Permanent Magnet Starters: ‘Starting’ the Electrical Diagnosis – UnderhoodService

Permanent Magnet Starters: ‘Starting’ the Electrical Diagnosis

When we diagnose problems with the modern, permanent magnet, reduction-gear import starter, we begin by looking at a system composed of the battery, starter and connecting wiring. The automotive battery, for example, is designed as a fast-discharge battery capable of sustaining enough amperage output to crank the engine until the fuel injection and ignition cycles take place in the engine’s cylinders. In many cases, we’re seeing batteries being installed in vehicles that range from the cheap, discount store variety that barely meet OEM specifications to the exotic, high-output units that far exceed those requirements.

Although each design has its own discharge characteristics and failure patterns, cell failure is perhaps the most common issue that affects starter operation and the characteristics of the starter itself. Conventional load testing, therefore, often fails to detect defective battery cells. To perform an accurate load test, the battery must be fully charged and at room temperature.

If the battery isn’t fully charged, test the alternator for output voltage and amperage. Keep in mind that modern load-sensing charging systems, such as those found on many Honda models, may only charge during specific operating modes, such as when the lights are turned on. When the alternator does charge, the voltage should range from about 14.2 cold to about 13.8 hot. Loaded amperage should range from 40 to 60 amperes on a late-model, accessory-laden vehicle.

After verifying charging voltage, the battery must then be loaded to either the test value indicated on the battery label or to one-half the rated cold-cranking amperes (CCA) for 15 seconds. After load testing, a battery that’s in good condition should have at least 9.6 volts remaining at the terminals.

Checking Cell Condition
Another method, called conductance testing, reveals cell faults by metering a small alternating current through the battery cells. For conductance testing to be successful, the battery should be load-tested or the headlights should be turned on for five minutes to remove the surface charge from the battery. Next, it’s equally important to enter the CCA numerical value rated at 0

You May Also Like

Pentosin Technical Fluids Celebrates 40 Years

CRP Automotive’s brand of high-tech fluids has been sold in North America since 1983.

CRP Automotive is recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Pentosin brand of technical fluids in North America. CRP Automotive began selling Pentosin fluids in the North American market in 1983 and offers the import vehicle community a comprehensive line of antifreeze, brake fluids, hydraulic fluids, motor oil, transmission fluids and kits.

Schaeffler Features Future Repair Solutions at AAPEX

Technologies on display feature repair solutions for today and tomorrow’s automotive aftermarket needs.

Litens Announces 28 New SKUs

New releases expands coverage and enhances efficiency for automotive technicians.

MotoRad Celebrates 65 Years at AAPEX 2023

AAPEX 2023 takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 31- November 2.

ASE Fall Testing Registration Open

Those registering by Dec. 31 will have 90 days to schedule an appointment to take their selected ASE tests.

Other Posts

Litens Brings Awareness to Proper Belt Drive System Maintenance

Campaign explains system significance and what neglecting maintenance means.

Dorman to Host 3-day Hands-On Electronics Training Class

Topics covered include circuits and circuit testing, opens, shorts, voltage drops and more.

Anchor Adds More Ford and Lincoln Coverage

Ten new parts numbers cover over 2 million applications and model years 2018-2023.

Autoshop Solutions Partners With ShopBoss

Autoshop Solutions has launched an ROI integration tool that draws data from Shop Boss SMS into Autoshop Solutions’ dashboard.