A Start-Up Trick & Common Bad Starter Symptoms

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you purchased a vehicle that gave you absolutely no problems? That simply is not the case, and now you are faced with a faulty vehicle. The following tips may help you get your car to your mechanic and will also help you diagnose a bad starter. 

Symptoms of a Bad Starter

The starter is usually composed of the solenoid and your starter motor. Your starter motor is what turns your crankshaft and gets your engine roaring. The solenoid gets your drive gear moving for you and closes off unnecessary electrical contacts during your ride. 

To check for starter issues, just look for the following symptoms:

  1. The first thing that you should pay attention to are your vehicle's lights when you turn on or attempt to turn on your vehicle. The starter motor uses a specific amount of power to successfully turn on your vehicle. This power is altered when you have a starter issue. The internal wires will use a little too much power, and you might catch evidence of this in your lights. Just keep your lights on when you are turning your key on and see if the lights dim slightly before they go back to normal. 
  2. The next thing to pay attention to is a chugging sound. Every car should chug somewhat when you are turning on your engine. But to identify a starter issue, you have to pay attention to the length of the chug. Bad starters tend to give off a sluggish chug whenever you turn on the vehicle. Your starter's bearings may be the problem should you notice this issue. 
  3. You can also pay attention to a click. A noticeable click indicates that your solenoid is in working condition. But it is likely that your solenoid is failing should you hear rapid clicking when you turn the vehicle on. The reason that you hear these clicks is that your solenoid is attempting to work even though it keeps failing. 

The aforementioned are just some of the symptoms of starter issues. Your starter specialist can tell you about other symptoms to look for. 

One Simple and Temporary Starter Solution

Remember your starter's bearings? The bearings may still be forced to work should your vehicle fail to start when you are out. All you have to do is follow the next steps:

  1. Do this when the vehicle is safely in the park position. You can even put on your emergency brakes, just in case.
  2. Go under your vehicle, and look for the starter housing. It should be directly between your two front wheels.
  3. Tap that area with a hammer a few times. 
  4. Attempt to turn on your vehicle again. Repeat the process a few times should you need to. 

Remember that--just like other tricks--this may not work on all starter issues, and the positive result is only temporary. Take your vehicle to your car specialist if you manage to get your car on, or have your vehicle towed there.