Performance Parts / Replacement Parts

The Starting & Charging system consists of the battery, starter, alternator, cables, wiring, and related components like relays, solenoids, and voltage regulators. The battery provides power to the starter and ignition system when you turn the key. The starter turns the crankshaft so the engine builds enough compression to start, and the alternator recharges the battery and powers the vehicle’s electrical accessories when the engine is running.


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Batteries are electrochemical devices in which a chemical reaction between two dissimilar materials creates a voltage. A number of positive and negative plates are immersed in an electrolyte solution of water and sulfuric acid. The positive plates are coated with the active material lead dioxide (PbO2), and the negative plates with sponge lead (Pb). The positive and negative plates form a cell element, and there are 6 cell elements in a 12-volt battery.

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In conventional flooded lead acid batteries, which includes maintenance-free batteries, the electrolyte is in liquid form. If the battery is damaged and leaks, the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte can cause serious vehicle damage and burns if it comes in contact with your body. Gel cell and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are superior alternatives. In the gel cell battery, silica is added to the electrolyte to form a gel-type material, while in AGM batteries, the electrolyte is held in matting that is akin to a sponge. If the case cracks on a gel cell or AGM battery, no electrolyte will leak out.

The starter motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The starter circuit includes the battery, starter, and cables, which are activated by a starter control circuit consisting of the ignition switch, starter relay, solenoid, and wiring. When you turn the ignition switch, the relay energizes the starter solenoid, which sends power to the starter motor. The starter drive meshes with the flywheel/flexplate teeth before the starter motor begins to turn. Most starter drives are the overrunning clutch type, which only applies force in one direction, so the engine cannot apply torque to the starter.

A belt from the crankshaft drives the alternator, and it uses this mechanical energy to create electricity. The electricity is produced when the belt spins the rotor, creating a magnetic field that induces a voltage in the stator windings. Alternators produce AC current, which is rectified by diodes and transformed into the DC current that recharges the battery and powers the electrical system. The voltage output of the alternator must be controlled. This is done by varying the field current. On older vehicles this was done by a separate voltage regulator, but on most new vehicles regulator function is part of the ECM.

Guides & Articles

  • Starting & Charging
    New Versus Remanufactured Starters And Alternators
    Starter motors and alternators have a tough job. Starter motors are high-torque motors which must have the ability to turn over, or crank, an engine under varying weather and mechanical conditions. Without a functioning starter motor, you simply cannot start up a modern vehicle's engine.
  • Ignition Parts
    Auto Parts: Dealer vs. Aftermarket
    The question of whether to buy parts from an automotive dealer vs. ones from aftermarket manufacturers is as age-old as the automobile itself. Below, we'll take a look at things worth considering to help you make a better choice if you're facing that same question. Automobile manufacturers and dealerships always advertise the fact that their parts are "genuine" because they were made by the exact same production facility that made the parts installed on the assembly line.
  • Starting & Charging
    Servicing And Replacing A Battery
    By definition, an automotive battery is an electrochemical device that stores and provides electrical energy on demand. Electrical energy is produced inside the battery by a chemical reaction occurring between two dissimilar plates immersed in an electrolyte solution. When the battery is discharging, it changes chemical energy into electrical energy and releases current. During charging, electrical energy is converted back into chemical energy and stored.
  • Starting & Charging
    Hybrid Vehicle Overview -
    Hybrids are everywhere these days and can be defined as, "any vehicle combining two or more sources of power which can directly or indirectly provide propulsion." Although all hybrid vehicles on the market today use batteries as one of the power sources, there are different mechanical layouts and operational approaches in the way electric motors function alongside gasoline combustion engines. Those that use a combustion engine to generate electrical power are described simply as "hybrids", while vehicles with larger battery packs that can also be recharged with an electrical cord are known as "plug-in hybrids". Vehicles with electric motors and without combustion engines are not considered hybrids, because they are "pure electric" vehicles. These so-called "EVs" are outside the scope of what we are covering here.

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Starters, Alternators & Batteries Reviews

Average rating:  5  4.8 - 162 reviews
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5 of 5
All Perfect
Very good product, service.
EPosted by Eyal (Kfar Vradim, AA) /
1982 Jeep CJ
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