People tend to overlook the kick starter until they have difficulty starting their vehicle. It is a critical component of your car. You can’t start your automobile if the starter fails since it converts electrical energy to mechanical energy, which is what drives the engine.
You should know how to start a vehicle with a bad starter since starters tend to fail when you need them the most. In other words, in this article, we answer one of the most common questions from our readers “Can you jump start a car with a bad starter” and “how to start a car with a bad starter”.
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What’s a Car Starter?
It is a device that allows you to start your automobile’s engine. It is made up of an electric motor that turns the engine, a solenoid that engages your car’s starter, and a switch that turns the starter on. The starter is normally situated to the side of the car’s engine in the engine compartment.
The starter operates by turning the engine over. It pulls air into the car’s cylinders and compresses the fuel-air combination. When the mixture is sufficiently compressed, it ignites and gets the engine started.
A switch, often positioned near the steering wheel or on the dashboard, activates the starter. When the switch is activated, electricity is transferred from the battery to the starting solenoid. After that, the solenoid shuts a series of contacts, completing the circuit and allowing electricity to flow to the starting motor. The motor of the starter then turns the engine on, causing the automobile to start.
A car starter is an essential component of a vehicle’s electrical system; without it, the vehicle would not start. If your automobile won’t start, the issue might be with the starter.
If the starter isn’t working properly, you should get it examined and fixed as quickly as possible. A faulty starter may prevent your vehicle from starting and may also harm other sections of the electrical system.
5 Symptoms and Signs of a Bad Starter
The following are some of the most common symptoms of a bad starter:
1. Something Sounds Off
When you turn your car’s key or press the start button, you may hear a clicking sound. However, a starter may either expire silently or make a whirring and grinding noise to alert you to its approaching demise—so keep an ear out!
2. You Have Got Lights But There’s No Action
The starter may be malfunctioning if you attempt to start the engine and just the dashboard lights turn on.
3. Your Engine Won’t Crank
Even after trying a jump start, does your engine still refuse to start? Getting to a nearby automobile workshop is the next best thing, so call for assistance. A qualified technician is your only option if a jumpstart doesn’t work.
4. Your Car is Emitting Smoke
Fuse and short circuit failures might affect the starter of your vehicle. Overheating of the starter might lead to electrical problems and associated smoke if you’ve been trying to start your automobile. If you smell or see smoke, look for assistance.
5. The Starter is Soaked With Oil
Typically, the starter is located on the driver’s side of the engine, immediately below the exhaust manifold. On some automobiles, they may also be found just under the intake manifold. If you open the hood of your car and discover that your starter is covered in oil, you may have an oil leak. Watch for oil leaks to prevent costly problems that start as a few drops of oil, but may grow into something much more serious.
9 Ways to Start Your Car With a Bad Starter
Even if your car has a bad starter, you can still make it to that crucial meeting if you know what you have to do. Identifying the signs is the first step. Look out for these telltale indicators of a defective starter if your automobile won’t start:
- Clicking sounds
- Dimming interior lights
- Freewheeling situation
- Slower starting speed.
- Smoke or burning smell
- Vehicle not starting
While there are many ways to get your vehicle started, we’ve included the most popular and maybe the best techniques.
1. Examine the Connections
Because electric current controls the ignition, the first place to look is at the connections. Check for any loose connections in the battery and starter route, since this is the most common reason for a bad starter.
If there is an unprotected connection in this battery-starter pathway, your starter will not be able to power the vehicle.
If you detect it is loose, tighten the battery connections using a ratchet. If the battery-starter connection seems to be in good condition, inspect the positive wire that links the battery. This cable is divided into two independent chords, one for the alternator and one for the starter.
Take a look at the cable line and see where the connection is loose. If you still don’t see anything, you should attempt the bypass. For a jump start, connect the positive wire to the battery terminal directly. Turn on the ignition.
2. Check the Engine Ground Connection of Your Car
The base wire that connects to the starter is not powered by the battery. The transmission that passes through the starter’s structure is used by the base cable. The ground, on the other hand, gets its base cables from the ones that connect the vehicle’s body to the transmission.
Any damage or deterioration to the ground connections may result in slow starting. The reason for this is that the cable regulates the starter’s reach. To maintain optimum capacity, the transmission cable and engine need immediate care.
To resolve this issue, run a jumper wire from the -ive terminal through the starter’s structure. That is if you are certain that the ground connection has caused the problem.
3. Examine The Solenoid Cable
The solenoid is the only component that links the starter to the transmission’s ring gear. Although it may operate on both the ground and positive connections, a cranking sound indicates that the solenoid is malfunctioning.
Examine the solenoid for filth or corrosion if the starter appears uncontrolled when kicked. If this is the case, let us tell you how to start a vehicle with a faulty starter solenoid.
Simply connect a bypass cable to the starter’s solenoid cord. Connect a little 12V wire straight from the battery to the place where the starter and solenoid are connected. A click sound while turning your engine will indicate that the attachment is correct.
4. Check For Any Corrosion
Cable failure might be caused by corrosion, which compromises the engine’s electrical conductivity. As a result, it is critical to ensure that there are no acid drips that would cause corrosion. That indicates that preventative measures must be taken as soon as possible to address the problem effectively.
In a small bowl, combine water and an equal amount of sodium bicarbonate, then wash the terminals with the mixture. Clean the terminals and connections for a short period before washing them with clean hot water. This implies that you should inspect and clean the engine compartment for any filth or corrosive deposits.
The engine’s solenoid connection, positive connecting cable, and ground cable should all be inspected and cleaned.
5. Thump The Starter Softly With A Hammer
One of the most common techniques of providing a fast remedy for the starter is to hit it lightly with a hammer. It is advised that you do it while concurrently revving the automobile for it to operate properly. This works because the starters begin to create dormant patches between the field coils and the amateur. So touching it causes the armature to spin and begin to work.
Although this strategy has succeeded in the past, modern automobiles now use transversal engines rather than longitudinal engines. That indicates the thumping method won’t work since the starter is in a difficult-to-reach location. If your automobile has this problem, consider using a lighter tool.
6. Jump Start Your Car
It’s great to have a jump start tool, but can you jump start a car with a bad starter? Jumpstarting the car may be the remedy, however, it is only temporary. When your battery is in good working order, it will provide enough amperes to the starter to start your automobile.
Give it a go! Jumpstarting the amateur with a durable battery or a jump starter may activate the dead regions and create enough energy to revolve.
7. Push Start the Car
The Push Start is another simple but effective conventional method of dealing with an automobile that has a bad starter. The Push Start method works even when your car’s battery is dead or the starter is bad. The sole constraint is that push-starting only works in automobiles with manual transmissions.
Position some strong individuals behind the automobile to push it forward while you turn on your car’s ignition. You should also set the vehicle in motion and instruct the passengers to exert effort on it at a minimum speed of 10mph before releasing the clutch. The engine would grab power and begin to work upon release. If the first attempt fails, repeat the process.
8. Examine The Flywheel
Examine the engine’s flywheel, since this might be the source of the problem. The engine’s flywheel is the large wheel that links the engine and the transmission. The starting gear connects to the flywheel when it needs to crank the engine. Therefore, when you remove the starting motor, leave the vehicle in neutral gear.
Turn the crankshaft’s middle bolt with a breaker bar or a ratchet and have someone spin it for you. The crankshaft pulley is located on the bottom of the front engine. Many automotive components, such as the steering pump and the alternator, are controlled by this pulley spin. To access the pulley’s center bolt, you’ll need to remove the wheel.
9. Test Run Your Car’s Starter Motor
After you’ve evaluated the starter motor and done any required fixes, you should test-run it in an auto workshop. Some of the workshops do not charge a fee for the test run. Certain characteristics indicate that the starter motor is old.
An old starting motor has characteristics such as an old and decrepit shaft, amateur brushes, slow or no cranking, and poor current transfer. That is why the test run is required; it will reveal the present status of the starter motor and determine if it needs to be replaced.
It’s inconvenient to have a bad starter because it catches you off guard, especially when there’s a sense of urgency involved. To get your automobile running again, you don’t necessarily need to rely on a mechanic. However, if you still wonder “how to start a car with a bad starter”, the best course of action is to seek the advice of a trained technician.
A defective starter in your automobile might be the consequence of inadequate battery maintenance or broken electrical connections. Whatever the case may be, the advice above will go a long way toward guiding you on how to start a vehicle with a faulty starter. You may overcome any automobile start difficulty by following the advice provided below.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
How to bypass a starter?
Bypassing a starter with a damaged or broken fuse or relay is the best method to start an automobile. For this reason, it’s easy to get around starting.
- Locate your car’s starter.
- Locate the starter’s solenoid and connectors.
- Screwdrivers may be used to contact both connections. Alternatively, you might use a high-quality wire to transmit current to the connectors.
- Turn on the ignition with the aid of another person. Alternatively, you might perform this step before moving on to the one above.
How to start a car with a bad starter using a screwdriver?
Attempting to start an automobile with a bad starter is similar to bypassing a starter;
- Locate the starter
- Locate starter and solenoid connectors
- Your ignition should be set to the “ON” position.
- Connect the starter motors and the solenoid’s electrical connectors.
If the problem is with the relay, the vehicle will start. This is also a how-to for starting a vehicle with a faulty starter solenoid.
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