6 Signs of a Bad Starter That You Should Know

Sometimes, you see that your car doesn’t start, which is very annoying when you are in a hurry. Well, the starter problems are a very common issue that often happens. You must know about the signs of a bad starter cause sometimes the driver gets confused if there’s any other problem with the car.

Before you know about the symptoms of a bad starter, you must know what a starter is? The starter is a motor that is small in size and powered by a battery. It keeps your car’s engine running. The starter relay fits between the starter motor and the battery. Well, this is all you would need to know about the car starter cause I don’t want to annoy you with lots of technical terms.

If your car’s starter relay and motor are not working correctly, you would not be able to be out even of a parking zone without a tow or jumpstart. This is why it is essential to get your starter working correctly.

As you have got to know quite a lot about the car starter, now you should know about the signs of a bad starter. These bad starter symptoms will help you in identifying the problem with your car.

Six Common Symptoms of a Bad Starter –

The following are some of the most common signs of a bad starter, and you might be facing any of them.

1. Your engine won’t be revving up.

If your engine is not starting even after attempting the jumpstart, you need to get your car to a technician. It is one of the most common starter problems, and if a jumpstart can not start the engine at this point, nothing except a certified technician does it.

2. Oil soaked the starter.

The starter is usually found on the driver’s side of the motor, below the left bank of the cylinders. If you open the hood to find that the starter is drenched in engine oil, your bad starter could indicate an oil leak problem. Ensuring you keep an eye out for the oil leaks to avoid starter problems cause a few drops of oil can gradually turn into a big problem that can cost you. So keep checking the oil leaks.

3. Grinding noise

One of the common signs your starter is going bad is the grinding noise that it makes. When the starter drive gear doesn’t engage properly, it often produces a grinding noise. This is the same noise heard if you start the engine and then accidentally action the ignition switch again. You must not ignore this bad starter issue cause it may also result in the engine’s flywheel damage that you will never want.

4. Freewheeling

This issue occurs when you crank the engine, and starter makes a whining noise, and the engine is not cranking. When it happens, it means the starter cannot engage with the flywheel, and that’s one of the signs of a bad starter. This is a worrying situation that could cause heavy if not diagnosed. You may need to replace the entire component if you overlook this bad starter issue. So if you hear the starter whining noise while cranking your engine, get it serviced as soon as possible.

5. Smoke

The starter gear will eventually overheat if the power is supplied continuously to it. It may occur smoke that indicates that too much power is being passed through the electrical supply. There are two reasons why it happens. Either because the starter’s been operated too long without a rest or there is a connection-related problem. The smoke accompanied by a burning smell coming from underneath the engine can be one of the symptoms of a bad starter. Make sure you get this issue resolved.

6. The starter doesn’t shut after the engine started

It is also one of the car starter issues that you might not be knowing. When you start the car’s engine and release the key, the circuit that discontinuous the power to the starter motor should close. If it doesn’t close and stays on after the engine is ignited, it means the primary contacts in the solenoid have welded together in the closed position. Suppose this problem is not noticed and resolved immediately. In that case, the relay will be stuck in the same place, which will ultimately cause severe damage to the starter system and the flywheel.

These are the six potentials symptoms of a bad starter, and they are not supposed to be overlooked. The starter motor problems are common but thought to be addressed immediately. As you have learned about the starter problems, it’s time to know about the causes and how to diagnose a bad starter for good.

What causes the car starter issues?

Following are some of the potential causes of starter problems-

  • Oil leakage
  • Battery corrosion or battery cable-related issues
  • Damaged part in the starter system
  • Weak connections or loose wiring.

These causes are the signs of a bad starter. Now let’s know how to diagnose a bad starter.

How to diagnose a bad starter?

Tap the starter

Sometimes, a tap can do a lot. Bring a hard object and try lightly tapping the starter a few times. Make sure you do not pound it and do it the way it is supposed to be. The gentle tapping sometimes can help power it back since you will be tapping the electrical components that get back in contact with each other. This is the same as tapping the TV to bring the picture back. This process often resolves the starter problems. But do not consider it as a permanent solution. If it happens often, then get it services.

Checking the fuel gauge

If you were sitting in the car, tired of starting your engine, and ended up reading this article right now, check the fuel tank. It might sound silly, but sometimes we are unaware of the things and do unnecessary things.

If your engine is unable to start despite enough fuel, you can jumpstart the car so you can get it on the track. Though it is a temporary solution, it can still help you if you are stuck somewhere. Later on, you can get it checked by a professional technician. In case the jumpstart doesn’t work, you will need to get the car towed. These tricks can temporarily solve a bad starter issue.

Take a look under the hood.

Check if the battery and battery cables are working problem and not creating any issue. Sometimes the problem is not with your starter, and it is with your weak or dead battery that needs to be replaced. The battery doesn’t pass the It can also be the battery cables that are preventing the connection. If everything is working in order, it means that it’s a car starter issue.

Misaligned spinning starter

A misaligned starter can also be a cause of not starting, and you should check and realign it if needed. Mainly it occurs when you fit a new starter, and it is out of alignment. In most cases, realigning your starter can resolve the issue. Get it to a mechanic if you think you will mess up with it.

So these are some of the ways to diagnose a bad starter. Make sure you check these things first in case you find any starter issue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions that might help you with your starter issues.

Can you jump-start a car with a bad starter?

Yes, you can jump-start a car with a bad starter, but this is a temporary solution. The jump-start boosts the battery power, and it doesn’t start the engine. It is one of the signs of a bad starter, and you need to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. You can also get your car towed in case the jump-start doesn’t work.

In many cases, the starter makes a whining noise or a clicking noise when you push the start button or turn the key. Sometimes, it creates a grinding noise that also indicates that your starter needs to get replaced, and sometimes it dies without any noise.

If your starter creates grinding or whining noise or it stays “on” even after the engine gets started, it means that it needs to get replaced. Also, if you notice intermittent engine cranking, buzzing, loud clicking, or any other issue that doesn’t let your engine start, it means that you need to get it replaced.

If you hear a banging noise inside the tool’s motor when it is running, then it’s most probably a brush. It can also be a bad armature, but the brushes are supposed to be replaced in most cases. The banging sound generally occurs by a damaged brush or a misshapen armature.

If you do not know much about cars, then you best get your vehicle to a professional technician. But if you know a bit of it, you can do a couple of things, such as tapping the starter with a hard object, check if the battery and battery cables are working correctly, or you can jump-start the car. Though these are not permanent solutions, they can still help you in getting rid of them temporarily.

Leave a Comment