Symptoms of a Bad Starter

There are several symptoms of a bad starter. Having a bad starter can mean that your car won't even turn on, let alone drive anywhere safely. Getting your starter fixed depends on what the malfunction is. Here are the typical problems brought on by a bad starter:

  1. The key turns but nothing happens. Sometimes this will be accompanied by a clicking noise. This is usually a sign that the starter motor is worn out and about to completely break down. This could also be due to a dead solenoid.
  2. A grinding/spinning noise when the engine is started. This comes from a malfunction known as freewheeling.
  3. The engine cranks extremely slowly or takes multiple times to get running.
  4. There is a burning smell or smoke coming from the car. This would be due to issues with the electrical wire connections between the starter motor and the solenoid.

If you're unsure if your car's malfunctioning is due to a bad starter or another issue, there are a few ways to find out.

  1. Check your headlights. If they're dim, the problem may be a or dying car battery.
  2. Charge the battery before testing the ignition and lights again. If they now work correctly, you'll know that the battery was the problem.
  3. Turn the ignition and watch the display panel. If the lights on the panel don't dim when the car is turned on, you could have a broken ignition.

If you are still unsure or don't feel comfortable performing these tests alone, drive your car or have it towed to the nearest mechanic. They will be able to diagnose the problem immediately and help you get the broken part fixed or replaced. If the problem really is a bad starter, expect to pay around $300 for a new one, including tax and labor costs.

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