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Automotive glossary: What is a Starter?

Definition of Starter: For starting, a combustion engine has to be turned on. This is usually done by an electric motor, the starter. In cars, the starter is usually conected to the engine via a displaceable gear wheel, the shoving pinion. First, the pinion is placed into the engine connected fly wheel by an electromagnet. Then the starter is set to operation and can turn the engine on. The necessary current is normally very high, 60 amperes or more. In order to prevent the now starting engine from dragging the starter along, thereby overturning it, there is also a so called starter freewheel. This is a component, that allows to transmit the turning force in one direction, but lets the rotation go free in the other direction. In motorcycles, there is often no shoving pinion, that can disconnect the starter completely from the running engine, so that the freewheel takes charge of disconnecting permanently.

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