A dead engine doesn’t have to mean you have a dead battery. The alternator and the starter can also prevent your engine from starting. Let’s talk about the starter in this blog post. This is a tiny motor that gets the engine going. It is powered by the battery and lasts about 10 years. CAR FIX advises that if you drive an older automobile, there may come a point when the starter dies and you experience the following frustrations.
Jump-Starting Didn’t Help
If you can’t get your vehicle started, the first thing you will be inclined to do is to jump-start it because you believe the battery is dead. The problem is with a dead starter motor, jump-starting your engine will not get it going. In fact, if the jump-start is unsuccessful and you cannot get your engine to turn over, it’s a safe bet that you have a problem with the starter rather than the battery or alternator.
The Lights Still Work
You can test this theory by checking the lights. If the battery and alternator are functioning as they should be, you will get lights even though the engine isn’t starting. You will get headlights, taillights, brake lights, and dashboard lights. If all of these lights are working and you have a dead engine, again, it’s a safe bet that the problem is with the starter.
The Ominous Clicking Sound
One definite sign of starter problems is that ominous clicking sound when you turn the key. The starter will make clicking noises before it dies completely in some cases. “In some cases” is the operative phrase in that sentence, however. You may not get a warning before your starter dies. Rather, it may die without making any sound or giving you any other hint of a problem at all.
There’s an Engine Oil Leak
Motor oil can cause severe damage to the starter, and because of where the starter is located, it can be affected by an engine oil leak. The starter is found on the driver’s side of your automobile’s engine underneath the block of cylinders. This is why it is easy for oil to leak down onto the starter and damage the motor.
There’s Smoke Under the Hood
Finally, you may end up burning the starter motor if you keep trying to start your car, truck, or utility vehicle. This can create smoke from the motor that will waft out from underneath the hood. You may also smell hot odors coming from the engine.
CAR FIX has three locations in Tennessee. Call the one closest to you to schedule a service appointment today if you believe your starter is going bad.