5 Common Symptoms of Faulty Starter Motor in Your Car

Last Updated on June 24, 2019 by themechanic

The internal combustion engine would never be able to start without the help of the starter motor. As soon as you turn your key in the ignition, the starter relay activates the starter motor. Various electromagnets in the starter motor interact with each other and keep the components rotating and running properly. Energy from the battery is what powers the starter motor. The electric current must be strong enough to maintain the rotation of the starter motor’s components in order to start the engine. If any problem were to exist in this process, then it’ll cause the starter motor to malfunction. Then you’ll be unable to start the vehicle.

5 Common Symptoms

When you have a faulty starter motor, there are plenty of symptoms that will present themselves. Most of these symptoms cannot be ignored, so you might as well do something about them when they present themselves. The best thing you can do is repair or replace your starter motor, depending on what the actual problem is. But don’t wait for too long to do this or something else might get damaged in your vehicle.

Below are the top 5 symptoms of a faulty starter motor in your car.

1) Smoke

When a lot of smoke comes out of your vehicle, then it means that something is not functioning normally. Check your starter motor because this could indicate that a lot of electricity is going to it. Perhaps you have a shorted starter, worn out starting circuit, or a connection issue with the wiring. In any case, you need to replace the faulty component of the starter immediately to get rid of this smoke issue. Not only is the smoke bad for the environment, but it is also bad for you to breathe in too.

2) Grinding Noises

There is a gear set which connects the starter motor to the flywheel. Each time you start your vehicle, the gears go through wear and tear. Eventually, these gears will wear out and cause problems for the starter motor. The first symptom will be grinding noises coming from the starter motor. Don’t let these noises continue for too long because it could lead to your flywheel suffering damage. The gears must be strong to prevent this from happening, even if it means replacing the gears.

3) Freewheeling

When you attempt to crank the engine, does a whining noise emit from the starter motor? If this happens without the engine actually cranking, this is known a “freewheeling.” The whining noise occurs because the flywheel and starter gear is unable to connect. The only thing you can do here is to replace the starter to solve this problem.

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4) Faulty Solenoid

When you put your key in the ignition and twist it to start your vehicle, the solenoid transfers the battery’s electrical current to the starter motor in order to power it up. If the solenoid does not function properly, then the starter motor cannot receive this power from the battery. Then, you’ll be stuck with a starter motor that does not work. Replace the solenoid to restore the functionality of the starter motor.

5) Starter Soaked in Oil

The engine is usually positioned above the starter motor. That is why if oil were to leak from the engine, it’ll usually fall onto the starter motor. Then you’ll be left with a starter motor that is soaked in oil. This is not good for the motor because it will shorten its lifespan considerably. The only thing you can do here is to fix the cause of the leak and try to clean the oil off the starter.

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