Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: replaced the starter. went to connect the negative battery terminal, the starter made a whirring sound and sparked at terminal.

asked by on

After replacing my starter, I went to reconnect my battery. As soon as I put attempted to connect the negative battery cable there was an extreme spark to the point it burnt the battery post and a whirring sound was heard coming from the starter. What could cause the starter to being amping up the battery when the car isn't even "turned on".
My car has an automatic transmission.

Electrically, there a couple scenarios that can account for this, all equally odd, but if you were not having any problems with the car’s starting circuit prior to replacing the starter (i.e., just the starter motor failed) and you have hooked up the starter correctly, the starter motor you installed is probably internally miswired such that you were able to complete the circuit to the motor when you touched the negative terminal of the battery to body ground. That explains the big spark because starter motors of course draw a lot of current. If that is what happened, buy a brand new OEM starter from the dealer or, if the dealer offers this, a rebuilt starter through the dealer’s OEM rebuild program. If you desire that a certified mechanic resolve this, please simply request starter replacement and the responding certified mechanic will get the problem diagnosed and repaired for you. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • replaced the starter. went to connect the negative battery terminal, the starter made a whirring sound and sparked at terminal.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car keeps shutting off while im driving but cranks right back up in 3 minutes

If the car just shuts down with no warning, sputtering,etc, it sounds like your ignition switch is failing. It will not set any fault codes or turn the Check Engine Light on. There was a recall on a number...

Q: Brake lights do not work.

I don't have the wiring diagram for this vehicle handy, but one thing to check is the brake light switch. Hyundai actually issues a recall on these switches. I suggest you call the dealer with the VIN of your vehicle...

Q: On highway, car jerks and RPMs rise sharply

When an engines rotation speed increases the speed should increase. If it isn't, then there is likely an issue with the torque converter (an automatic transmissions clutch). If the speed is increasing, it could be an issue with the cruise...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.