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

Many people do not notice a vehicle’s starter if the car starts fine until they try starting it and it does not respond. By converting electrical energy into mechanical energy, starters enable cars to start, and when they fail, the engine cannot run.

The thing with starters is that they’re susceptible to fail if you are in urgent need of them, therefore it is crucial to learn how to start your car that has a bad starter.

This is precisely what we’ll discuss in this article. This article will not just explain how to start a car with a bad starter, but also the simplest methods to accomplish this.

Let’s get started!

What is a Starter?

A starter is an instrument that transmits electrical energy into mechanical energy. It is a robust electric device that turns up the engine to get it started. However, even in the event that the starter isn’t malfunctioning, the battery should be able to supply enough power to turn up the starter.

But, things could turn out to be disastrous even when you have a fully charged or deep-cycle battery.

What are the Common Bad Starter Symptoms

Here are some bad starter symptoms you should look out for before deciding if the problem  is from your starter.

1. Car Won’t Start.

The most typical symptom of a failing starter is that your car won’t start, even when the battery is fully charged. Once your battery is in good condition, it could be the starter at fault.

Also, you can check that the headlights and other electrical parts to know if they are functioning correctly, eventually pinning down the source of the problem.

2. Car Hesitates to Start

If your vehicle takes a number of attempts and takes longer to start, it could be an issue with the starter. While the starting time differs from car to car, it is simple to determine when your vehicle is taking longer to start than it usually does.

3. Strange Clicking Sounds

Another common feature associated with an issue with the starter is the clear clicking sound. You tend to hear them whenever you attempt to get the engine started.

The clicking sound may be the result of the battery being dead. Examine your battery to ensure that a quick boost might solve the entire issue.

4. Problematic Freewheel

Another indication of a malfunctioning starter is the clear whining noise that is generated by your vehicle rather than starting. It could be due to the freewheel not being able to join an electric motor.

5. Oil-Soaked Starter

You would need to pen your hood to check for this. An engine oil leak can be a significant cause of an issue with the starter, and you could see your starter getting soaked in oil.

Cleaning your starter could become difficult when this happens, and you may require the assistance of a professional.

How To Start a Car With a Bad Starter

9 ways To Start a Car With a Bad Starter
Credits: Kateryna Muzhevska / Shutterstock

Here are 9 easy ways to start a car with a bad starter

1. Check the Connections

Firstly you need to check the connection, as the electric current is what controls the ignition. Check for loose connections between the battery and starter pathway since this is the main reason why your starter might seem bad.

If there’s an unsecured connection within this starter-battery pathway, this means that your starter does not have sufficient power to charge the vehicle.

If you observe that it’s loose, secure the battery’s terminals by ratcheting. If the battery starter connection appears to be in good condition, check the positive cable connecting to the battery.

This cable is divided into two distinct chords, one relating to the alternator and the other to the starter.

Connect the cable line and attempt to locate where the connection is weak. If you can’t find anything in the final check, you can attempt the bypass. Connect the positive cable across the link directly to the battery terminal for a jump-start. The ignition should be switched on.

2. Check the Engine Ground Connection

The base cable which passes through the starter doesn’t originate from the battery. The base cable is connected to the transmission, which passes through the structure of the starter.

However, the ground gets its base cables by utilizing the ones which connect the vehicle’s body with the transmission.

Any damage or deterioration caused by the ground cables may cause slow starting. The reason for this is that the cable regulates the speed of the starter. The transmission cable, as well as that of the engine, requires constant attention in order to maintain maximum capacity.

Connect a jumper cable from the negative terminal to the taster’s structure in order to fix the issue. This is if you’re certain the ground connection has caused the problem.

3. Check the Solenoid Cable Carefully on The Starter

This is the primary reason why the starter links with the ring gear of the transmission. However, it also functions with the ground and positive connections; a rumbling sound indicates that the solenoid is not working properly.

Look at the solenoid for dirt or rust if the starter is uncontrollable upon kick. Now, let us give you easy means to turn on the vehicle that has a defective starter solenoid, in case that’s the issue.

Just run a bypass cable across the solenoid cord of the starter. Connect a small 12V cable straight from the battery to the point where it connects between the solenoid and starter. A click sound confirms the connection is correct as you start your engine.

4. Examine For Corrosion

The failure of cables could be an effect of corrosion that affects the electrical conductivity of electricity in the engine. This is why it’s important to ensure there aren’t any drops of acid that result in corrosion.

Therefore, preventive measures must be taken promptly to ensure that you can tackle the problem effectively.

You should mix water and a similar amount of sodium bicarbonate in an appropriate bowl. Wash the terminal head with the mixture. Clean for a brief period of time, then rinse the connectors and terminals using pure hot water. 

When you do this, you should also inspect the engine compartment for dirt or any corrosive deposits and clean it up as well. Connectors for the solenoid, the positive connecting cable, as well as the ground cable for the engine should all be inspected and cleaned.

5. Gently Hit the Starter With a Hammer

One of the most used means to provide the starter with an easy solution is to hit it gently using the Hammer. It is suggested to do this while starting the vehicle to get it to function effectively. 

This is based on the fact that the starters begin to develop inactive spots between the field coils as well as the armature. The tapping of these spots will cause the armature to be active and allow it to rotate and then start working.

Even though this strategy has worked in the past, modern vehicles have an engine that is transversal instead of the traditional longitudinal engine. 

This means that the hitting trick will not work since the starter is placed in a location that’s difficult to reach. If your car is experiencing this problem, consider using a lighter instrument.

6. Jump-Start The vehicle

Jump-Start The vehicle
Credits: GrooveZ / Shutterstock

A tool for jump start is wonderful, but will you use it to jump-start a vehicle having a faulty starter. Perhaps, jump-starting your vehicle could be the solution, even though it’s only for a moment.

When your battery is operating at its best, it will supply sufficient power to the starter to allow your vehicle to start up.

Try it out and see what happens. Who knows what could occur? By using a jump starter or a long-lasting battery, jump-starting can trigger the dead zones in the armature and produce enough energy to spin.

7. Push the Vehicle to Start

Another simple but effective traditional method of operating a vehicle with a malfunctioning starter is pushing it to start. Push-starting works in the event that the battery is dead and when the starter is damaged.

But, it only works on vehicles with manual gearboxes; that’s the only restriction.

Put some sturdy bodies behind the car and allow them to push forward while you’re inside, activating the ignition.

Also, you should place the car in an accelerating gear and instruct that the people pushing apply the force at the speed of 10mph minimum before you let go of the clutch.

After the release, the engine should receive energy and then begin working. Repeat the process if the initial try fails.

8. Check the Flywheel of the Engine

Check the flywheel of the engine, as it may be the cause of an issue with starting. The big wheel that connects the transmission to the engine is called the engine’s flywheel.

When the starter gear needs to start the engine, it connects to the flywheel. This is why you should remove the starter motor and leave the vehicle on neutral transmission.

Ask someone else to rotate the crankshaft on your behalf through the crankshaft’s center bolt using a ratchet or breaker bar. You will see the crankshaft pulley on the underside of the engine’s front. 

The pulley spin is responsible for controlling various vehicle parts, including the alternator and the steering pump. To do this, you will remove the wheel in order to access the bolt at the center of the pulley.

9. Test-Run the Starter Motor

If you’ve looked at your starter’s motor and made the needed adjustments, you should try a test run at the auto repair facility. Certain establishments do not charge fees to test the motor.

You will notice that the starter’s motor is old when it is equipped with certain characteristics.

Characteristics like an aged and unclean shaft, armature, and brushes, sluggish or not starting, the weak transmission of power all indicate an old starter motor.

This is the reason why the test run is important, as it will show the present condition that the motor is in and determine if it needs to be replaced.

Here is a video to guide you

Can You Jump a Bad Starter?

While it is possible to jump-start a car with a faulty starter, doing so will not fix the starter. A jump start boosts your car’s battery, not its starter. 

A jump start will provide power to your car’s electrical systems, including the starter. However, you should not rely on this method to start your car. 

If your car’s starter is faulty, it needs to be replaced. The starter is what turns the engine over and gets it started. If this part of your car fails, then you won’t be able to start the car.

FAQs on How to Start a Car with a Bad Starter

Can you hit a starter to make it work?

If the solenoid of your starter is bad, this is the quick solution. Hitting the starter typically does not make it work if the solenoid is damaged. However, a starter with an armature segment that is defective responds very well to tapping or banging with the Hammer.

Can you roll start a car with a bad starter?

You could try rolling a car with a bad starter to get it to start. However, this method works when if is an issue with a dead battery. A vehicle with a manual transmission that has an issue with the starter could be pushed or rolled to start, but auto transmission cars cannot. 

How long will the Tapping starter work?

It won’t be for long. Tapping a bad starter to get it to work is a temporal solution to a bad starter but is wont hold up for long. it is advised that you replace a faulty starter immediately.

How long does the starter motor last?

On average, a starter motor is designed to last for between 100,000 and 150,000 miles.

How do you bypass a starter with a screwdriver?

Find the starter motor beneath the car.
Find the two contacts made of metal on the back of the starter solenoid.
Use the metal blade of a screwdriver over both metal contacts.
Find a person to assist you in turning the ignition using the key.

How do you tell if it’s your battery or starter?

The battery transmits a surge in energy into the starter, which makes use of this energy to spin the engine and start the vehicle. If you place your key into the ignition and you only hear a click when you turn the key, then there’s an issue with your starter.

Why does tapping on a starter make it work?

One technique that could serve as an interim fix to start your car is to tap the back of your starter. By gently tapping the starter’s back with the Hammer, the brushes get moved back to their original position to allow them to make contact again.

Conclusion – How to Start a Car with a Bad Starter

If your car has problems starting, it could be an issue with the starter or defective electrical connections. If it’s the case, the steps above will be a great way to aid you in learning how to get your car started with a damaged starter.

Suppose your car is having problems with the starter. In that case, you must remember that electrical connections that are not working properly and battery maintenance and various other elements are the primary causes of failures in the car’s starter.

Whatever the reason for vehicle starter problems is, these tips can assist you in coming to a solution. It is possible to solve problems with starting your car if you choose to apply any of the tricks or suggestions included in the article.

Do share your experiences with vehicle starter problems with the readers, and share the suggestions that have been successful for you. If you know of any alternative ideas for solving your car starter issues, you can also post them here.

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