How Long Do Starters Last? (Every Factor Explained)

For a car to function, car starters are essential. Car starters help to make sure your vehicle starts up smoothly and easily, even if it’s in harsh conditions. Now the question is, How long do starters last?

Car starters have a precise lifespan; they can wear off when they’ve gotten to that time. And also, the age of the vehicle, the way you drive the car, and some other components factor into how long your car starter will last.

Your starter can also wear out if you drive every day. And also, old vehicles might have wear and tear on them that can result in the premature failure of your starter.

Although these starters are simple, they are still an important part of your car’s engine. It’s not too expensive, but it’s complicated to replace, which increases the cost of labor.

Should you be troubled that it can fail? No. If you’re aware of the durability of your car starter, it’ll help you keep to time with the maintenance arrangements and prevent issues related to the car starters.

How Many Miles Do Starters Last?

In calculating the lifespan of your starter, the most dependable method is not counting mileage. It’s possible for two starters made by one manufacturer not to have the same lifespan. They can last for about 30,000 and 20,000 miles. Therefore, you can’t tell if your starter is about to fail by just counting mileage.

Nevertheless, when driving vehicles with high mileage or older vehicle, you might need to replace the starter earlier than you should.

How Many Years Does a Car Starter Last?

It is hard to deduce if there’s no specific time. But it can last for several years. A new starter with no fault can last for about 80,000 car starts. Given that, you might just have to start the car twice a day which means you’ll only make use of the starter 730 times in one year. But the reality is that you might not need to drive your vehicle daily, which means the number would be less.

Related: Where Is the Starter Located? (How to Locate the Starter in Any Car)

Why Does the Starter Motor Fail?

How Long Do Starters Last

It has a lot of rotating and moving parts in it. As time passes, things such as the overrunning clutch or bearing and electric carbon brushes wear out.

The contact point of the Electricals in the starter regulator can get burnt or pitted. When this goes bad, you would hear a click from your starter solenoid, though the car won’t run even if the cable terminals, cables, and battery are fine.

What Are the Most Common Bad Starter Symptoms?

If you are driving your car, you would not want to be anxious about seeing symptoms of a Faulty starter.

It is different when you’re driving older vehicles; it might just take some time to start seeing 1 or 2 symptoms of a bad starter. And whenever these symptoms come up, you should recognize these symptoms and take action immediately. The following is the list of the most popular symptoms of a bad starter.

1. Your Car Cranks a Whole Lot When You’re Trying to Start It

On a normal day, If you put the car key in the ignition in order to start your, it could start immediately without any problem. This will show that the starter is healthy and strong and can function well. But there are situations when the vehicle cranks a lot before the engine start, or it’ll crank and crank a whole lot without even starting at all.

Though other problems might lead to the car not starting when you use your key to start it. A damaged alternator or a damaged battery, for instance, can cause the car not to start. But if you could hear the cranks very well and it doesn’t start, most times it’s due to a bad starter. You’ll have to get a mechanic to examine the car and see if your starter needs replacement immediately.

2. Your Car’s Interior Lights Get Dim When You Go to Start Your Car

Every time you want to start the car, do you observe that the interior light of your car starts to grow dim? This is one other symptom of a bad starter.

This is a typical indication that you have a short circuit in your wiring for the starter. It will result in the starter making use of more electricity when you try to start the car, and this will lead to the interior light getting dimmer because there’s no sufficient electricity for it to shine as it should.

Whenever you observe that the interior light is dim when you start the car, listen carefully if you’ll observe a chugging noise. It might mean that the bearings within that starter are bad if you can hear it. It is also a sign that you have to go for the replacement of the starter as soon as possible.

3. Your Car Makes a Loud, Grinding Noise When You Start It

Trust you would not want to hear this noise coming from your vehicle. Most especially, you do not wish to hear them when trying to start your vehicle.

The sound is an indication that your car has a mechanical issue; this mechanical issue could be blamed on the gears used to join the starter. They may not be intriguing as they ought to be, or they might be worn out a lot.

Regardless, these symptoms can’t be ignored. Whenever you try to start your car, you are always going to hear the grinding noise, which will make it hard for you to ignore. And also, the issue might get worse as time goes on. You will need someone to check it out to see if you’ll need a replacement.

4. Your Car Makes a Whirring Sound When You’re Starting It

As said earlier, the starter is made so that it activates with your flywheel in the engine whenever you turn the ignition key on. If this doesn’t happen, it means there’s an issue.

It will result in a condition known as “freewheeling,” which requires that the flywheel spin by itself with no support from your starter. And if you are not cautious, it can lead to some complications in the engine.

There’s a mechanism that assists the starter in activating and deactivating the flywheel, which can be damaged and result in symptoms of a bad starter. Whenever this occurs, it’ll result in “freewheeling” at all times. It would also result in starter replacement.

5. When the Starter Runs Nonstop as Soon as You Start the Engine

Has it ever occurred to you that it still sounds like it’s trying to start when the engine is running? This sound is not something you’ll want to listen to. Out of all the symptoms that have been listed, this could lead to most other problems with the car if you do not take action.

Switch off your car immediately if you observe this problem. Then try to restart the car to see if that will fix the problem.

If this fixes it, fine. Still, you should watch out if it repeats itself. But if the problem persists, you probably have to get it repaired and the car serviced.

6. When Starting Your Car and You See Smoke Coming From the Engine

The last thing you’ll want to see while driving is smoke from the engine. This is one of the critical symptoms you’ll not want to experience.

The starter consists of mechanical and electrical components, and because of this, you may have electrical problems and contact with hot metal components. And this could cause smoke to start coming out from the car’s engine.

If you see smoke gushing out of your vehicle for whatever reason, pull over and turn off your car immediately. You would be fortunate if the situation requires you to just replace the starter. It could require the repair of several other parts, and you may also have to repair or replace the engine due to this.

7. Your Car’s Starter Is Covered With Oil

The car’s starter is placed in a position where it’ll have to encounter some rough daily situations. It’s close to the bottom side of the engine, which implies that it is regularly exposed to high temperatures and several liquids that may leak from the car.

One of the liquids can be oil, which can sometimes find its way out of the engine and cover the starter.

When the starter is immersed with oil, there’s a possibility that it’ll be like that for some time. If you keep driving with oil all over your starter, you’ll have to remove and change the starter with a brand new one before you know it. Though it’s one of the least symptoms, you still need to monitor your vehicle for this problem.

Related: How to Start a Car with a Bad Starter (9 Fast Ways)

How Much Does a Starter Replacement Cost?

How Long Do Starters Last

If you notice that your vehicle is undergoing any of these symptoms of a bad starter we’ve discussed, you must take your car for inspection immediately. You’ll be asking for complications if you try pushing your starter beyond the lifespan.

How much is it to get a new starter?

This will depend on the kind of vehicle you own and the mechanic that’ll do the work. On average, replacing a starter is around $35 to $550. The price includes around $215-$400 to get the parts, while for labor around $130-$160.

In most scenarios, getting a brand new starter would slow you down for some time, but it is the only sure way to eliminate the symptoms of a bad starter.

Also Read: Where to Hit Starter With Hammer (Answered)

What Is the Maximum Number of Starts You Could Make for the Entire Lifetime of the Starter?

The numbers vary. You can expect it to give you 80,000 starts for a new starter with no fault. And also, starters in warm conditions tend to last longer most times. With that number of starts, you don’t have to be anxious about the starter till it fails and there’s a need for replacement.

Working with that number of starts, for example, you need to commute every day from work, then you’ll use about 480 starts per year, holidays not included.

How to Replace a Starter

Step 1: Ensure Your Safety

Deactivate the battery. You’ll just have to take out the negative cable. This is always a good idea whenever you are working on a car. NOTE: Many cars must be lifted to access the starter.

While for others, reaching them can be hard. Inspect the repair manual of your vehicle for replacement and location information. Make use of protective eyewear, safety stands, and wheel chocks.

Step 2: Take Out the Wiring

Take out the positive battery cable and the wiring from your starter solenoid.

Step 3: Take Out the Bolts and Starter

Take out the retaining bolts of the starter. Then take out the starter itself. NOTE: you can go to AutoZone to test your starter; it’s free. This will assist you in confirming if you’re working on the right issue for your car.

Step 4: Compare to Verify

To verify if the new starter would fit, compare them. Note: some of these starters used for replacement don’t look identical, but they’ll have similar function, form, and fit just like the old(original) unit. Refer to the installation or product bulletin packed with your starter.

Step 5: Transfer Heat Shield

If equipped, transfer any heat brackets or/and shield to the starter you replaced it with.

Step 6: Replace With New Starter

Check the flywheel teeth for any damage. Then put the new starter in the position of the old one.

Step 7: Secure and Tighten

Secure and tighten your starter retaining bolts. NOTE: Don’t over-tighten.

Step 8: Reconnect the Wiring

Join the wiring to your starter solenoid.

Step 9: Reconnect the Battery

Connect the battery and fire up your engine.

Check out this video for more tips on how to replace a starter

Frequently Asked Questions – How Long Do Starters Last?

What’s the lifespan on a car starter?

You cannot predict starters, just like any car parts. And also, two starters cannot last for the same time, and usually, there is no way to know when the starter is failing until your car refuse to start, and you need to call for service. Car starters can last up to 200,000 miles maximum and at least 30,000.

Do starters wear out?

A car starter can fail or wear out as time goes on. Regardless, they normally have plenty of indication that they are about to fail, and if you take your car to an auto repair shop, the mechanic can ask about them.

How can you tell if its the starter or the battery?

Whenever you try to start your vehicle, do you hear a clicking sound, but the car won’t start? This might be a good sign if the car won’t turn on again after turning it off, but a jump can get it running; the reason could be a dead battery.

How much should a new car starter cost?

A new starter Costs about $80 to $350, depending on whether you’re buying a brand new starter or a rebuilt one, as well as the model and the make of your starter. And you will have to pay extra charges if you can’t install the starter yourself.

Can a starter fail without warning?

Continuous dripping of oil could result in the oil going inside your starter’s internal parts, which can cause the starter to fail. In this case, the starter might die out completely without giving any sign at first.

What causes a starter to burn out?

Burnout of starters can happen when the electrical connections are corroded or when you have worn out batteries, which leads to the corrosion of the wire. Because of bad installation, it could start overheating.

Conclusion – How Long Do Starters Last?

In summary, how long do starters Last? As you know already that a lot of things are involved. How old the vehicle is, how often you maintain the important parts, and how often you turn your engine on will determine how long your starter will work properly.

We hope this post was of help to you. Please feel free to check out our other blog articles if you want to get more tips for preventing car troubles!

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