Warning Signs Of A Bad Starter

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 03/16/21 •  5 min read

Do you know that a bad starter can affect your car’s performance and decrease its battery life? If you own a car, you must have good knowledge about its starter. You must know what does a starter means and what are the signs of a bad starter.

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It is essential because when you know the signs, you would be able to resolve your starter issues on time. In this way, not only the performance of your car increase, but it also assures you stress-free rides anywhere. So, before we proceed to the symptoms of a bad starter, let’s learn about what does a starter means? 

What is a starter?

Signs Of A Bad Starter
A Starter On Display | via Amazon

A starter is a small electric motor that gives an electric boost to the engine to start your car. Without having a properly working car starter, you would never be able to start your vehicle.

Even the smaller issues with the car starter cause many difficulties in starting the car effectively. 

What happens when the car starter doesn’t work effectively?

If there are issues with your car starter and it is not working as desired, it would cause serious trouble for you. In many cases, it simply restricts your car from getting started immediately.

Simultaneously, it may make your car produce black or heavy smoke, use more fuel than required, and affect your car’s engine and battery. To avoid all these issues, make sure to have good information about the bad starter symptoms. Without learning about the symptoms, you won’t be able to detect issues with your car and may end up facing major damages.

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Therefore, take out a few minutes and learn about the following main bad starter symptoms to protect your vehicle.

Warning Signs Of A Bad Starter 

Signs Of A Bad Starter
A Starter On Display | via Autozone

Here are the most common bad starter symptoms of any vehicle.

 Car won’t start

One of the most common symptoms is that your car won’t start when you try to start it. Sometimes the battery won’t get the electrical charge, or the engine fails to function when you start the car.

In either case, there are high chances that your car’s starter is not working properly. Whenever it happens, you just need to check your car’s starter if it is working appropriately or not. 

Grinding noise

Also, the grinding noise from any car when it starts is one of the symptoms of bad starter. If your car is producing the grinding noise when you try to start it, it means that something is wrong With its starter.

Although there could be a few other reasons why your car produces a grounding noise upon starting, a bad starter is one of them. Therefore, you must get it checked with a technical expert in the automotive industry or at a workshop to resolve the issues on time. 

Clicking Sound

The clicking sounds produced by the car when you try to start it also depicts issues with the starter. When you turn your car’s key in the ignition, it may not start immediately but only produce a clicking sound.

The core reason for this is the issues with the starter. If your car produces frequent clicking sounds, you must call an expert for Its thorough examination.

Black or excessive smoke

Nowadays, we see so many cars on the roads that produce black smoke. Almost more than half of them have the bad started and fail to fix it on time. As a result, the lifespan of your car’s starter, its battery, and its engine decreases.

Therefore, whenever you see that your car is producing black or excessively grey smoke, keep in mind that it might be the symptom of a bad starter. Even if your car is producing excessive smoke than usual, you must take it for a detailed examination at any nearby workshop.

Lights turn on without any action

It sometimes happens that when we start our car, the lights at the dashboard start blinking without any functioning of the vehicle. Whenever you see that your vehicle’s lights are blinking without responding to any other action, the bad starter might be the reason.

In such a situation, you must check your car’s starter and fix the issues as soon as possible to enjoy your everyday rides. 

What causes the issues with the starter?

There are plenty of reasons behind the issues with the starter. Most commonly, the following things affect the performance of your car’s starter and make it fail to work as expected.

What to do when you observe those warning signs of a bad starter?

If you have issues with the functioning of a bad starter and observe its symptoms, you should not ignore them. Call at any workshop or online service by any technicians or mechanicals in this industry and ask them for help.

Book an appointment with them and take your car there to resolve the minor issues before they turn into more complex ones. However, if you have a good knowledge of the cars and can check the starter yourself, you can also do it at home.

For this purpose, it is best to first check the troubleshoot manual and then proceed. However, talk to an expert if you feel that you can’t fix the issues effectively.


It is critically important to have a properly working starter in your vehicles because it has a huge impact on your rides. Without having a good starter, your car may fail to start, or you would keep experiencing issues with its performance. Therefore, you must know the signs of a bad starter and get them to fix on time. 

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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.