When you turn your key to the “on” position to start your automobile, a powerful electric motor known as a car starter turns your engine. The motor in this arrangement has a solenoid affixed to it. It is the solenoid’s responsibility to ensure that the starter motor receives the electricity from the battery. Additionally, it advances the starter gear, causing the gear to mesh with the engine’s flywheel gear teeth.
Over time, starters do degrade or stop working. However, if you bring your car into an auto repair shop, the experts might ask you about the warning signals that it’s on its last legs. Their diagnosis of the issue will be aided by your responses. We’ll outline the key caution signs.
SIGNS OF A FAILING STARTER
Typically, your starter will give off a few warning indications before it really fails. The more knowledge you have of these issues, the simpler it will be for you to describe them to your mechanics when they inquire about the history of the vehicle. The clearest indications are:
Your car struggles to start or starts slowly.
The first indication that there is a problem with your starter is typically labored or slow cranking when you start your car. These signs may indicate a starter motor issue, or they may indicate a different issue with your system. You can minimize the damage if you immediately have a mechanic inspect it.
If your vehicle refuses to start
Your engine won’t turn over when you press the start button or turn the key. Every time you turn the key, you can hear a clanking or clicking sound—or nothing at all. If this occurs, your starter system’s essential component likely has a problem. The starter motor itself, the solenoid, or the electrical system could all be the source of your issue. This needs to be fixed as quickly as possible, although it could need to be towed to a nearby car repair shop.
Intersective starting of your vehicle
A starter issue that only occasionally occurs might be an irritating and worrying occurrence. This also makes fixing it more difficult. Your issue can be caused by soiled or loose wiring. It is possible for an electrical component, such as a damaged relay, to malfunction and operate differently. Even if this only occasionally occurs, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. It will inevitably become worse, and you don’t want to get stranded. It is possible for an electrical component, such as a damaged relay, to malfunction and operate differently. Even if this only occasionally occurs, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. It will inevitably become worse, and you don’t want to get stranded.
When you try to started your car, the interior lights go out
A short circuit in the internal wiring is a common reason why your interior lights or dashboard lights dim when you try to start your car. Your starter motor tries to pull more power when this short occurs. This in turn depletes other systems, including your lights. You might hear a chugging sound in addition to the lights becoming darker. This could indicate a motor bearing failure, and your car need immediate care.
When the car starts or moves, you may hear a grinding sound.
Turning the key and hearing a grinding noise suggests a mechanical issue rather than an electrical one. The culprits are typically the gears that connect to your starter motor. It’s possible that these gears won’t engage properly or that they will deteriorate with time. It’s possible that the starter motor has an internal issue or has come loose from its mountings. If you don’t get someone to take a look at it soon away, this issue could result in more serious mechanical damage.
Engine whines or whirs but does not crank
Freewheeling is the term for when your engine won’t start and you hear a whining or whirling sound. The flywheel in your car is spinning on its own because the starter motor isn’t engaging it.
When there is a problem with the system that engages and disengages your starter, this occurs.
After you start the engine, the starter continues to run
You release your finger from the start button or turn the key away from the start position when your engine starts. When you do this, the motor ought to shut off. It will continue to sound as though it is trying to start your automobile if it does so. If you don’t address this issue, it could cause serious harm to other parts of your system’s electrical circuitry and is typically an indication that you have a serious issue.
You see smoke or smell something burning
Both mechanical and electrical components make up your starter system. Due to this configuration, any issues typically impact the electrical system in addition to the metal components that have become too hot. Usually, these parts are covered in several layers of grease. When this occurs, you might notice and smell smoke.
Your engine’s starter system is located close to the bottom. Because of how hot this area of your car gets, it’s not unusual for engine oil to seep down onto your starter system. Your starter’s lifespan may be significantly shortened if this keeps happening.
What happens if a failing starter is not repaired
If you don’t take the time to get your broken starter repaired or replaced, a number of things could occur. The following are some of the most likely outcomes:
- Electrical system damage
- Dim lighting
- Damage to your transmission or engine
- Battery drainage
- Vehicle refuses to start
Starter failure can leave you stranded, harm your other systems, and necessitate more expensive repairs. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, unable to move your car to a garage because it won’t start. It is crucial that you act quickly to solve the issue and seek professional assistance.
What to do about start-up problems
Get your automobile to a professional as soon as possible so they can diagnose the issue and rule out battery or charging system issues. Many of these symptoms can be caused by a low charge in your battery.
Your starter motor, starter relay, or button is most likely the source of your issues. Once any problematic components have been replaced or repaired, each of these systems may be fixed quite easily, and your car should function normally as a result.
Your mechanics might advise replacing the entire starting system instead of just one component or part of it. The price will vary according to the parts and how challenging it is to replace your starter. Before starting the repairs, your vehicle repair business ought to be able to provide you an estimate.
Do not wait for it to fail before taking action. Get your automobile there as quickly as you can to limit the damage and get it running.