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How To Diagnose A Failing Starter

The starter is crucial to your engine’s ability to start reliably. If you want to learn more about how a starter works, read this blog post highlighting how the small motor makes our lives easier. Read on to learn more about some of these symptoms and how you can address your starter motor problems.

Common Symptoms Of A Failing Starter

Image Credit: JBugs

When a starter begins to fail, it often shows a few symptoms before it dies altogether. Sometimes it can fail suddenly, but most times, you may notice a few warning signs.

1. Unusual Noises

When you turn the key in your ignition, or press the start button, and hear unusual noises, it's most likely a failed starter. It may take extra time to start or sound faster or slower than usual. Some of these noises can be clicking, ticking, thunking, or clunks.

2. Slow Starting 

If you find your car taking longer to start or taking extra attempts, your starter motor is worn and beginning to fail. If a starter isn’t working as designed, it can quickly lead to failure.

3. Starter Stays On

The starter is designed to help the engine start and then disengage and turn off as soon as the engine gets going. If you release the key and hear a high pitched whirring or whining when the engine fires, the starter may be staying on too long. In this case, the solenoid may be the problem, and not the actual starter motor. 

4. Unusual Smells/Smoke

Starters require a lot of electrical current to work. When a starter begins to wear out, they can draw even more current. The extra current can generate enough heat to melt electrical insulation inside the starter, which causes smoke. If you’re attempting to start your car and smell or see smoke, you should stop trying to start the vehicle and inspect vehicle until you find the source.

5. Lights Work, No Crank

Most times, when you’re having starting issues, it is often the battery or an electrical connection that is the issue. If you hear a clicking sound when you try to start the engine, the battery is probably too run down to provide the power needed. If the battery checks out as good, you should inspect the cable that connects to the starter. If the cable is loose or corroded, correcting that problem may get the starter working again. 

If you’re having any of the above issues, check out this link to our collection of starter motors. As we mentioned above, you should first ensure the problem is within the starter and not your car’s battery.

At VW Parts Vortex, you can be sure we supply only the best Volkswagen OEM parts. We have been in business since 2006 here in New Jersey, USA. Our parts come directly from Volkswagen, and we only sell OEM parts. Volkswagen’s manufacturer warranty backs all our parts. You can contact us here, or give us a call at 888-667-8938.