Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Starter

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Starter

Common signs include the engine not turning over, starter engaging but not spinning the motor, and grinding noises or smoke when starting the motor. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Car Starter Repair. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2009 Nissan Xterra $197 $126.93 $70.00 15% $234.43
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD $275 $191.08 $84.00 14% $320.08
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 $242 $171.58 $70.00 13% $279.08
2004 Lincoln Aviator $320 $249.58 $70.00 10% $357.08
2014 Lincoln Navigator $280 $210.37 $70.00 11% $317.87
2010 Maserati GranTurismo $362 $278.06 $84.00 11% $407.06
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Starter?

starter

Every memorable drive you've experienced in your life begins with the successful operation of the starter on your vehicle. The starter on today's cars, trucks and SUVs is attached in the rear of the motor, where a gear on the starter aligns with the vehicle's flywheel to begin the ignition process. Once the engine turns over, fuel is introduced to the combustion chamber and is ignited thanks to the ignition system being activated. When this process works correctly, your engine comes to life. However, when the starter begins to wear out or break, it will impact your ability to drive the car.

Over a period of time, the starter motor will eventually runs its course and wear out. The two components inside the starter that commonly fail are the solenoid (which sends an electrical signal to the starter motor to activate) or the starter motor itself. When this occurs, the starter will be rendered useless and needs to be replaced by a certified mechanic. Although many of the internal components inside the starter can be fixed, it's recommended by most automotive manufacturers to replace the starter, so as to avoid future breakdowns.

Like any other mechanical device, when the starter fails or is beginning to wear out, it will display a few warning signs. Noted below are a few of the indicators that will let you know that a problem with the starter motor is likely.

1. Engine won't turn over

The most common indicator that a problem with your starter exists is when you turn your key and nothing happens. This is often caused by the starter solenoid or motor that has burnt out, or is experiencing an electrical issue. However, this problem may be caused by a dead battery as well. If this occurs, you'll have to contact a mechanic to inspect the starter, ignition system and other electrical components, as it may be a sign of multiple issues.

2. Starter engages but doesn't spin the motor

There are times when you'll turn the ignition switch and hear the starter activate but will not hear the motor crank over. Issues with the starter are sometimes mechanical in nature. In this case, the problem may be due to the gears that are connected to the flywheel. Either the gear has stripped or has become dislodged against the flywheel. In either case, the engine won't turn over and will require that you have the starter replaced by a certified mechanic.

3. Grinding noise when trying to start the motor

Similar to the issue above, this warning sign often occurs when the gears that connect the starter to the flywheel are worn out. However, grinding may also happen inside the starter motor. In either case, it's something that can't be fixed on the car. If you notice this symptom, a call to a mechanic is the best logical step. If this noise continues without being replaced, it can cause damage to the engine's flywheel, which is a rather expensive repair to have completed.

4. Smell or see smoke when starting the motor

The starter is a mechanical system that is powered by electricity. Sometimes the starter will overheat because of continued power being supplied to the starter or the starter motor will not shut off after the car's engine has ignited. If this occurs, you'll most likely see or smell smoke coming from underneath the engine. This problem may be caused by a short circuit, blown fuse or might be due to a problem with the ignition switch. In any case, it's important to contact a certified mechanic as soon as you notice this problem.

Problems with the starter are virtually impossible to avoid, as there really isn't a predetermined or recommended replacement by the automotive manufacturer. As soon as you notice your vehicle freewheeling, grinding noises, smoke, or your vehicle does not start at all, contact a professional mechanic to further assist you in figuring out the problem.

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YourMechanic Car Starter Repair Service

Average Rating

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Number of Reviews

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Rating Summary
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3,138
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Brandon

17 years of experience
489 reviews
Brandon
17 years of experience
Brandon was friendly and very knowledgeable. He replaced the starter on our car and provided additional support / advice. I highly recommend Brandon to anyone looking to get work done on a old or new car.
2001 FORD ESCAPE - STARTER - ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Lucas

14 years of experience
707 reviews
Lucas
14 years of experience
Lucas was fantastic, he had the job done in record time. He was very polite and made you relax that he had this handle with no problems. Thanks Lucas
1993 TOYOTA COROLLA - STARTER - SYLMAR, CALIFORNIA

Ruben

14 years of experience
71 reviews
Ruben
14 years of experience
Overall it was a pleasant experience. I scheduled an appointment with Ben at 9am to replace the starter on my 2005 Toyota Corolla. Ben arrived around 9:15, greeted me, apologized for being a bit late as he stopped to pick up the part, took a look at my car and let me know that it would take about an hour. 40 minutes later he was done. He explained what he did, showed me that my car started, answered all my questions, bid me farewell and left. All before 10am. I found Ben to be very personable, knowledgeable and efficient. I highly recommend his services.
2005 TOYOTA COROLLA - STARTER - KERNERSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

Sam

14 years of experience
105 reviews
Sam
14 years of experience
Sam was courteous and prompt. He explained what was needed and the pricing. He did say we would get $30 off of the diagnostic fee but that has yet to be applied. Other then that he delivered everything he said he would. He did not mind us asking questions or standing there while he completed the work. What I enjoyed the most about the "YourMechanic" experience is the convenience. I did not have to take time off work to have my car serviced and I got to stay with my vehicle. Sometimes leaving your car with a mechanic can be scary. It's like sending your child on a plane without you there to make sure everything's ok. I read up about this type of on site service and was a little leery about trying YourMechanic. I guess those other customers were not as fortunate as we were to have someone as professional and caring as Sam. I would highly recommend Sam and this company. Thanks Sam!
2012 KIA SORENTO - STARTER - FRESNO, CALIFORNIA

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