A starter motor solenoid is a critical component of your car's starting system. It's responsible for converting electrical energy into mechanical energy, or in other words, it's what makes your starter motor turn and start your engine. But how do you know when something is wrong? If the solenoid is on its way out, you may end up stranded by the side of the road, so it pays to know some more about this diminutive but important part.
How The System Works
The starter motor solenoid sits next to the starter motor, which is, in turn, linked to the engine flywheel. The job of the starter motor is to "kickstart" the engine by forcefully turning the flywheel.
Signs of a Faulty Starter Motor Solenoid
The Tell-Tale Clicking Sound
The most obvious sign of a faulty starter motor solenoid is an engine that simply won't start. This issue could mean that the solenoid is not supplying enough power or that the connection between the battery and the starter has been interrupted. If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key, that could also be an indication that something is wrong with the solenoid.
Low Current, Weak Connections
Another sign of a failing starter motor solenoid could be linked to an engine that takes longer to crank over than usual. This could mean that there isn't enough current being supplied, either because of a weak connection or because there's an issue with one or more components in the starting circuit. This could be a corroded cable or worn-out brushes on the starter motor itself.
Get Professional Confirmation
If you're experiencing any issues with your starting system, take your vehicle to an auto electrics mechanic. They can diagnose and repair any problems quickly and safely. In doing so, they'll be able to test both electrical and mechanical components within the system and determine the exact origin of the fault, so they can replace or repair whatever needs attention.
What You Should Do Next
You can save a great deal of time if you know what signs to look for when diagnosing problems with your starter motor solenoid. This may also save you money down the road if you can avoid a complete failure. So, ensure that any issues are checked out by a trained professional who can accurately diagnose and fix any underlying problems quickly and safely — before they become more serious (and potentially expensive). If you take preventative measures now, you can help keep your car running smoothly for years to come
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