Is My Starter Going Bad?

Your car won’t start again! Could it be your starter? How much will it cost to fix? What is going to happen to my car now?

There are so many questions running through your head when you attempt to turn over that ignition, and your car doesn’t start. First off, if your vehicle’s engine is turning over but not starting, it’s not your starter at all. The starter is only responsible for turning the engine over. If you turn the key and hear nothing at all or a quiet click or a loud “clunk” that means you have starter issues.

If you hear the loud “clunk” when attempting to start your car, it is very likely that you have a poor starter solenoid and will need to be replaced.

If you’re in Roseville, it’s time to visit a Roseville BMW service station immediately.


When your starter starts going bad, you’ll notice a few signs and symptoms leading up to this. Pay attention to your vehicle and what she’s telling you. It could help save you the frustration, money and time later.

  • Engine begins turning over slowly
  • Dashboard lights becoming dim while you are starting your car
  • Battery terminals get really hot
  • Turning the key and nothing happens or a single click
  • Turning the key and hearing a single loud click or clunk
  • You hear a grinding noise when trying to start. This grinding sound is similar to the one you hear if your vehicle were on and then you accidentally hit the starter. This can cause damage to the engine flywheel
  • Freewheeling occurs when you attempt to turn over the engine and instead of it starting, you’ll hear a high pitched whine coming from the engine. This usually means that your starter is not engaging with your flywheel
  • If you see smoke coming from your vehicle, it could mean you have a starter problem, but smoke could mean a lot of things. If you see smoke when trying to start your car, that could mean that too much power is being pulled through the electrical supply to the starter. This could be caused by a short, has a connection problem, or has been operating too long without rest.
  • Oily or over saturated(in oil) starters will likely have a shorter life. That also means that you have an oil leak. It is recommended that you repair the leakage and replace your starter before it malfunctions.

The most typical malfunction with a starter is a malfunctioning starter solenoid. The solenoid transmits an electrical current from your battery to the motor in the starter which in turn causes the car to start when the key is turned.