Common Symptoms Of A Bad Starter And Starter Solenoid

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 08/12/22 •  6 min read

Suppose you’re about to go driving with your car and it won’t start. You try to turn the key, but it just won’t turn. What could be wrong?

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One possibility is that the starter has gone bad. When this happens, the car won’t start because the engine can’t get electricity to it. Other possible problems that could cause the car not to start include a bad battery, broken wires, or a bad solenoid.

Common Symptoms Of A Bad Starter And Starter Solenoid

A starter solenoid is a small, electric device that helps start the engine. If it’s not working properly, the car won’t start. There are a few common symptoms of a bad starter solenoid, and they include:

Weird Sounds

If the starter solenoid is bad, it might make weird noises when you try to start the car. This could include a clicking sound, a hissing sound, or a grinding noise. If there are unusual smells coming from the car, it might also be a sign that the solenoid is bad.

Car Lights Turn On But The Engine Doesn’t Start

If the starter solenoid is bad, the car’s lights might turn on but the engine won’t start. This could be because the car’s battery is too weak to start the engine, or because the wires connecting the solenoid to the battery are broken. The car might also not start if the solenoid is located in a difficult place to reach.

You Can’t Jumpstart

Sometimes, when the starter solenoid goes bad, you can’t even jumpstart the car. This means that the battery is too weak to start the car. If starting the car is an important task, you’ll need to get a new battery.

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There is Smoke Coming Out Of The Engine

If the starter solenoid is bad, it can cause smoke to come out of the engine. This is because the solenoid is blowing electricity into the engine to start it, and when it’s bad, the electricity doesn’t flow properly. This can be a sign that the starter is going to need to be replaced.

Oil Leak

If the starter solenoid is bad, it can also cause an oil leak. This is because the solenoid is attached to the engine with oil, and when it’s bad, the oil leaks out and causes problems. You’ll need to take the car in for repairs to fix the leak.

Common Symptoms Of A Bad Starter And Starter Solenoid

Common Causes of Starter Problems

There are a few things that can cause a car’s starter to not work. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.

Bad Battery

If the battery is bad, the car’s starter may not work. This is because the battery supplies power to the starter motor. If the battery is weak or dead, the starter motor may not be able to turn it.

Faulty Starter Motor

If the starter motor is faulty, it may not be able to turn the car’s engine. This can be due to a number of reasons, including a broken or corroded starter motor cable, a faulty solenoid, or a bad battery.

Faulty Wire Harness

If the wire harness connecting the starter motor to the car’s electrical system is faulty, the starter may not work. This can be due to a number of things, including a broken or corroded wire harness connector, a faulty solenoid, or a bad battery.

Bad Wiring

If the wiring in the car is faulty, the starter may not work. This can be due to a broken wire, or a connection that’s not making a good connection. If you notice any broken or loose wires, it’s important to take care of them as soon as possible.

Relay Issues

A relay is a device that helps control the flow of electricity in a car. If it’s faulty, the relay may not work properly and the starter may not turn. If you notice any strange noises or problems with your car’s starter, it’s important to have it checked out by a mechanic.

Tips To Fix A Stuck Starter

If your car’s starter is stuck, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem. Here are a few tips:

Try Re-arming the Starter

If the starter is just not turning, you may be able to re-arm it by manually turning the key. This may help to get the starter moving again.

Check for Tension on the Cables

If the cables connecting the starter to the car are tight, this may cause the starter to not work. You can try loosening the cables a bit to see if that helps.

Check for Broken Parts

If the starter is not turning, it may be because there are broken parts. If you notice any broken pieces, it’s important to take care of them as soon as possible. This can include replacing the starter if necessary.

Try a New Starter

If all of the above tips fail, it may be time to replace the starter. If you’re able to get the car started with a new starter, that’s a good sign. However, if the car still won’t start after replacing the starter, it may be time to have the car checked out by a mechanic.

Tips To Maintain Your Car’s Starter

There are a few things that you can do to help keep your car’s starter working properly.

Keep The Battery Fully Charged

A fully charged battery will help to ensure that your car’s starter will turn over easily. This is especially important if you have a newer car with a battery that is not easily accessible.

Check The Starter Cable

If you notice that your starter is not turning over as easily as it used to, it may be time to check the starter cable. This cable can become corroded over time, which can cause your starter to not work as efficiently.

Clean The Starter Motor

If you notice that your starter motor is dirty, you can clean it using a degreaser. This will help to ensure that your starter motor is working as efficiently as possible.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.

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