Relays are devices that utilize a central iron core fitted closely to the inside of a coil of wire. When the wire is energized the iron core will be drawn down the length of the coil, the direction dependent upon the direction of current flow. If the relays iron core is fitted with large, high current-carrying contacts it can be used as a high-current switch. Relays are used throughout cars for horns, electric fans, air conditioning clutches, etc. and the most important one is the starter solenoid.
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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