Have you ever seen a very small component bring out a very large amount of power? In Toyota vehicles, there is this small electrical component called the Toyota starter. It is the major component of the Toyota starting system yet it is so small that you won't think of it as anything of importance. But while the starter is little, it gives off an amazing amount of power. Sadly, not many Toyota owners appreciate this power, simply because the starter is well concealed inside the engine compartment and out of the driver's sight as he starts the vehicle.
The Toyota starter is a small electrical motor which is used to turn the crankshaft a few revolutions so that the engine may begin with its combustion process, thus allowing the vehicle to start running. The starter is made up of two major parts. The first of these major parts is the starter motor. It is a DC motor directly responsible for turning the crankshaft a few revolutions as you start your Toyota. The other major part of the starter is the starter solenoid, which is basically a large switch that connects the starter motor to the battery as you turn the ignition switch to its "start" position.
Now, if the function of the Toyota starter sounds quite simple to you, it may be because you are not aware of the forces that the starter has to overcome to start a cold engine. In particular, the starter motor has to overcome all of the internal friction caused by the piston rings, the compression pressure on the cylinders, the energy needed to open and close valves, and the energy to move all other components directly attached to the engine (i.e. alternator, oil pump, water pump, etc.). Now, does it still sound simple?
For the starter to overcome all of these forces, it must be fed with a large amount of electrical energy. This is just what the starter solenoid is designed for. The starter solenoid is a large switch that can handle a very large amount of continuous flowing current. So if the starter solenoid and the starter motor of your Toyota are in good working condition, the power-consuming task of starting your Toyota won't be much of a problem.