Is You Car's Starter Failing? Know What To Look For

The starter is what provides your car with the initial power needed to start the engine so that it can run on its own. If your starter has a problem where it is unable to function properly, the engine will no longer crank when turning the key. While diagnosing a problem with your car's starter may seem daunting, these basic techniques may help you diagnose the problem and potentially isolate the cause.

Listen For Your Car To Crank When Starting It

One of the things you want to listen for is if the engine is cranking when turning the key. If you do not hear any cranking, it means that the car's starter circuit is bad. If you do hear cranking, you can rule out any issue with you car's starter circuit.

A dead battery may be the cause of the engine not cranking as well. You should check the battery to see that it has a minimum of 12.4 volts of power when the car is turned off. You should also look for any loose connections to the battery or corroded terminals that can prevent a solid connection.

Even if the battery is drained, the battery may not be the problem. You can accidentally drain the battery by repeatedly starting your car, so you may still have problems after charging or replacing your battery.

Investigate The Car's Starter Circuit

If you have confirmed that your car's battery is functioning properly, you will need to investigate further along the car's starter circuit. You can do this by putting the key into the ignition, turning it, and listening closely for a clicking sound. The action behind that clicking sound is telling the car's starter to start receiving electrical current. If there is no sound, you need to look into the ignition switch.

You will need two people to inspect your ignition switch. One person will have a voltmeter connected to the starter, while another person turns the key in the ignition. You need to see those 12.4 volts going through the ignition switch when starting the car. If you do not, then it could be a problem with your ignition switch. If you see the proper amount of voltage, and the car is still not starting, the problem may be too complicated to self diagnose.

Consider having your car towed to a local North York auto shop to officially diagnose the problem. Once the issue is narrowed down, they can order the new parts and install them for you.


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