Signs Your Vehicle’s Starter Is Dying

Your car, truck, SUV’s starter is a tiny motor in the automobile’s motor that gets the motor running. The starter receives its power from the car battery, so if your automobile won’t start, it could be the battery or it might be the starter. It could also be the alternator, but we’ll leave for another blog post. How can you tell if yours is about to die? Righter’s Auto Repair says to look for these signs.

Listen for Sounds

Listen as you press the start button or turn the ignition key. If you hear clicking, grinding, or whirring, you might have problems with the engine starter. Don’t assume you’ll always get a noise warning prior to starter death; it can die without a sound. If you hear a sound, however, have it tested.

Dashboard Lights/Dead Car

The alternator charges the battery and the electrical components in your car, truck, or SUV. If you try to turn over the ignition but the engine doesn’t start, look at your dashboard and console components. Are they lit? If so, your battery has power, so the starter is the likely culprit of a dead engine.

Turn Over But No Crank

Let’s say that the above happened but you didn’t realize you had battery power. You jumpstarted your car, truck, or SUV and you still can’t get it to crank. A failure to crank means that the starter isn’t working because the starter is what cranks the engine to get it going so you can head out and about.

Smoke – YIKES!

You should never see smoke coming from your engine and if you do, stop. If you keep trying to get your automobile to start, you will eventually overheat the starter if it’s the reason why the engine won’t ignite. The heat can burn engine wiring, circuits, and blow fuses. Stop if you smell burning or see smoke. 

An Oily Starter

Your starter doesn’t need oil to do its job and it will fail if it’s covered by oil. How does it get covered by oil? Well, unfortunately, an oil leak. We will check yours to make sure it doesn’t have oil on it when you bring your vehicle in for a starter inspection. If it doesn’t, something else is wrong.

Located in Grand Ledge, MI, schedule an appointment with Righter’s Auto Repair today. We are a full-service preventative maintenance and auto repair shop and we’d be happy to take a look at your vehicle if it’s giving you trouble.


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