The two most common issues involve the power in the battery not being enough to start your car – the other involves your car’s starter motor, a small device in your car which activates when you turn the ignition in order to initiate the car into running on its own power.
You’re running late for work and jump in your car knowing that you’ll need to hit all the green lights to make it on time. You put the key in the ignition and turn it…but nothing happens. You try again…still nothing. Not this morning you think; you don’t have time to deal with this.
How do you tell if a battery or a starter is faulty?
Good thing is, they can change out that battery for you, many do it for free, and you don’t have to deal with returning an old battery to get your core deposit back as they’d charge and credit you with the core deposit at the same time (got to keep track.)
Alternator and Starter Diagnosis
Rotating electrical parts such as starters and alternators often have to be replaced on older, high-mileage vehicles. Fuel injection has helped prolong the service life of starters by allowing engines to start more quickly when they are cranked. Such is not the case with alternators. Higher electrical demands on charging systems have increased alternator failures.
battery or starter motor – you decide!
Turn ignition on so all the lights are on, turn key to start – if all lights stay on and it goes click it’s either the starter or connections to it, if all the lights dim as it clicks – battery, drain or charging fault
If you suspect the starter motor, take it to an auto parts store for testing. Many auto parts outlets will test your starter for free. An aged starter motor may have worn out brushes, armature, shaft, or burned field winding that may cause unusual noises, excessive current draw, slow cranking or no cranking at all.
A quick inspection at an auto parts store will reveal the drive mechanism and motor general condition, whether the starter draws enough current to operate, and the general state of the internal components.
How to Test a Starter Motor (Step-By-Step Case Study)
Starter motors are a common component in the majority of cars and their main function is to help start the engine. Due to this key role in the ignition process, if the starter motor breaks then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to operate the vehicle.
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Finding the exact reason why your vehicle won’t start could be difficult for some people. But it is very beneficial to find the exact cause of the starter motor failing as soon as possible so a repair can be carried out and get you back on the road. People who only have limited knowledge of starter motors and the working of an engine, sometimes can jump to conclusions as to why their engine will not start. This can cause further damage to their vehicle or result in them purchasing replacement parts when it was not necessary to do so.