How to Connect a Starter in a Car
The starter is one of the most vital parts in a car. It engages a ring gear mounted on the flywheel to turn over the engine and start it up. Its job is to transfer electrical energy into mechanical energy that allows the crankshaft to move and generate a spark to ignite the fuel. It also helps to get the air-fuel mix right so that it can burn properly.
It’s important to connect the starter correctly so that it operates at its peak performance level. When it’s not connected properly, it can put a strain on your entire electrical system and cause other problems.
First, you need to make sure that the wire running from the battery to your starter is large enough to carry the current. “A lot of racers will think that they are doing it properly, but the wrong size wire is going to be hard on the starter and will not bring the voltage that your starter needs,” says Don Meziere of Meziere Enterprises.
Next, you need to ensure that the connection terminals are clean and free of corrosion. This includes the battery terminals and any other connections between the starter and the vehicle.
This will help prevent problems such as a clicking sound when the ignition is turned on, or a starter that is turning slowly.
The simplest way to connect a starter is to use a jumper cable. These are often included in the starter kit or available separately and can be attached to the starting solenoid.
Once the solenoid is reconnected, you can now run the jumper cable to the starting relay, which completes the circuit between your battery and the starter motor. You’ll have to follow the wiring diagram for your starter to ensure that the jumper cable is connected to the correct terminals on the starter relay.
In some vehicles, the starter relay is located in a separate area. It has four terminals: two smaller ones that connect to the switching circuit, and two larger ones that connect to the starter.
Typically, the starter switch is wired to the activation wire (also called the signal wire) that passes power from your ignition switch to the starting solenoid. The activation wire builds a coil inside the solenoid’s bus bar, which then pulls the bus bar to activate the starter’s plunger and cranking process.
When the solenoid is pulled far enough, it will connect to the starter motor’s terminals “B” and “M.” Once these are connected, the current can travel directly from your battery to the starter solenoid.
You can then run the jumper cable to the starting solenoid and connect it to the positive terminal of your battery, which is labeled “B” on most vehicles. On some vehicles, the starting solenoid may be wired to the negative terminal of your battery instead of the “B” terminal.
The wire from the starter solenoid should also be connected to the start control wire, which is a thinner cable than the starting cord that runs from the battery to the starter. Depending on the relay race you’re using, there may be only one small post that connects to the start switch wiring.