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Frequently Asked Questions About Starters

April 03, 2019 3 min read

For a car to start, you need three functioning parts: the alternator, the battery, and the starter. If one of these is functioning below the expected level or not functioning at all, your car will struggle to start. It will eventually refuse to start, leaving you stranded.


Do you know where your car’s starter is located? Do you know how it works? More than 90% of readers will say no. To find out more, here are some frequently asked questions about car starter motors from people in and around Miami, Florida and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


  1. Why is the starter so important?


Have you ever watched films of some of the first cars produced? What happened before the car would run? Someone would stand at the front of the car bearing a cylindrical metal object, place it in a specific spot, and turn it repeatedly. The metal object is a crank handle. Its job was to get the crankshaft to turn over so that the car would start. Why don’t we see cars being started that way today? The starter motor, of course. The starter motor does what the old-fashioned crank handle did. It gets the crankshaft to turn over, thereby allowing the car to start.


  1. What are some of the clues that tell me my starter is beginning to give up?


  • You can’t hear the engine crank, or it cranks very slowly.
  • A buzzing sound indicates that electrical current is reaching the starter, but it isn’t entering the motor to turn the crank shaft.
  • A whirring sound indicates that the solenoid is worn out. Without the solenoid, your car cannot start.
  • A loud click indicates that insufficient current is reaching the starter. There might be an electrical fault in the alternator or battery. There might also be a fault with the starter solenoid.
  • Grinding while starting could mean your starter has loosened from its mountings.
  • A deafening silence when you try to start the car means no electrical current is reaching the starter. The starter cannot even attempt to turn the crankshaft if it receives zero power.


  1. Where is my car’s starter located?


Not all starters are located in the exact same position in the engine. They are, however, generally located near to the engine’s transmission. As a rule, the starter can only be accessed from underneath the car. Take a look at your car’s manual to find out where the starter is located.


  1. What should I do once I find the starter motor?


If you’re feeling confident, get under your car and look for visible problems such as loose bolts and loose connections. If your knowledge of cars is minimal, it’s time to get the help of a professional. You wouldn’t want a novice to operate on your body. So, you shouldn’t want a novice, even if it’s you, to operate on your car!


  1. Does a faulty starter mean I need to replace the whole thing?


Not necessarily. It’s possible that only one part of the starter motor is faulty. The part may be replaceable without replacing the whole motor. Take your car to a reputable mechanic for sound advice. There are many such mechanics in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Miami, Florida areas. Seek a word of mouth referral or do an online search.