Things to Know About the Vehicle Starter - Service Information at Hanson Subaru

Ever wondered just what it takes to start the engine of your car when you turn the key? We'll introduce you to each component in this process below! If your car just won't start, it's likely that one of these components is malfunctioning. We'll help you learn more about this system, but if you want help from factory-trained Subaru experts, bring your car to Hanson Subaru. Give us a call if you have any questions about how to care for your Subaru.

These four components work together when you turn the key to turn over the engine 

4. The Battery

The battery stores a charge that gives your starter enough power to turn over the engine and get it running on its own power. Then, as you drive, the alternator uses engine power to recharge the battery. So, if the battery isn't getting recharged as you drive, there won't be enough juice in the battery to start the car next time. This is why it can be hard to start a car that's been sitting idle for many years or one that's only used for extremely short neighborhood drives.

Not only does the battery provide energy for the starter, it also provides the electricity for the spark plugs in the engine's cylinders. Without a spark, the combustion cycle won't begin and the engine won't be able to start.

This vehicle's starter has been disassembled so you can see its component parts 

3. The Starter

The starter is a tiny but powerful electric motor that spins a small starter gear. When you turn the key, power is sent to the starter which engages its starter gear with the engine. The starter then "cranks," creating that unmistakable sound of a car engine starting up. It uses quite a lot of electricity in a short amount of time, so that the small starter can spin over the much, much larger engine. Once the engine starts turning, the process of combustion can start and the engine will start to run on its own.

2. The Flywheel

Inside the engine, the crankshaft is spun by the pistons and sends power to the transmission, through the driveline and ultimately to the wheels. Attached to the other end of the crankshaft is the flywheel. The flywheel is a heavy gear that helps maintain rotational energy and ensure smooth engine response. This is also the component that  the starter gear will mesh with and spin to start the engine.

If your car won't start, have your battery tested and replaced if it no longer holds a sufficient charge 

1. The Fuel Pump

In addition to a spark provided by the battery, and oxygen provided by the air around us, fuel is needed in the engine to get it running. The fuel pump on a modern car sends a pressurized stream of fuel up to the fuel injectors. When you turn the key, the engine will start to spin and the fuel injectors will begin spraying a mist of the perfect amount of gasoline into each cylinder. When this air/fuel mixture is ignited by the spark, it pushes down the piston, spins the crankshaft and the engine begins to run on its own.

If you have difficulty starting up your car, it could be due to a problem with one of these four components. Have an inspection performed on your vehicle at Hanson Subaru to find out more.

  1. Hanson Subaru

    2300 Carriage Loop SW

    • Sales :(888) 490-9863

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Hanson Subaru

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Call or Text Sales: 360-943-2120
  • Service: 360-943-2121
  • Parts: 360-943-8531