Hard Starts: 4 Signs of Starter Failure

While it seems very simple to start a vehicle, just by turning the key, the actual process is much more intricate. There are many parts that work together to get your vehicle?s engine spinning. One of the most important parts is the starter motor. When fed electricity it actuates, causing its pinion gear to connect with the flywheel and spin it, getting the pistons pumping. If your vehicle suffers from some sort of starter failure you will not be able to get the car started and you won't be going anywhere. However before the starter fails you will often run into one of the following issues after turning the key before the starter completely shuts down.

Loud Clicking Noise

Perhaps the most common sign of starter motor failure is a loud clicking noise that occurs when you turn the key. You may either hear or a single loud click or a series of repetitive clicking. This is an indicator of some sort of mechanical failure within the starter motor. What is happening is that the pinion gear is being actuated but it cannot get enough power to spin the flywheel.


A buzzing noise that occurs when you turn the key that is not accompanied by any other sound generally indicates that electricity is flowing to the starter motor but not enough in order to allow it to do its job. This may be caused by poor connections on the battery terminal, corrosion on the battery terminals or some sort of other issue in the wires and connections between the battery, ignition and starter motor.

Grinding Sound

If there is a grinding noise that happens when you try to start your vehicle it is likely that the mounting bolts that hold the starter motor in place have become loose. This would allow the starter to roll and rock and not make good contact with the flywheel. As it tries to spin the flywheel the pinion gear will clank back-and-forth causing this grinding noise.

Whirring Noise

If you encounter a whirring noise or a swooshing noise it means there is trouble with the pinion gear as it cannot contact the flywheel. What you are hearing is the pinion gear spinning freely and not in connection with the flywheel. This often indicates mechanical failure of the starter motor.

If you have ran into any of these problems and your vehicle is becoming increasingly hard to start do not hesitate having the vehicle serviced. For professional starter repair in Everett bring your car or truck to ONB Automotive. Our team works hard to perform quick and affordable auto repair of all sorts. Give us a call today at (425) 317-9618 to request an appointment for professional auto repair in Everett!

O.N.B. Automotive Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ

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