Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Buy a Good Quality Starter

good Quality Starter

Did you know that when automobiles were first invented, you had to crank them to get them started? Fast forward to today, when many vehicles have a key or even a button that is gently pressed or rotated in order to get the vehicle fired up. Those removable options that went directly into the crankcase were dangerous and inconvenient (to say the least!). Fortunately, today’s engines have a much higher compression ratio which leads to the advent of the self-starting motor.

Starters work by converting electrical energy from the batteries of your vehicle into mechanical energy – which in turn breathes life into the engine. Internal combustion engines that are running at 0 RPM are unable to produce torque, therefore the starter helps the engine turn over that first time to get started. Once that occurs, the engine can power itself.

Starter motors come in a variety of styles, gear-reduction, electric, and pneumatic. Some things to note about these styles when purchasing a starter for your vehicle:

  • Gear-reduction starter: The gear-reduction starter is mostly utilized for cost-reduction instead of for any specific benefits that it offers, although this style is essentially obsolete now.

  • Pneumatic starters: Pneumatic starters are simply put together, reliable and deliver a nice, high torque. Used by diesel engines and gas turbines, the pneumatic starter includes a pressure tank, an air compressor and a geared turbine. Once compressed air is released from the tank, the turbine spins – turning over the engine. The engine then recharges the compressor as it runs. This type of starter is generally saved for heavy equipment and machinery.

  • Electric starters: Electric starters are used most often for everyday gas and diesel engines. A low-power current is pushed through the solenoid when the key is turned, causing the drive pinion to mesh with the ring gear on the engine’s flywheel.

Finding the accurate starter replacement part is as simple as consulting your vehicle’s manual, as you will have to be sure to get the correct style and size of starter to get your car going. As always, when you’re looking for parts, try to go with the highest quality you can afford.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality starters to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a starter that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on starter replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...

Related questions

Q: After battery replacement, car still won't start

Many different items can cause a vehicle not to start. Replacing the battery, especially if it was old, is a great place to start since this this is the cause in most cases. Since you have replaced the battery and...

Q: Hello have you ever heard of a starter lever going bad, not the actual starter in a 2011 hyundai sonata

This was a known recall on many Hyundai Sonatas in this year. There is a technical service bulletin issued: TSB 13-EE-001. Your car should have the 100k warranty. I would recommend taking this to the dealer to have them replace...

Q: Starter circuit problem and will not crank. 2000 GMC Savana 2500

It sounds like the main battery lead to the starter is not suppling enough power to turn the starter. The way to test this is to use a multimeter and check the power cable (red one) with meter set to...