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
2014 Ford F-350 Super Duty $272 $201.58 $70.00 12% $309.08
2008 Toyota Land Cruiser $481 $284.85 $196.00 17% $585.85
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer $471 $352.43 $119.00 11% $535.18
2013 BMW 328i xDrive $729 $539.88 $189.00 12% $830.13
2011 Mini Cooper Countryman $557 $459.28 $98.00 8% $609.78
2009 BMW M6 $1126 $566.43 $560.00 21% $1426.43
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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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Curtis

26 years of experience
78 reviews
Curtis
26 years of experience
Great job! Thanks!
2007 FORD EDGE - STARTER - AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

Ben

38 years of experience
883 reviews
Ben
38 years of experience
It wasn't good, it was great. Ben was very friendly and explained everything. If I ever need something else done I will be sure to call you and make sure that I get Ben again.
1995 DODGE RAM 1500 - STARTER - HOUSTON, TEXAS

Will

9 years of experience
48 reviews
Will
9 years of experience
Will was timely, courteous, thorough, and efficient. He asked me questions to confirm the (intermittent) problem was with the starter, and answered all of my questions before and after he quickly replaced the failing starter.
1999 TOYOTA TACOMA - STARTER - PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Peter

40 years of experience
1059 reviews
Peter
40 years of experience
He is the very best mechanic you can get. Has a great attitude, friendly & helpful.
2003 HONDA CR-V - STARTER - PHOENIX, ARIZONA

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