how to start a car with a bad starter

The following are the 15 ways to start a car with a bad starter.

If your car doesn’t start, you will have to rely on quick fixes or more involved methods of getting your engine going again. Most of these solutions presume you have a basic idea of how an internal combustion automobile engine works and what each part does. While none will be fully effective once the problem is severe enough, they should help if the issue hasn’t progressed too far yet.

Start by checking connections before moving on to other methods that can help in most scenarios, such as removing extra weight from the vehicle’s body or jostling components like the battery cable terminals. A middle-of-the-road way, which can be helpful if the starter motor is just a little finicky, is to use a battery charger to help boost power.

1. Test The Battery

The first step is to test the battery and make sure it is still in good condition. It should read around 12 volts when the vehicle is off and 14.4 volts when running. If the battery registers below 12 volts, it’s time for a new one.

2. Check The Alternator

To test it, start the car and let it run. Then, with the engine running, unplug the alternator belt. The vehicle should stall immediately. If not, the alternator is wrong and needs to be replaced.

3. Check The Fuses

Several fuses in your car could be responsible for a bad starter. To check them, remove the fuse box cover and check each fuse using a continuity tester. If any fuses are bad, they will need to be replaced.

4. Clean The Battery Terminals

The battery terminals may also be the problem. To clean them, use a wire brush to remove any corrosion. Then, apply a coat of petroleum jelly to the terminals.

5. Jostle The Components

Sometimes simply jostling the components can get the car started. This includes moving the battery cables around and moving the drive belt.

6. Jump Start The Vehicle With Another Car

Connect the two cars through their jumper cable clips and then have one of the drivers try to start their respective engines.

7. Use A Recycled Starter Motor

If it fails, you can resort to using a recycled starter motor from an old car. If this is not possible, you will need to buy a new one and install it yourself or take it to a garage for them to do it. You can reuse your original wiring harness if you want by cutting the connector off of the old starter motor and connecting it onto the replacement starter motor.

8. Remove The Starter Motor Altogether

If else fails, you might have to go back to a simpler time when cars were started by actually yanking on a cable that was connected directly to the engine. To do this, you will need to remove your old starter motor using the earlier steps and then attach a cable directly from the battery’s positive pole to where the senior starter used to be connected.

Then, try starting your car again by turning on its ignition. When it finally starts running, disconnect the cable connecting it to the engine. One thing to keep in mind is that this method is dangerous because there are no other safety measures for transportation.

9. Use A Pencil

Another old-fashioned way to start a car with a bad starter motor is to use a pencil. This method is dangerous because there are no other safety measures for transportation, so it should only be used as a last resort. All you need to do is disconnect the battery’s negative pole and then insert the eraser end of the pencil into the hole where it was connected. Then, hold onto the other end of the pencil and crank it like you would a standard starter motor.

10. Use A Hammer

If you don’t have a pencil, you can also try using a hammer. This method is also dangerous because there are no other safety measures for transportation, so it should only be used as a last resort. All you need to do is disconnect the battery’s negative pole and then use the hammer’s claw end to connect it to where it was connected to the battery. Then, hold onto the other end of the hammer and crank it like you would a typical starter motor.

11. Use A Small Piece Of Metal As A Tether

If else fails, grab a small piece of metal and create a rope by tying one end around your positive cable and wrapping it back around itself three or four times to protect your hands from shocks before connecting it to your negative line. If that doesn’t work, try using another cable (without creating a rope) instead of touching the cable directly to the battery.

12. Use A Long Metal Wire

Another way to start a car with a bad starter is to use a long metal wire as a rope instead of grabbing onto your cables, which you should only do if creating a tether doesn’t work. All you need to do is create another piece of metal like you would for your tether, but make sure it’s at least 3 feet (1 meter) long and then connect the positive end as well as one end of your wire to where your old starter used to be connected and touch the other end of the wire somewhere along the negative part of the battery. Then, hold onto the metal wire and crank your car like you would a typical starter motor.

13. Use An Ice Pick As A Tether

Another way to start a car with a bad starter is to use an ice pick as a tether instead of grabbing onto your cables, which you should only do if creating a tether doesn’t work. All you need to do is create another piece of metal like you would for your tether, but make sure it’s at least 3 feet (1 meter) long and then connect the positive end as well as one end of your metal wire to where your old starter used to be connected and touch the other end of the wire somewhere along the negative part of the battery. Then, hold onto the ice pick and crank your car like a typical starter motor.

14. Use A Knife As A Tether

Another way to start a car with a bad starter is to use a knife as a tether instead of grabbing onto your cables, which you should only do if creating a tether doesn’t work. All you need to do is create another piece of metal like you would for your tether, but make sure it’s at least 3 feet (1 meter) long and then connect the positive end as well as one end of the knife to where your old starter used to be connected and touch the other end of the knife somewhere along the negative part of the battery. Then, hold onto the knife and crank your car like you would a normal starter motor.

15. Use A Pen As A Tether

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Another way to start a car with a bad starter is to use a pen as a tether instead of grabbing onto your cables, which you should only do if creating a tether doesn’t work. All you need to do is create another piece of metal like you would for your tether, but make sure it’s at least 3 feet (1 meter) long and then connect the positive end as well as one end of the pen to where your old starter used to be connected and touch the other end of the pen somewhere along the negative part of the battery. Then, hold onto the pen and crank your car like you would a normal starter motor.

16: Use A Screwdriver As A Tether

Another way to start a car with a bad starter is to use a screwdriver as a tether instead of grabbing onto your cables, which you should only do if creating a tether doesn’t work. All you need to do is create another piece of metal like you would for your tether, but make sure it’s at least 3 feet (1 meter) long and then connect the positive end as well as one end of the screwdriver to where your old starter used to be connected and touch the other end of the screwdriver somewhere along the negative part of the battery. Then, hold onto the screwdriver and crank your car like you would a normal starter motor.

FAQs

What are some of the most common symptoms of a bad starter?

Some of the most common symptoms of a bad starter are clicking noises when you turn the key in the ignition, a slow crank time, and difficulty starting your car.

How do I know if my starter is bad?

One way is to listen to strange noises when trying to start your car. Another way is to pay attention to how long it takes your car to crank when you try to start it. If it takes longer than expected, there’s a good chance your starter is bad.

How do I fix a bad starter?

You can do a few things to fix a bad starter. One is to replace the starter solenoid. Another is to clean the battery posts and terminals. If those things don’t work, you may need to replace the starter.

How much does it cost to replace a bad starter?

The cost to replace a lousy starter varies depending on the make and model of your car. However, it typically costs between $200 and $500.