turning. 
  • The turning of the starter provides the motion and speed to get the engine to turn over. 
  • Once the engine turns over and cranks, the starter disengages. 

Work With Gateway Cable Company

Now that you have a better understanding of what a starter does and how it works, you can work with the experts at Gateway Cable Company to pick up the products you need for any upcoming projects. Perhaps you have additional questions about NATO starter assembly instructions and other related topics — we are happy to provide a consultation. Please contact us to learn more and get the materials you need for your next job.