Question - What causes a starter not to engage?

Answered by: Deborah Griffin  |  Category: General  |  Last Updated: 19-06-2022  |  Views: 1066  |  Total Questions: 12

Faulty Starter motor A faulty motor will prevent your starter from engaging. Start by checking the mounting bolts for any loose wires. The grinding noise you hear with the starter is due to a clash between the flywheel and the ring gear. With time these gears get worn out and cause starter, not engaging problems. If you can hear the starter spinning - and you're sure it's the starter - but the engine isn't turning over, then the starter solenoid isn't working correctly. The solenoid pushes a little gadget that engages with the flywheel / flex plate, so that when the starter spins, it turns the motor. The likely reason for this type of failure is due to a sticking key switch or relay, resulting in a permanent electrical feed to the starter motor's solenoid connection. Again, this is misdiagnosed as a starter motor failure. The most common misdiagnosis for this is a faulty starter motor. CAUSES OF FAULTY STARTERS: CAUSE OF FAILURE Electrical connections faulty. Solenoid switch (engaging relay) stiff or faulty. Electric motor damaged electrically. Single-pinion gear, starter pinion or freewheel damaged. To make an engine start it must be turned at some speed, so that it sucks fuel and air into the cylinders, and compresses it. The powerful electric starter motor does the turning. Its shaft carries a small pinion ( gear wheel) which engages with a large gear ring around the rim of the engine flywheel.

It works because the brushes in the starter are worn to the point where they are having trouble contacting the commutator bars of the armature. Works best when power is being applied. All that said, fair warning: hitting it too hard can damage the perminant magnets in the motor.

By jumping your starter solenoid, you are turning the screwdriver or other metal implement into a manual switch. Plus, if you don't get the screwdriver off of the contacts soon enough, you can burn out the starter motor. This is a dangerous procedure, so don't do it unless you absolutely have to start the vehicle.

Have a friend turn the key in the ignition to attempt to start the vehicle. Listen carefully, as you should hear a click when the starter solenoid engages. If you do not hear a click, the starter solenoid is likely not functioning properly. If you do hear clicking, the solenoid may be engaging, but not sufficiently.

Vehicle does not start. The most obvious warning sign that a problem with the starter relay exists is when the vehicle won't start when you engage the ignition process. Starter stays on after engine started. Intermittent issues starting the vehicle. Clicking sound coming from the starter.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Starter The engine won't turn over and vehicle won't start. Starter engages but doesn't spin the motor. Sporadic starting issues. Grinding noise when trying to start the motor. Interior lights dim when starting the car. Smell or see smoke when starting the motor.

How to Bypass the Starter Solenoid Locate the starter motor under the vehicle. Locate the two metal contacts on the back of the starter solenoid. Place the metal blade of an insulated screwdriver across both metal contacts. Get a friend to help you by turning on the ignition with the key. Listen to the starter motor.

Replacing the Bendix on a pre-engaged starter motor Use a pulling tool to remove the thrust collar. Tap this type of collar down with a piece of piping used as a drift. Remove the jump ring with a screwdriver. A purpose-made Bendix spring compressor can be used to free the circlip.

When the solenoid goes bad, something happens so there is inadequate or no current to the starter when you turn the key. The power contacts may burn or corrode, adding enough resistance to the circuit so that the starter doesn't engage properly, or doesn't turn the engine over.

Whirring, grinding, and high-pitched noises are the usual sounds of a bad starter. Since the symptoms of a bad starter can often be mistaken for a battery or alternator problem, make sure that your battery is in tip-top shape before ruling out a starter problem.

Five Starter Warning Signs: Grinding noise. When the starter drive gear is worn out or not engaging properly, they will often produce a grinding noise that is similar to the one that is heard if you start your engine and then accidentally hit the starter again. Freewheeling. Smoke. Oil soak. Malfunctioning solenoid.

The first indication your starter may be going bad is at the moment you try to start your car. If you turn the key and simply hear a clicking sound, or nothing at all, then it may be the starter.

If Your Starter Clicks, the Usual Causes Are: Loose, damaged, or corroded battery cables. A faulty starter solenoid or relay. A bad starter motor. Too much ground resistance.