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Car trouble always seems to hit at the worst time doesn?t it? You?re already running late for that important meeting, hop in, turn the key, and nothing. Our reliance on our vehicles in this day and age is immense, so when it stops working it throws a wrench into our whole day. Not to mention denting our pocketbooks. Anytime something happens with a car, dollar signs flash through our minds. How stressful!

Problems with a starter are one of the most common issues seen in the auto repair industry. Luckily, sometimes it?s a problem that can be worked around in order to get your car running and get it to a mechanic for the fix that it needs.

The starter has a relay between its motor and the car battery. If the relay and starter motor aren?t working, this can cause your car to not start.

What can cause a starter to go bad?

  • A wire is loose ? You need good connections in order for electricity to flow. A loose wire can stop those juices from flowing.
  • Oil leaks ? Oil leaking onto the electrical portions of the vehicle under the hood can cause your starter system to stop working.
  • Parts have gone bad ? Parts of the starter have just simply worn out over time.
  • The connections on the battery are corroded ? Corrosion disrupts the flow of the energy from your battery.

Signs of a bad starter

  • One of the first signs people notice when the starter is about to go bad is a whirring sound when you turn the key or press the start button. Unfortunately, this is usually followed very quickly by the starter?s impending death.
  • You turn the key but the engine doesn?t crank. Nothing happens.
  • When you try to start, all you hear is a clicking sound. Click. Click. Click. Every. Time.
  • Your lights and electrical are working normally, but the engine won?t fire up. This indicates the battery is working and is likely not the issue.

That?s good info, but what do I do now?

  • Check the battery for corrosion. If the battery connectors are corroded, this might be causing the problem. To avoid shock, DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY FIRST. Once you have disconnected it, you can use sandpaper to clean off the rust. Wipe them clean and then reconnect.
  • If the battery isn?t corroded, check the wires connected to the battery terminals. If they are loose, tighten them.
  • Use a voltmeter to check the battery?s charge. This could be contributing to your car not starting. If the battery isn?t holding producing enough voltage to start your vehicle, your battery is likely the issues.
  • Try a jump start. If you have another vehicle or if you have that good old reliable friend or family member who can come to the rescue, try to jump start it.
  • One of the oldest tricks in the book to get a starter that has problems working again is to tap it with a hammer, however, most newer vehicles have the engine placed in a way that makes the starter hard to get to. If your car?s starter is accessible, try this out while having someone turn the key. Sometimes starters develop dead spots and the tap of the hammer might be just enough to get its motor moving.
  • Do you have a manual transmission? If so, you?re in luck! Learning how to drive that stick shift has finally paid off for you! Vehicles with a manual transmission can be push-started. Yep, your heard that right.

Please use caution with this option. Your vehicle should obviously be on a level plane and