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4 Tell-Tales Signs of a Failing Starter

When you’re already running late, a car failing to start can be a major inconvenience. Most of the time, a problem starting your vehicle is related to the starter. Keep reading to find out more about how the starter works, what causes problems, and where you can get your starter fixed.

key in ignition starting vehicle after starter maintenance

What is the Starter?

A starter motor starts the engine of your car. An engine has to be turned very quickly in order to begin running. An electric starter works by drawing power from the car battery. The starter relay and solenoid are also a part of this process. The current is sent through these parts to the starter to engage the engine. The process happens very quickly when you turn the key in the ignition.

What are the Signs of a Failing Starter?

There are several signs of a bad starter but sometimes it can be difficult to tell if it's your starter, battery, or alternator. In those cases, it's best to get the opinion of a mechanic. Signs of a bad starter can include:

  1. Click, click, click - One of the most common signs of a failing (or broken) starter is a clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition.
  2. Engine won't turn over - Your engine won't turn over if the starter is busted but this can also happen with a dead battery. If the engine still won't turn over after a jump start, it's most likely a problem with the starter.
  3. The lights are on, but no one's home – If your dashboard lights up like Times Square, but your engine still won't turn over, that could be another sign of a starter issue.
  4. It starts, it doesn't start, it starts, it doesn't start - Intermittent trouble starting your vehicle can be a sure sign that something is not quite right with the starter.

What Causes Starter Issues?

Starter troubles can stem from a number of problems. Since the starter relies heavily on the battery, your problem could be an issue with corrosion, dirty connections, or loose wiring. An oil leak that drips onto the starter can also damage its parts. A bad ignition switch, solenoid, or starter relay will all cause the starter to malfunction. If you're having trouble starting your vehicle, it's important to have it checked out by a qualified technician. Our team at Custom Complete Automotive is ASE certified with over 40 years of experience and are happy to help you with any of your auto issues. To learn more about our services, contact us today for reliable service and unbeatable prices!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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