Hard Starting: Does my car need a new starter motor?
A vehicle's starting system is quite complex. While there are several key components of the system there is one that stands out, simply because it is named the starter. This is an electrically driven motor that connects with and spins the flywheel to begin the motion of the pistons in order to create the necessary compression to start the car. If the starter were to fail you would not be able to get moving as the engine couldn't start. These are a few of the signs you may experience if the starter needs to be replaced.
Often times the first sign of starter trouble will be a loud click or series of clicks that occurs when the key is turned. This is the sound of the starter motor actuating but not spinning. It may or may not be properly connecting with the flywheel.
Grinding noises that occur while trying to start your car could be attributed to the starter motor. There are two reasons they may occur. The first would be that the mounting bolts have come loose, causing there to be poor alignment of the pinion gear and flywheel. Secondly, one of these gears may have lost a tooth or teeth, resulting in the grinding noise.
If all you hear is a buzzing noise when you try to start your vehicle you're likely listening to the sound of electricity traveling to the starter motor but not enough to get it to start. This is often the result of poor electrical connections and may not be a starter motor issue.
Intermittent engine cranking
Another problem you may have if the starter motor is going out is intermittent engine cranking. This means that the car may start to crank then stop, requiring you to turn the key in the ignition again.
Other issues that can prevent no starts
There are several other things to be aware of that could prevent your vehicle from starting.
- Dead battery - If the battery is dead your vehicle will display no signs of life when the key is turned.
- Bad alternator - The alternator is what charges the battery when the engine is on. IF it is going out you'll likely experience other electrical issues, such as dim headlights.
- Fuel delivery - If your vehicle is not getting fuel to the engine when trying to start the motor will crank over and over without firing.
The best way to determine what is preventing your car from starting is with proper diagnostics. If you believe that you need starter repair in Palo Alto, or think it may be another issue, just head to The Car Doctor and let the expert technicians get to the bottom of the trouble. Our full service Palo Alto auto repair shop can handle any job! Give us a call today at (650) 492-6853 to make an appointment and don't forget to check out latest special offers for great discounts.
The Car Doctor Blog
Written and Published By MORBiZ
Experienced Mechanic in Palo Alto, CA
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