What is it?

The starter is an auxiliary electric motor powered by the vehicle's battery. Modern starters have an electromagnet system that operates on direct current with a solenoid (similar to a relay).

What is it for?

The starter is used to start the engine of your vehicle. When the battery current is applied to the solenoid, usually by a key switch (Neiman), the solenoid produces a lever effect that pushes on the starter drive gear and engages with the flywheel ring gear. The solenoid activates contacts that turn the starter motor.

Once the engine starts and the Neiman key is released, a spring associated with the solenoid pulls the pinion away from the ring gear, and the starter stops. The starter pinion is engaged on its drive shaft by means of a freewheel clutch which allows the pinion to transmit the drive in one direction. Thus, if the pinion remains engaged (for example the ignition key is not released as soon as the engine starts, or if the electromagnet remains engaged), the pinion will rotate independently of its drive shaft.

Technical info

Modern starters are almost all "reduction gear" design, offering lower power consumption, reduced weight and 40% smaller in size. Highly efficient, they guarantee excellent mechanical resistance. The kinetic energy stored by the armature of a reduction gear starter allows a greater instantaneous speed and easier cold starting. This system also reduces the strain on the battery.

Only drawback:

They are inevitably more complicated. On recent models, the wound inductor is replaced by permanent magnets that don't stand up well to shocks or humidity.

Fault symptoms:

If the starter does not turn the engine and the is just a "clack-clack" sound & the headlights and the lights on the dashboard dip. this can mean the solenoid or starter motor are defective. However, always remember to check your battery in the first.

The starter motor can be heard when you turn the ignition key, but the engine does not start. The starter pinion is probably broken or stuck. Remember to the ring gear for wear or even broken teeth (although this is much rarer).

How to repair a starter motor

We offer a range of starter motor repair kits and other components.

Browse through all of these products via these links:

What parts are replaced in a factory rebuilt exchange starter motor?

In addition to replacing many parts, all components are disassembled, washed and individually checked and tested. Some internal parts are bichromated and the others may be sanded and painted.

The starter

  • bronze rings located at each end of the axis
  • brushes (#5 on the diagram)
  • armature and the inductor can be re-machined in some cases (#3 and #4)
  • the pinion may be replaced if the teeth are worn or broken (#2)
  • plunger 
  • solenoid contacts, or even complete solenoid in some cases (#6)

Rebuild process:
Some examples of what a rebuild involves

  • collector bearing: wash, shot blasting, de-rivet, countersink, rivet replacement, bearing replacement, check
  • casing: check, brush, preparation, weld jumper on brushes, weld brushes, shrink sheath, insulation
  • armature: wash, electrical check, diameter check, runout check, welding check, check windings, clean, shaft bearing, plunger mounting,
  • plunger: wash, extract, wash, sand pinion, reassemble, lubricate, check
  • contactor: brush, clean, lubricate, reassemble contacts, assembly of terminals, reassemble of the contactor, check
  • fork: check, wash, brush core
  • front bearing: wash, shot blast, bearing replacement, calibration
  • bolts and miscellaneous: wash, zinc plate, check, paint, box


Some examples of parts from the starter motor section of our catalogue:

You can choose from genuine, OEM, factory exchange or aftermarket models 

We offer you the widest range of 4x4 starters in Europe (more than 600 references for nearly 40 brands of 4x4 vehicles). Our aftermarket parts come from reputable manufacturers and our standard exchange products are reconditioned with high quality parts.

Our range of standard exchange units falls with out policy of sustainable development. Standard exchange implies use of old material to build a new assembly, thereby recycling parts and raw materials.

Euro4x4parts is firmly committed to reducing our ecological footprint by reducing the use of raw materials and energy consumption.

Our standard exchange products are all rebuilt according to the manufacturer's specifications and enjoy our full 2-year warranty.

Please note: Euro4x4parts publishes this information for the benefit of clients but cannot be held responsible for any use or misuse of this advice.

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Please note: Euro4x4parts publishes this information to help its customers, but cannot be held responsible for the advice given here and their consequences when used.