STARTER SOLENOID "Relay" — All cars are wired so that the batterys main cable connects to the starter motor windings "the thick cable is needed for large current flow, right?". This wire must be switched on and off, of course, and it would be costly and inefficient to route it through the ignition switch "not to mention the size of the switchs components required to carry such current!". Consequently, a relay is necessary.
It is commonly known as the BENDIX type of solenoid. Such solenoids operate in three stages, the disengaged, partially engaged and engaged. In the disengaged position the drive gear is released and no current is flowing. In the partially engaged stage, current from the starter switch flows through both the pull-in and the hold-in coils.
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