Is Your Vehicle’s Starter Going Bad? Here Are Signs it Is

As its name suggests, the starter helps start your car, truck, or SUV. It’s basically a small motor that transmits power to the engine to fire it up. There are signs that your starter motor or the starter relay has starter problems. CAR FIX Crossville lists what they are below and the reasons why a starter dies.


If you turn the key in the ignition and hear a clicking sound, the starter is crying out for help. You may also hear grinding or whirring sounds. You might hear these sounds before your vehicle catches but this is odd. In most cases, you’ll hear the sound and be unable to start your automobile at all.

Lights Only

Another sign of starter trouble is you cannot start your engine but your dashboard lights illuminate when you turn the key in the ignition. This means the vehicle is getting power but cannot start. This could be the starter or the battery. If the dashboard lights are powered, the alternator should be okay.

Dead Engine

If you’ve tried to start your car, truck, or SUV and you cannot get it going, the next logical step is to jumpstart it. What does it mean if you can’t get the engine to crank even after you’ve jumpstarted the vehicle? It means you probably have a problem with your starter or it’s completely dead.

Overheated Electrical Components

This sign is a result of you trying to start your car too much with a dead starter. If you keep pushing the starter when it’s malfunctioning, it can overheat and, in turn, blow fuses or short circuits. You might smell a burning smell or see smoke coming from your engine. If you do, stop trying to start your car.

Oil Leak

The problem could be something other than your starter. If you cannot get your car to start, pop the hood and check out the starter. If it has oil on it, you have an oil leak, which is a concerning problem. To find your starter, locate the left bank of cylinders on the driver’s side and look below them.

Starter Problem Causes

Age is a primary factor in starter failure. As with any automotive part, the starter has a lifespan. Other causes of starter problems include dirty connections, corroded battery, loose starter wiring, oil leaks (as mentioned above), and worn starter parts. 

Bring your vehicle into CAR FIX Crossville in Crossville, TN, if you suspect you have starter problems. Contact us today!

Call CAR FIX Crossville at 931-456-6569 for an appointment today!