How To Tell If Your Car Starter Is Bad

Sign To Look For In A Bad Car Starter

When your car won’t start the car starter may be to blame. Unfortunately, problems with car starters are quite common and drivers usually mistaken them for issues with another area of the vehicle so the problem doesn’t get solved.

Your vehicle’s starter is basically a small motor that is powered by battery. It’s the component that’s responsible for getting your vehicle’s engine running. It’s located between the vehicle’s battery and it’s starter motor. When the starter isn’t working, you won’t be able to take that vehicle anywhere without a tow truck. 

What Causes Problems With The Starter?

There are a lot of things that could go wrong that lead to a bad starter. The most common issue is loose wiring to and from the vehicle’s starter. If there are any damaged or worn out parts in the system, they could also lead to a problem with the starter. Some other things that could cause problems with the starter are:

  • Dirty connection
  • Battery corrosion
  • Oil leaks

Signs Of A Bad Starter

There are 5 common signs that could let you know of a problem with your vehicle’s starter. If your vehicle has any of these signs then you may need to have it looked at before something goes wrong.

Odd Sound

A lot of people notice their starter making an odd clicking noise when they turn their vehicle on. Clicking is just one of many sounds the starter could make to signal it has a problem. Some starters on the other hand will make a grinding or stirring noise. Unfortunately, some might die without making any sound at all.

Lights, But That’s All

If you turn your vehicle on, but only get lights and no power to the car’s engine then you most likely have a failed starter. In this case, the engine likely won’t even rev up after a jumpstart. 


After many attempts of trying to start the vehicle, you may see smoke. This is because the vehicle’s starter is part of it’s electrical system and you may have blown a fuse. If you see smoke, don’t try to start the engine again. Call for help immediately. 

Oil Leakage

When you pop the hood of your vehicle to take a look at the starter there could be the chance that it’s soaked in oil. If there is an oil leak in your vehicle, it is likely to cause a problem with the starter if it doesn’t get taken care of.

What To Do When Your Car Starter Is Bad?

When the car starter is bad, you may have to bring it in to your local auto repair shop to get it professionally serviced. We also offer Raleigh auto body repair or Raleigh Collision. In the meantime there are a few things you can do that may help the issue. The first thing you should do is take a look at your battery and the cables to make sure everything is in order. If everything looks normal with the battery, give your starter a couple light taps with a hard object. This is similar to tapping a TV that needs to get it’s picture back.

You should also check that your gas tank isn’t empty either. While that seems obvious, sometimes it’s the reason behind a car not starting. Once you have determined that your starter is the problem, you may need to take it to an auto repair shop to be repaired or replaced.