How do I know if my car starter has gone bad?

My car won't start, and I thought it was the battery. But after getting the battery tested, I found it was fine. I think it might be my starter instead. How do you know if your car starter is bad?

Answer
If your car battery is fairly new and jumpstarting the battery didn’t work, your starter is a likely culprit. Look out for these telltale signs that your car starter is malfunctioning.
Since a car starter is actually a small motor that gets your engine running, it can suffer from a variety of mechanical issues. Even if you’re not a mechanic, you can use your eyes and ears to diagnose the issue.
Some of the most common signs of a bad starter include:
  • Whirring or grinding noises when you start the car
  • Your accessories work but the car won’t start
  • Smoke is coming from under the hood
  • The starter is soaked in oil
  • The engine doesn’t crank at all
You did the right thing by checking your battery, but it sounds like the starter might be to blame. For your reference, a car starter can cost between $100 and $350 to repair, not including labor.
In the future, you may want to add towing and labor coverage to your insurance, which functions exactly like roadside assistance. Call your insurance company to add it or search quotes on the Jerry app to see if you can find a better rate.
Eric Schad
Answered on Nov 02, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
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