bad starter

How long can you drive with a bad starter?

Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Starter?

A faulty starter can be a significant inconvenience, particularly if you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry. But how long can you drive with a bad starter? A starter is a critical component of any car, and If your car’s starter goes wrong, you may wonder how long you can continue to drive it.

In this article, we’ll discuss what a starter is, the symptoms of a bad starter, the consequences of driving with a bad starter, and how to fix a bad starter. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about starters.

What is a starter?

The engine is usually started using the starter. It does this by providing the engine’s initial rotation, allowing the spark plugs to ignite the fuel and start the engine. The starter is near the engine and is driven by a belt or chain from the crankshaft.

How much does a starter cost?

A new starter will typically cost between $100 and $300, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. It could be challenging to acquire a replacement starter if you drive an old or rare vehicle. One could need to be repaired or remanufactured in this situation.

How long can you drive with a bad starter?

The severity of the issue and whether or not the engine can still turn over will determine how much you can drive with a faulty starter. In general, it’s not a good idea to keep the car running with a bad starter because it might endanger the engine or other components. If you must drive with a bad starter, take it easy on the accelerator and avoid hard starts.

Bad starter

If your car’s starter is only mildly damaged, you may be able to get away with driving for a short period before needing to replace or repair it. However, if the problem is more severe, it’s best to have it fixed as soon as possible. Driving with a severely damaged starter can lead to engine failure or other serious issues.

Take extra precautions and have it looked at by a professional as soon as possible if you’re unsure how much you can safely drive with a bad starter. They will be able to diagnose the problem and let you know if it’s safe to continue driving or if repairs are needed right away.

What are the symptoms of a bad starter?

1.Engine Won’t Turn Over:

The engine not starting is one of the most prevalent and apparent signs of a faulty starter. There are several reasons behind this, but if the starter is the culprit, it’s usually because the solenoid (a key component) is not engaging correctly.

If you turn the key and nothing happens (or you hear a clicking noise, but the engine doesn’t start), then it’s likely that your starter needs replacement. 

An entirely dead battery, loose or corroded battery connections or an issue with the ignition switch are some more potential causes of an engine that won’t start.

2. Engine Turns Over Slowly:

Another symptom of a bad starter is when the engine turns over slowly when you try to start it. Several factors can cause this, but if the starter is to blame, insufficient power gets to the solenoid.

It is a sign of corrosion on the battery terminals or other electrical connections or if the battery itself is starting to fail. If your engine is turning over more slowly than usual, examine your car with a mechanic as soon as possible.

3. Grinding Noise When Starting The Car:

If you hear grinding noise when starting your car, this may indicate that your starter motor brushes are worn out and needs replacement.

Starter motors use brushes to create the electromagnetic field to spin the flywheel and start the engine. Over time, these brushes will wear down and eventually need to be replaced for the starter motor to function correctly.

4. Burning Smell Coming From The Engine Bay:

If you notice a burning smell from under your hood, this could be another symptom of a bad starter. In particular, if you smell something burning while trying to start your car (and especially if you also hear clicking or grinding noises), then it’s likely that your starter solenoid has burned out and needs replacement.

A lousy starter can also cause your car to overheat, so if you notice a burning smell and your engine is running hot, be sure to have it checked out by a mechanic immediately.

5. Car Won’t Start In Cold Weather:

If you are in an area with cold weather, you may find that your car won’t start as quickly in the colder months. It is often due to the battery losing power in cold weather, but a bad starter can also cause it.

When trying to start your car in cold weather, if you hear a clicking or grinding noise, but the engine doesn’t turn over, then it’s likely that your starter needs replacement.

What are the risks of driving with a bad starter?

Several consequences can occur if you drive with a bad starter:

  1. Your car will have difficulty starting. It may cause many inconveniences, especially if you’re trying to go to work or school.
  2. While you’re driving, your car might stall. It can be hazardous, as it increases the risk of being in an accident.
  3. Your car will consume more fuel than usual, as the starter must work harder to turn the engine.
  4. Driving with a bad starter can damage other parts of your car, such as the battery and alternator.

How do you fix a bad starter?

There are several ways that you may take fixing a bad starter:

  • The first option is to replace the starter entirely. It is usually a costly option but also the most effective. It may be the best option for you if you have a warranty on your car.
  • The second option is to have the starter repaired. It is often cheaper than replacing the starter, but it may not be as effective. If you have a local mechanic that you trust, this may be the best option for you.
  • The third option is to try and fix the starter yourself. It is usually not recommended, as diagnosing and repairing starters yourself can be challenging. However, this may be an option if you are mechanically inclined and have some experience with car repairs.


A: It depends. If the battery is entirely dead, the car will shut down immediately. However, if the battery has some charge left, the car may run for a little while before shutting down.

A: No, a car will not jump start with a bad starter. If the starter is not working, the engine will not start.

A: Yes, if the starter is faulty, it can cause the battery to drain. Starting the engine usually requires power. If something is wrong with the starter, it can cause an unexpected and excessive draw on the battery, eventually leading to the battery draining.

A: It depends on how much you drive and maintain your vehicle. Generally speaking, starters need replacement every few years or so. However, if you drive your car regularly or do not maintain it well, you may need to replace your starter more often.

A: The main fuse that will stop a car from starting is the one that controls power to the starter motor. If this fuse blows, then no power will be able to reach the starter motor, and the car will not start.


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