Imagine when you need to drive your car to somewhere as usual, but after turning the key, nothing happens. All the lights are on and there are enough power for the battery, but the car just can’t work. Then you may get confused and wonder what happened. Maybe there is something wrong with the starter at this moment.
A car engine is also like a feedback system that essentially uses the momentum from one part of the engine’s phase to ignite the second part. The starter motor, a powerful electric motor, lets this moving.
Following are some signs of a failing faulty starter:
- grinding noise when turning the key
When the starter drive gears start to wear out, it may stop to grip and cause clicking noise, which is the same as the noise you heard when you hold your ignition switch key too long.
- smoke from the car
As a electric motor is affected by blown fuses and short circuits, desperately starting your car may cause the starter motor overheat, and sometimes may cause electrical issues, accompanying with smoke. Normally smoke means there is too much power drawn through the electrical supply, which is either due to the starter over-operated for a long time or there existing a connection issue.
- the dashboard lighting up but the engine not starting
If the dashboard can light up but the engine doesn’t turn over, there maybe something wrong with the electric starter.
- the engine not cranking
If the engine can’t start even after a jump start, the starter motor may get faulty.
It happens when you crank the engine and just hear a whining noise, but the engine doesn’t crank. This is due to the electric starter not engaging with the flywheel.
There are some ways that can temporarily fix a bad starter.
- Try a jump start;
- Try a push start;
- Clean corrosion around terminals and connections;
- Check the connection of the starter’s earthing.
But these are temporary solutions, and you had better get the issue checked out by a mechanic.
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If you are interested in how to replace a stater motor, please refer to “Replacing a Car Starter Motor“.