Sep 9, 2021

How to check the performance efficiency of starter?

How to test the automotive starter to reveal the defects?

The starter of a modern light engine vehicle - the main unit that is used for engine start. There’s an alternative method of starting IC engine, however, it’s applicable just for a few car models. For example, with automatic gearbox it’s not possible to start a car engine by a tow starting or by a bump starting.

If the engine doesn’t start, first, you should check the battery voltage which has to be higher than 12.2V. In case the battery is in order, the next unit you need to check - starter.

Equipment for starter diagnostics

The special test benches and testers are used for the checking of starter performance efficiency.

In case the engine starts erratically, use the tester MS016 and check starter without its dismounting from a car. The tester MS016 enables the record of the voltage values on the starter terminals:  31, 30, 50, 45 and of the current on the terminal 30 during the engine start. The results of the tests are displayed as a chart on the tester screen.

The result of starter diagnostics with tester MS016.  The chart shows clearly the defect of the engine winding coil.

The charts with the voltage and current changes demonstrate the technical condition of starter and the probable reason of malfunctions, as follows:

  • The significant voltage drop at the terminal 30 indicates the improper condition of battery.
  • The significant voltage drop at the terminal 45 indicates the failure of the starter solenoid.
  • The sharp pulses of current shown on the chart indicates the ban condition of starter electric motor.
  • If the starting current at the terminal 30 is much higher than the nominal one, at the moderate voltage loss - there’s a problem with a car engine.
  • If the starting current is lower than the nominal one, at the significant voltage loss at the terminal 30 - it’s a poor condition of wiring.

To check a starter dismounted from a car, the usage of a special test bench is preferable. The modern test bench for the diagnostics of starters enables the evaluation of their technical condition and identify the reason of malfunctions. For example, the test bench MS008 makes it possible to completely check the performance efficiency of starter.

The result of starter diagnostics with test bench MS008. The chart shows the defect of the starter solenoid.

There are many methods to check the performance capacity of starter, yet it’s just the usage of the special equipment makes it much easier and faster.

As long as even a person without the experience at the diagnostics of starters will be able to check their technical condition using the special diagnostic equipment.


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