The purpose of the starter is to start an engine – very straight forward! The starter gets a signal from the ignition to crank the engine, the teeth on the drive gear of the starter engage with the teeth of the engine’s ring gear and voila, the engine starts. The most common failure of a starter is worn out components, such as bushings and brushes. There are also cases where the starter solenoid fails and needs to be replaced. This solenoid is responsible for turning a voltage signal with low amperage from the ignition switch into a voltage with high amperage necessary to turn the engine. The less common component failures are the armature and field coils. If the starter is cranked to long due to a bad ignition or engine problems, the armature and field coils can burn. A cutaway look at what is inside a starter is below.