Starters and Alternators

Starters & Alternators
Starters & Alternators

Masterparts offers high-quality vehicle starters and alternators, suitable for most vehicle makes and models.

An alternator and starter motor are part of a car’s starting system. If either of these components fails, the engine starts erratically or not at all.

What does a starter do in a car?

The starter is an electric motor located at the base of the engine. A solenoid, attached to the motor, transfers the voltage from the battery to start the motor and crank the engine.

What does an alternator do in a car?

When the engine is running, the alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

The converted voltage recharges the car’s battery. It also powers all the vehicle’s electrical components – the windscreen wipers, dashboard lights, air conditioning, headlights, power steering and so on.

starters and alternators starting system

Image source: How Stuff Works

How does a starter work?

When the ignition switch of the car is turned on, an electric current is sent from the battery to the solenoid. The solenoid pushes the drive pinion, or starter gear, to mesh with the gear on the engine’s flywheel.

When the gear meets the flywheel, the starter motor turns, and cranks the engine. Once the engine is up and running, the starter motor turns off and disengages from the starter gear.

How does an alternator work?

An alternator is made up of three components – a stator, rotor and rectifier.  When the engine is turned on, it activates a pulley attached to the alternator.

The pulley turns the rotor shaft, which spins the rotor and stator around a coil to generate alternating current (AC).

The AC is then conveyed to the rectifier, where it is converted into direct current (DC) that’s used to power the vehicle’s electrical systems.

This article by an automation engineer provides an in-depth explanation of a car’s alternator and how it works.

Signs of a faulty or damaged starter or alternator

Wear and tear, corrosion, frayed wiring and extreme temperatures can cause starter motors and alternators to fail.

If the engine doesn’t start or there is a clicking sound when the ignition is turned on, it is usually a sign of a worn or damaged starter motor.

When the engine stalls frequently or emits a loud gnashing noise, or there is smell of burnt wiring or rubber, or the battery is dead, the alternator is the most likely culprit.

High-quality automotive starters and alternators for sale in South Africa

Masterparts stocks a wide range of starters and alternators suitable for all automotive makes and models.

Our consultants are always close at hand to help you choose the best starter and alternator for your car.

Where to get starters and alternators from Masterparts

We offer door-to-door delivery. Alternatively, visit any of our branches across South Africa or in Windhoek, Namibia.

Starters and alternators in and around Cape Town:

Starters and alternators in KwaZulu-Natal:

Starters and alternators in Namibia:

Along with starters and alternators, Masterparts offers car batteries, ignition coils, ignition leads, spark plugs, glow plugs and other electrical components – so you can complete a full engine repair with one stop. Contact us if there’s a part you need and we’ll do our best to assist.


Call us on 021 657 5757 or complete the form below to get a quote.

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