Ask any car owner about which problem they have all faced and more often than not, the answer will be that their cars won’t start. A car with a bad starter will be one of the most common problems that cars come with to the workshops. Even though the technology and the industry of the automobile world are vastly expanding, this starter problem continues to be a common complaint.
So, what should you do one morning when you step out and suddenly your car won’t start? There is quite nothing like that sinking feeling in your stomach when you turn your ignition on but no sound emerges from the engine. Follow this guide to know what you should do to start your car. You can go step-wise until you can figure out what the exact problem is.
Sometimes, hitting the starter with any kind of tool such as a hammer can make it start. But, this should be done with utmost care and caution. People also report shaking their cars to make it work. Such things will provide a temporary solution for your car. You should also check your oil and fuel levels to make sure they are not running low. However, to completely diagnose and fix a bad starter, you should read on.
First and foremost, you have to know exactly what the starter needs to actually “start”.
Typically, it will need the below:
- Battery to be working and a current to be flowing it
- A ground
- A trigger for the current
Check The Battery and Its Connections
Therefore, the logical step would be to check the connections. You have to check that the wires of the battery connecting to the starter are not loose. If these wires are broken or loose, they will stop the starter from getting the stimulus from the battery to start.
You can tighten the battery connectors with the use of a ratchet. If you can trace the positive wire manually, one will be towards the starter and another towards the alternator. If the wires are not loose, you could try using a jumper cable and starting the ignition.
You should also make use of a voltmeter and check the voltage of the battery. The levels below 12.4V should be charged. This could have been one possible reason why the engine did not start.
Check The Grounds
The ground comes towards the starter through the outer frame that contacts the transmission. Check if the ground wire seems to be rusted. If such a thing happens, it creates something called open circuit in the system for starting. This is why the starter could not start.
Hence, the ground wires can affect the ground for the starter. So, they must be in working condition so that the starter can actually work. Trying a jumper wire can be one way to bypass the problem.
The Solenoid Wire of The Starter Should Be Checked
The first two steps are the things that make the turning of the starter possible. However, the solenoid is what engages with the transmission. Check for sounds of the starter turning free while cranking. If this is heard, the most probable cause could be the solenoid. For this, you have to check the wire that is smallest in size and look for rusting or dirt.
To bypass this, you can try to provide 12v current towards the solenoid from the car battery by the use of small wire. When this works, a click sound will be heard when the jumper wire is connected.
Many people in tough spots make use of the jump-start method. This means that a current is to be borrowed from a different car by connecting it to yours. By fusing the cables on the positive and negative terminals. Extreme caution should be taken here to make sure these terminals are connected properly. Taking any wrong step can cause expensive damage to both cars.
The use of a screwdriver has been a common remedy for starter problems. Touching the solenoid terminal and the positive terminal will bypass the relay of the starter. This can help send current to the solenoid and ignite your car.
If you have a manual car, this will work for you. By putting your car into second gear, and turning on the ignition, you have to press the clutch while someone pushes the car behind. Releasing the clutch and pushing again will make sure it does not stall. If the car can start this way, do not stall until reaching the place you intend. Stopping the car means the push-start has to be done again.
The Gear- Release
This is a simple remedy that could work for you. By pushing the handbrake when the car is in top gear could potentially jerk the car. This process would help to loosen the gear jam.
A question arising here could be whether these methods would work for manual and automatic vehicles. Everything except the push-start will work for either kind of cars. So, rest assured that these would apply to any kind of car you have.
Being one of the most common problems that can happen to any car at any time, you should always be ready and prepared for it to occur. Keep these items in your car at all times so that no matter the situation, you can deal with the problem.
The last thing to remember is that even though any person can provide temporary solutions to their own cars using these methods, they are just for a quick fix. Therefore, you should take your vehicles to a professional as soon as possible. If such problems are kept for long without professional help, the damage could become worse. These fixes will help you in those moments when you have to rush out, but your car will need better care soon.