Tip & How-To about 1999 Ford Escort
All starting systems are basically the same in operation for manufacturers. The starter takes power from the battery to crank the engine. Generally the large wire on the starter is from the battery and the small wire is from the ignition switch. The large wire will have battery voltage on it all the time, the small wire will only have voltage when the ignition key is turned into the start position.
The altenator on all vehicles is designed to provide power for all car electronics while the engine is running, there is a large wire (usually red) that comes from the battery, and two to three small ones that come from other circuts to regulate how much power comes out on the large red wire.
The only relationship between the altenator and starter, is the battery, it is important to remember that the starter takes power in the form of amperage from the battery, while the altenator send power in the form of amperage to the battery. Thus an altenator can never be the cause of a vehicle that will not start. These two systems only share the battery and other than that they are not connected.
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