STARTING SYSTEM REPAIR
No vehicle can deliver stable performance without a fully functional starting system. Unfortunately, parts of this critical system are susceptible to a variety of malfunctions in the course of long-term use. Some of these malfunctions can significantly diminish the reliability of your vehicle. Others, however, can stop your vehicle from running at all.
When starting system problems interfere with the reliable performance of your automobile, industrial vehicle, commercial vehicle, marine vehicle, or RV or motorhome, call on the time-tested repair assistance of Inland Alternators. Since the early 1990s, we’ve served the many residents and businesses of the Inland Empire. With focused expertise and a crucial attention to detail, we run down even the most obscure starting system malfunction and get your vehicle up and running. In the end, you’ll receive trustworthy repairs at a price you can afford.
Vehicle Starter System Basics
In all vehicles, the starting system begins with the battery, which supplies the power needed for the system to perform its job. When you insert your key and advance the ignition switch to the “start” position, the system supplies electrical power to the ignition circuit and the starter motor. If you tried to directly control the amount of juice flowing from the battery to the starter motor, you could easily damage vital components. To avoid this, the system relies on a device called a solenoid, which automatically determines how much power flows to the motor. In some cases, you may see a starter solenoid referred to as a starter relay.
When the starter motor activates, it pushes a component called a pinion gear into the flywheel attached to your engine. In turn, the mechanical force of the pinion gear makes the flywheel “turn over” and set the engine in motion. When you release pressure on your key, the ignition switch disengages and the starter shuts down. If the starter kept running, it would drain your battery. It would also likely sustain serious damage from continued contact with the engine flywheel.
Problems in Automobiles
If the starting system in your car, passenger truck or SUV begins to malfunction, you may hear any one of several unusual noises when you activate the ignition switch. Each of these noises can point to a specific starter problem. Common examples include:
- A whirring sound (indicating a worn-out solenoid/starter relay)
- A clicking sound (indicating a faulty solenoid or starter motor)
- A buzzing sound (indicating poor electrical flow to the starting system)
- A grinding noise (indicating a loosely mounted starter motor or damaged pinion gear), and
- No sound at all (indicating a lack of electrical flow to the system or a dead battery)
You may also notice a range of other problems that point toward a starter-related issue. Potential symptoms include:
- A vehicle that won’t start (indicating a damaged solenoid/starter relay)
- Non-functioning headlights (indicating a disrupted starter circuit, corroded battery terminals or a dead battery)
- Headlights that go out when you crank the engine (indicating a starter motor electrical short or a partially drained battery)
- A starter that won’t shut down after your engine starts (indicating fused contacts inside the solenoid/starter relay), and
- A vehicle that only starts intermittently (indicating a damaged solenoid/starter relay or damaged wire connections in the system)
At Inland Alternators, we specialize in the troubleshooting and repair of the starting systems installed on all domestic and foreign automobiles. No matter the make or model of your car, passenger truck or SUV, our 25-plus years of experience supply us with all the knowledge needed to devise an effective solution for the particular problem affecting your vehicle. You’ll find that our focused expertise leads to top-quality work performed at an affordable price.
Problems in Industrial and Commercial Vehicles
A wide variety of vehicles belong to the industrial or commercial category, including everything from passenger buses and OTR tractor trucks to waste haulers and cement trucks. Frequently, vehicles in both categories are grouped together as medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The starting systems in these vehicles run on the same mechanical principles as those found in cars, SUVs and passenger trucks. The symptoms indicating the presence of starter problems are also the same. However, the actual components installed on industrial and commercial vehicles vary greatly from those found in smaller vehicles, and no one without the proper training and experience can work on these components with any real hope of success.
From day one, Inland Alternators has paid special attention to the starting systems installed on industrial and commercial vehicles. Our expertise in this area extends to all medium- and heavy-duty vehicle types, as well as all makes and manufacturers. Regardless of the specific problem you’re facing, we possess the knowhow needed to provide a timely diagnosis and an effective repair plan that keeps your downtime to a minimum.
Problems in Marine Vehicles
There is a unique operating requirement for any starting system installed in a marine vehicle. Namely, under no circumstances can that system produce a spark capable of igniting a fire or triggering an explosion in the enclosed environment of the engine compartment. To meet these ironclad requirements, boats and other marine vessels rely on specially designed, ignition-protected starters. In other respects, these products operate in the same manner as other types of vehicle starters. They also produce the same telltale symptoms when they begin to malfunction.
At Inland, our top-quality services also cover malfunctions in the ignition-protected starters found in marine vehicles. We understand precisely how these products work. In addition, we know precisely what to do to pinpoint the source of their problems and carry out timely, effective repairs. Our work helps ensure that your boat or other marine vehicle returns to the water in safe, reliable condition.
Problems in RVs and Motorhomes
The starting systems installed in recreational vehicles and motorhomes are electrically and mechanically identical to the systems installed in other vehicles. And when system components begin developing problems, you’ll notice the same types of indicators that catch the attention of other vehicle drivers. However, despite this high degree of overlap, you can’t just take your malfunctioning RV or motorhome to someone who only focuses on other types of vehicles. That’s because even a well-trained general mechanic might lack adequate familiarity with the layout of your system’s components, and end up making avoidable mistakes that cost you time and money.
Inland Alternators’ RV- and motorhome services help you steer clear of any needless complications. We understand how starting systems are laid out in the vehicles produced by all manufacturers. In combination with our troubleshooting and repair expertise, this detailed knowledge allows us to focus on the issue at hand and return your vehicle to the road as soon as possible.
Your Starter System Repair Headquarters
When you choose Inland Alternators, you choose the region’s finest starting system professionals. With an emphasis on high-quality work and customer satisfaction, we’re fully committed to budget-friendly excellence. Call today to schedule an appointment or request more information.