ION, L-Series, S-Series 1999-2005

Starting System


The starting system is designed to start the engine. The battery provides power to the starter motor to crank the engine when starting. The system consists of a starter motor with a solenoid, a starter relay, a transaxle mounted park/neutral switch (automatic transaxle) or clutch pedal actuated switch (manual transaxle), a crank contact in the ignition switch, and associated wiring.

With the ignition switch in the START position, the starter relay enabled and the transaxle in the P (Park) or N (Neutral) position, power flows to the small terminal of the starter solenoid. Power through the pull-in winding also flows through the starter motor. The motor rotates slowly at first so the gears mesh and the solenoid contacts close. This allows full battery power to flow directly to the cranking motor. With full battery voltage at the M terminal, the motor armature turns and cranks the engine.

When the ignition switch is released from the START position, power to the small terminal is cut off. The battery continues to supply power to the cranking motor through the pull-in and hold-in windings. The current through the windings flows in opposing directions so it creates opposite magnetic fields. The magnetic fields cancel each other out, releasing the driver mechanism. The shift lever returns to its at-rest position and the starter solenoid contacts open, cutting off power to the starter motor.