Here’s What Happens When the Starter Goes Bad

You can call us here at Shums Auto Repair if you suspect that the starter is going bad. We’d be happy to test the starter and replace it if it needs it. Generally, the factory starter will last approximately 100,000 miles before it begins to give you trouble. Sometimes, you will receive a warning that the starter is going bad. Other times, you will simply end up stranded with the dead engine. There is one thing that can kill the starter prematurely, and that is a motor oil leak from a cracked cylinder block. If your vehicle is doing any of the following things, it’s probable that it needs a new starter.

You’ll Hear Weird Noises

You’ve turned the ignition key or pressed the start button and you hear a strange sound before the engine ignites. You could swear the sound was clicking. Maybe it was whirring. Either sound is made by a starter that is beginning to go bad. If you get your engine started despite the noise, bring your vehicle to our shop right away to avoid the next problem on our list.

The Engine Will Not Start

This problem is that the engine will not start. Sometimes, you will get the audible warning discussed above. Other times, you may turn the key in the ignition and nothing will happen. This is an indication that the starter is unable to turn over the motor. The motor needs to turn over in order to bring air and fuel into the combustion chamber for combustion. In addition, if the starter has died, it is not routing electricity through the spark plug wires for the plugs to generate sparks.

The Lights Will Work, Though

You can tell if your vehicle is in starting because of the starter or because it has a dead battery. Simply check the lights. If the lights are working and they are not dim, the battery is sending them power so it is not dead. This definitely points to a problem with the starter motor as the cause of your dead engine.

You’ll Smell and See Smoke

Another thing that points directly to the starter motor is smoke. If you keep turning the ignition key or pressing the start button in vain, you will increase the starter motor’s heat to the point that it will release smoke.

Have your vehicle towed to Shums Auto Repair in Philadelphia, PA, if you cannot get it started because the starter motor is dead.

Photo by dja65 from getty images via Canva Pro

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