While trying to start your car one morning, you may have found that it takes you a few times to get the engine to turn over. While there are a couple of other issues that could cause this problem, such as a bad battery or alternator, there are a couple of tell-tale signs that your vehicle's starter is beginning to go bad.
1. You Hear a Clicking Sound Before You Fully Turn the Key
One sign that your car's starter is starting to go bad is when you hear a clicking noise when you try to turn the engine over. However, since a clicking noise can also mean that the battery is not delivering enough juice because it has gone bad, the timing of the sound is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.
When the battery is the culprit, the clicking noise will be heard when you have fully turned the key and are trying to crank the engine. However, if the starter is the problem, you will hear the clicking noise before the key is fully turned because the starter is engaged before you try to crank the engine.
2. Your Engine Is Slow to Crank but the Lights Are Bright
Another sign that your starter is failing is when you notice that your engine is slow to crank and turn over even after holding the key in the starting position. However, to determine whether the problem has to do with the battery, alternator, or the starter, pay attention to the interior and exterior lights of your vehicle.
If the lights dim while you are trying to start your car, the probable cause is a faulty alternator. If the lights come on dim and stay that way, the battery is most likely to blame. However, if the engine is slow to start, but the lights stay bright during the process, your car probably has a bad starter.
If you notice either or both of the above scenarios whenever you try to start your car, the starter is the most likely culprit. If you do not replace it soon, you may find yourself stuck one day because your car will not start at all. Before this happens, seek help from a representative at an auto parts store who can help you select the right starter for your vehicle's make and model, and then either replace the part yourself or have a mechanic do it for you.
To learn more about auto parts like starters, contact a company in your area like 422 Auto Wrecking.