Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What Does a Starter Motor Do?

asked by on

What does a starter motor do?

The starter motor is a 12 volt, permanent magnet DC motor that engages a small drive gear on the starter with a larger ring gear that is attached to the flexplate, or flywheel. The flexplate is bolted to the rear of the engine crankshaft. When the starter drive gear engages with the flexplate ring gear, the starter drive spins the crankshaft to allow the engine to start. If the ignition system and fuel system are in good working order, the engine should fire up immediately.

No-starts (engine not starting) are one of the most common issues for vehicles that are taken to a repair shop.The root cause of this issue could be virtually anything.

No-start causes include:

There are other potential causes than the ones I listed above. The PCM is likely the most expensive part, but is also the least likely cause. It is still a cause because I have replaced several in my career.

If your vehicle runs into any problems with its starter motor, contact a professional mechanic who can diagnose and fix your starting issue so you can get going once again.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What Does a Starter Motor Do?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Stalls reaching normal temperatures

Hi there. I don't think that this is an overheating issue. This sounds like a carburetor problem. If the choke is not working correctly, then this will occur. The choke needs to open when the engine is warm as the...

Q: Check engine light flashing motor shake could tensioner making water pump or anything else belt driven be it

The flashing Check Engine Light means the engine is misfiring, which can be very harmful to your catalytic converter. If it starts doing this when the A/C is turned on, then there could be a problem with the ignition system...

Q: The car shorted out after a repair

It is possible that the powertrain control module may have been damaged during the oil change at the time of the short. I would have the powertrain control module tested with a high tech scan tool if this option is...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...