Starter Motors

For diagnostics, tips and what makes a starting motor tick. If something happens to the starter motor, your transport for the day is kaput.


How does a Starter Motor work?

A starter motor starts the engine by cranking or turning it over. It has a starter solenoid interfaced with a strong DC electric motor for its operation.

The shaft of the starter motor consists of a gear wheel which interacts with a bulky gear ring located around the flywheel’s rim.

You can unintentionally create a short circuit if you don’t detach the battery first when replacing the starter motor.

For yourself it is better to buy a new starter motor rather than attempt to fix the electrical or mechanical faults.
It is also more cost-effective in the case the motor has numerous faults.

Consult us if think the motor can be repaired. At channel auto electrics we are one of the few auto shops that know how to rebuild a starter motor. It is always worth consulting an expert especially with starter motors.


Starter motors are charged using the car battery. It is worth mentioning that the battery should have high enough capacity and charge as the motor needs a very large electric current for its operation. In the case the battery is low, the car’s lights might still turn on, though more dimly, but the starter motor will not work.

If your car is in park gear (automatic), and you start your car, the battery voltage will energize the starter solenoid. This, in turn, powers the starter motor. Simultaneously, the starter gear is pushed forward by the starter solenoid to interface it with the flywheel. This flywheel is connected to the crankshaft of the engine. So, the starter motor starts to rotate and spins the engine crankshaft.

If you have a manual transmission and leave the vehicle in low gear with the clutch out, the high-powered starting action will actually drive the vehicle forward – slowly. That is how much power is effectively put through to the engine from one small battery and is why batteries need to be replaced/tested regularly.

With the crankshaft being spun the engine starts the pistons firing, your vehicle starts and you can disengage the starter motor. Button start system will automatically de-energize the motor once the engine starts working.


Starter motor is not working properly?

Starter motors do get worn out like any other part so it may not work even with a good battery. You may need to exchange it with a new one or get it fixed if it is stuck or not rotating fast enough. If it is stuck, you will hear a single click (or nothing) when you try to start the car. And, without enough rotation engine will not fire, and you may hear a loud screeching noise. However, the same sound can also be heard if the ring gear’s teeth of the flywheel are damaged in this case.

Faulty Wiring Connection

Check for loose or damaged trigger wire or other wires in the starter motor. If the connections are loose, you can consult us as our expert mechanics can fix them easily. We would either need to re-wire the whole connection or a part of it.

Bad Earth Wiring

In addition to the motor, its solenoid also needs a power supply for operation. Bad earth connection will mean that the solenoid will energize, but the motor will get all the power, and the solenoid will not operate. In this case, you will hear a click. We can help find a bad earth.

Faulty Solenoid

If your solenoid is overheating, then it is impossible to repair your starter motor. You will need to get a new one. We would recommend you to ask an auto-electrician to also look for the cause. Maybe your vehicle has a leaking cooling system. The engine may be overheating because of a leak in the water pump, hoses, radiator, thermostat housing, or head gasket. Many times there are are a combination of issues one causing another one down the chain.

Faulty Starter Motor

Here, your motor’s electromagnet may be wrecked, and thus the starter motor will heat up. This electromagnet is essential for turning the armature of the starter motor. There are field coils present in the housing of the starter motor. They are connected in series, and when an electric current passes through them, they turn into an electromagnet. Also, in this case, you cannot repair it and will need to buy a new one. You can also contact us if you want to know why this is happening.

Malfunctioning Ignition Switch

Defect in the ignition switch and starter motor can show you similar symptoms. However, you can identify them by checking whether brake, oil, and charging light knob are present in the second position on the ignition. The ignition switch’s electrical problems can also make the lights inoperable.