Get 5% off in-app
400k+ download
Open app

How to Start a Car with a Bad Starter

  • Tips & Trips
  • Barrett Mohrmann
  • 7 minutes

Spread the love

You’re planning to go on for your long-awaited vacation, and tragedy hits hard. The car won’t start! Or this is a usual routine. Has starting your car’s engine turned into a daily chore? A bad starter motor might be the culprit. This quick and detailed guide from Way.com will help you know about your options to get your car started. 

Save up to $3000 on car expenses every year

The component of your car that starts the engine is the starter. Essentially, the engine is started by a little electric motor. The starter assists in providing the car with the power it needs to drive from a stop by starting the engine. 

Battery or starter? Is the battery of your car the source of the problem? 

Your vehicle won’t start most of the time because of a poor battery. A poor battery frequently manifests itself in certain ways. If it is because of a poor battery, you will hear the starter produce a droning sound as it starts to turn and then slows down. Rapidly succeeding solenoid engagements and disengagements are possible. If this occurs, you will hear a sharp clicking sound. When the battery is totally dead, all you may hear is a single click.¬†

You can use the horn or the windshield wipers to test whether the battery is healthy. The battery isn’t supplying the power necessary to start your automobile if the wipers or horns make a dull noise.¬†

You’ll need jumpers to start your car if your battery is the issue. The starter or the electrical connections to the starter should be considered the primary culprits in your starting issues if the battery is in good condition.¬†

Can you jump-start a car with a bad starter? 

Most of the time, NO, you can’t jumpstart a car with a bad starter unless you repair it. 

When the battery is dead, jumper wires or boosters are employed. You use a second battery to provide the necessary electricity to start the car. But attaching a jumper directly to the starter may work as a fix if the issue is brought on by a faulty connection to the starter. Some individuals could mistake a bump start (or push start) for a jump start.

A car with a manual transmission can be started using this technique. 

  • The dashboard warning lights will turn on when you turn the ignition key to the on position. ¬†
  • Put the automobile in second or third gear if possible.¬†
  • ¬†As another person pushes the car to get it moving, keep the clutch compressed. Release the clutch once the automobile has started moving. The automobile will likely tremble a little before the engine starts. Before the car starts, it can take a few attempts.¬†
  • If you initially fail, give the automobile a bit more forward motion before releasing the clutch.¬†

Symptoms of a Bad Starter

  • Grinding noise.¬†
  • Freewheeling.¬†
  • The car starts intermittently.¬†
  • Hear a clicking sound.¬†
  • The starter doesn‚Äôt turn off.¬†
  • Smoke.¬†
  • Lights dim when starting the car.¬†
  • Starter spinning.¬†
  • Oil soak and leak¬†
  • Damaged solenoid¬†

Common reasons for car starter problems 

Car starter issues are frequently caused by loose terminals, corroded terminals, broken or worn-out system components, and more. Generally, you can expect a starter to last for a long time. A starter replacement on a low-mileage vehicle is unusual 

How To Start A Manual Car With A Bad Starter 

A car’s engine won’t start if you jump-start it with a damaged starter motor. Jump-starting just increases the power of the battery. An auto transmission automobile cannot be pushed or towed started. However, a manual transmission car with a broken starter may.¬†¬†

Things you can do to try to start the car: 

Check connections. 

Check to see whether the starter battery pathway has any loose connections. 

Make sure the starter motor’s current connections to the battery are safe and corrosion-free. The battery powers the starter motor. Therefore everything must be in functioning order.¬†

Look for corrosion. 

Under the hood of an automobile is where corrosion frequently causes problems and failures. Corrosion can damage cables because it interferes with connections and the engine’s ability to conduct electricity. Corrosion can be eliminated by washing the terminals in hot water after cleaning them with water and sodium bicarbonate in equal parts. ¬†

  • Start by removing the battery.¬†
  • Prepare a mixture of half sodium bicarbonate and half water.¬†
  • Pour the mixture over the battery.¬†
  • Let it soak for a few minutes.¬†
  • Rinse with hot water.¬†

Bypass the relay. 

A bad starter relay may be to blame if you try to turn on the ignition switch, but the car won’t start.¬†

A screwdriver with an insulated grip should be in your hand. 

By touching the tip of the screwdriver to the solenoid’s battery terminal and the “S” terminal of the solenoid, you can bypass the malfunctioning relay.¬†

Request someone’s assistance to turn on the ignition switch. 

Tap the starter 

The armature and field coils of the motor frequently acquire dead patches over time. 

These dead spots can be removed, and the starter’s motor can run by gently tapping the malfunctioning starter with a hammer.¬†

Check battery voltage 

To check whether the starter solenoid is getting enough power from the battery or whether the battery is dead, use a voltmeter or multimeter. 

Check the solenoid cable 

The solenoid cable is in charge of coupling the starter to the transmission’s ring gear. The solenoid cable probably needs to be repaired if you hear a cranking noise. Check the cable for signs of wear and tear.¬†

Other Ways to start a car  

Jumpstart the car 

Push start the car ( This only applies to manual vehicles.) 

Equipment required to Jumpstart / Push start your car 

  • Jumper cables¬†
  • A hammer¬†
  • Gloves¬†
  • A screwdriver¬†

Jump Starting a car 

The same method is applied when your automobile battery cannot maintain a sufficient charge to start your vehicle. 

To do this, you’ll need a different vehicle. ¬†

  • Find the car battery by opening the hood of your vehicle. If your car battery looks bloated or leaks, you may have to replace the battery.¬†
  • If the car battery appears to be in good condition, connect the positive terminal of your weak battery to the positive terminal of the spare battery using the positive wire (red jumper cable) or a jump starter.¬†¬†
  • Utilizing the black jumper cable, attach the negative terminal of the charged battery to any exposed metal on the car.¬†
  • Your automobile should be able to start as a result, even with a damaged ignition system.¬†
  • Now, turn on the ignition and wait a few minutes to let the battery charge.¬†

For more details, read How to jump-start your car in 5 easy steps – Way

Push Starting a car 

Only try this if your vehicle has a manual transmission because it will damage an automatic vehicle. 

  • The key should be turned into the driving position.¬†
  • Depress the clutch all the way and shift into first or second gear.¬†
  • While you’re driving, ask someone else to push the vehicle.¬†Generally speaking, a small downward slope is makes it easier to start.¬†
  • Release the clutch when the vehicle achieves a speed of 5 to 10 mph.¬†
  • This should start the car. If not, try it again.¬†

All of these methods are temporary fixes. It is better to get the vehicle checked at a workshop or dealership as soon as possible. 

Although having trouble starting a car is a fairly typical problem, replacing a broken starter on your own can be challenging. Starting problems can occasionally be caused by other things like faulty spark plugs or even a fuel pump. 

Therefore, the easiest solution is to have a professional evaluate your auto starter issues. 

Get your Insurance quote 

Having the correct insurance makes your life hassle-free. 

No matter what your car type is, insurance keeps your vehicle and mind at ease. Reach out to us to get premium insurance at affordable rates. Get an insurance quote today.  

Save on car insurance

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parking,¬†the best parking spots in your city, affordable¬†auto insurance, easy¬†auto refinance,¬†and¬†high-quality car washes near you.


Related Posts


Press ESC to close