Use Your Ears and Your Headlights to Help Diagnose Your Starter System
Funny sounds, or no sound, upon the turn of the key may indicate electrical problems in the starter or elsewhere in the starting system. Some of the most common electrical problems are corroded electrical connections, an undercharged or bad battery, or a malfunctioning component:
Five Starter Warning Signs:
If you think this could be you, then we hope this article will shed some light on a problem that is more common than you may think. Bad starter issues are relatively frequent and, as a garage, we deal with those on a daily basis. As we will go into some technical details, we provided links to simple explanations for some of the less common terms we will be using. We are not all petrol-heads after all!
Signs Your Starter Is Going Bad
Depending on the age of the car, it usually manifests as absolutely nothing happening when you turn the ignition to start. No click. No series of clicks, just silence. Your accessories will operate, which is how you know it isn’t a bad battery, but you won’t get anything else when you go to start the car.
Troubleshooting a car with bad starter
Conduct a voltage test. Connect the negative lead on the voltmeter to the negative side of the battery and the positive lead on the positive side down at the starter. The voltage should be very close to battery voltage if the battery voltage is much lower. Also, if the battery cable is corroded it should be replaced.
Is Your Car’s Starter Stopping?
The first indication your starter may be going bad is at the moment you try to start your car. If you turn the key and simply hear a clicking sound, or nothing at all, then it may be the starter. Given the fact that it also could be a problem with the battery, car mechanics recommend trying to turn on the headlights or interior lights. If they light up properly, then the problem is not with the battery and is likely the starter.
What Does a Bad Starter Sound Like?
Even a functioning starter creates some noises! You will hear it when turning the engine although for a brief time. It could linger a bit during cold weather when the starter needs some time to get to the 15psi oil pressure required for the engine to kick in. But, what does a bad starter sound like?
Symptoms of a Bad Starter
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 to Start a Car with a Bad Starter?
How does it feel when you turn the ignition key, but the engine does not respond? It could be a starter problem, and dealing with a bad starter could be quite frustrating. You may have the urgency of catching a flight or joining a meeting, so don’t have time to take the car to the garage. So, how to start a car with a bad starter? Well, a non-working starter can be annoying, but a series of simple tricks might be enough to put it back in order.