How Do You Know When Your Car Starter Is Going Bad?

If your vehicle has starting problems, have your mechanic inspect the entire starting system, including the ignition switch, a neutral safety switch, the starter solenoid, the starter motor, the car battery, and the alternators. Your mechanic will rule out what “isn’t” the problem, such as the battery and the alternators.

Once the battery and the alternators have been ruled out, you should understand what happens when your starter goes bad. So how do you know when your car starter is going bad? Watch for these signs:

  1. Vehicle cranks slowly or works hard to crank.
  2. Vehicle won’t start at all.
  3. Starting problems are intermittent.
  4. The interior lights dim when you try to start the car.
  5. When turning the key, you can hear a grinding noise (or pushing the start button).
  6. There is a burnt smell or smoke from the starter overheating.
  7. The starter is soaked with oil, meaning there is an oil leak. 

Here’s a shortlist of the most common causes of starter problems:

  • Wires to and from the starter have come loose.
  • Connections are dirty and corroded.
  • The battery is corroded and can’t send a charge to ignite the starter.
  • The components that make up the starter system are damaged or worn out.

Tip for Drivers: If your car is getting hard to start, don’t wait to get stranded somewhere before having the starting system checked out!

Need to know more about how you know when your car starter is going bad? Contact our ASE-Certified Technicians at B & L Auto Service and Toledo Tire and Auto Care, for more information about the starting system and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop is proud to serve vehicle owners in Whitehouse, OH, and the surrounding areas.