When you turn your key in the ignition do you just hear clicking sounds instead of the engine coming to life? Are you wondering what’s wrong with your car? If this is your situation, you may be wondering, “What are the signs of a bad starter?” Of course, another thought is that the alternator may be starting to go bad–or maybe it’s the battery.
There are several symptoms that can indicate a bad starter—many of which can also be caused by the alternatoror the battery. Your auto mechanic can run a simple test to determine the problem. Even though the starter system is meant to be durable–designed for repeated use under a variety of weather and road conditions, the wear and tear of daily use, extreme conditions, and poor maintenance can all create problems.
Six signs of a bad starter:
Slow and intermittent starting. It could be a problem with the starter’s motor, loose or dirty wiring, or a damaged electrical component that is failing to work.
Your vehicle won’t start. You turn the key but the engine doesn’t crank. You may hear no sound at all or there may be a clicking or clunking noise.
The interior lights dim when starting. It can be a sign of a short circuit in the starter motor’s internal wiring, causing the starter motor to draw excess current, leaving less for the vehicle’s other systems. If you notice a chugging sound along with the dimming lights, the bearings in the motor may be failing.
You hear a grinding noise at starting. Grinding sounds indicate a mechanical problem. The gears in the starter motor may be worn or not engaging correctly; they may not be disengaging after the engine starts, or the starter motor may be loose on its mountings.
A burning smell or smoke. Malfunctions in the starter system often combine electrical problems with overheated metal components that are lubricated with grease. When these components heat up, it will give off a burning smell.
The starter is soaked with oil. The starter system sits near the bottom of the engine and gets very hot. If engine oil leaks into the starter motor or other components, there may be permanent damage to the starter.
Need to know more about what are the signs of a bad starter? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Rod’s Tire and Automotive for information about the battery, alternator, and starter, and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Medina, TN, and the surrounding area.
Has your vehicle seemed more sluggish than usual, possibly lacking power when passing a slower vehicle or when trying to go up a hill? Has a dashboard light come on and you don’t know why? With winter here to stay for a while, it would be smart to schedule a car tune up, which should include […]
Some vehicle owners may not understand the difference between basic vehicle maintenance and auto repair. It’s fairly simple! Routine maintenance includes the items listed on the auto service schedule found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual that should be performed at specific mileage intervals. Taking care of the items on this auto service schedule will keep your vehicle […]