5 Critical Problems That A Bad Car Starter Can Cause

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The longer you own the car, the more likely you are to deal with common maintenance problems. That includes a starter that fails on you. These will naturally go out with age, so it’s something most long-time vehicle owners will deal with. When yours starts to have problems, don’t wait to address it or you could run the risk of causing other problems.

Drain Battery

You may not realize it, but a bad part such as a failing 2001 Toyota 4Runner starter could drain your battery. When you start your car, the starter gets a jolt of energy from the battery and starts the engine. If the starter is struggling, it could pull too much energy from the battery and drain it prematurely.

Grinding Noises

Sometimes a bad starter will make a grinding noise. Aside from being annoying, this sound is an indicator that other damage may be happening. Specifically, the flywheel in the starter motor could be grinding and wearing down. Even if the car starts, you are shortening the life of important parts.

Smoke Coming From the Car

Often, a problem with the starter is linked to a problem with the wiring in the unit. There may be a short circuit or a wire that isn’t connected problem. Electrical problems can become dangerous. Smoke is a key indicator that you are headed in that direction.

If you ever put the key into the ignition and turn and start to see smoke when you engage your 2002 Toyota Camry LE starter, stop immediately. Even a few wisps of smoke from the dashboard or hood could indicate a serious problem that needs to be fixed right away.

Starter Doesn’t Disengage

On occasion, a bad starter will stay engaged even after it has started the engine. It will keep cycling through its starting process over and over even as you drive. This pulls more energy from the car than is needed. The repeated and unnecessary cycles will also add more wear and tear to your starting system, shortening its lifespan even more.

Car Won’t Start

The biggest problem with a bad car starter is when your car won’t start. As the starter goes bad, you may have some luck getting the engine to turn over. Eventually, the system will give up. You will go to turn the key and get nothing but a few lights on the dashboard. This is a sign that your starter has nothing more to give and has to be replaced.

This is a bad problem to have if you are in an inconvenient spot or have somewhere you need to be when the starter gives out. 

Rather than wait for that final failure, make a plan to replace your starter when the time is right. When you buy a used car, use a VIN lookup tool to get details about the mileage and to track down the replacement parts that you need. This way, you can get a starter when you need it and keep your car on the road.


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