4 Common Signs of Starter Motor Failure

4 Common Signs of Starter Motor FailureGetting your car started seems as simple as turning the key, but it's a far more complicated process. There are multiple parts involved that are activated when you turn the key that all work in harmony to get the motor running. One of the most critical pieces of this puzzle is the starter. The starter has a gear that when activated by an electrical current engages with the flywheel, a gear connected to the engine, and spins it so that it can get the engine turning and fired up. While the starter may not be the sole cause of a no-start problem you'll be able to tell if it is a part of the issue if you experience any of the following symptoms of starter failure.

Whirring Noise

The pinion gear is the part of the starter motor that is suppose to engage with the flywheel in order to turn the engine. If the gear does not actually connect with the flywheel but continues to spin on its own you will hear something like an elongated "whirr" or "swish." If the starter motor is spinning on it's own it usually means that the solenoid has gone out.

Grinding Sound

There are worn or missing teeth on the flywheel or pinion gear if you hear a grinding noise as you try and start your car. If there is this problem the two gears will not be able to properly work together to crank the engine. Another cause of a grinding noise could be that the bolts holding the starter motor in place have become loose.


If you hear a buzzing noise that sounds something similar to an electrical fence it means that there is electricity flowing to the starter motor but not enough to make it do its job. This may be caused by a weak battery or poor connections in the electrical system connected to the starter. Also be sure to clean the battery terminals if they appear dirty or corroded.

Loud Click

One of the easiest ways to diagnose starter trouble is if you hear a loud click, or a click, click, click when you turn the key but nothing else. This is the sound of the starter actuating but not spinning. It likely means the solenoid or motor has bit the dust.

If you experience any starting trouble be sure to call your local auto repair mechanic to have the problem properly diagnosed. For starter repair in Lowell, AR for any make and model of car, truck or SUV get in touch with NWA Car Clinic. We offer complete auto repair for all foreign and domestic cars, trucks and SUVs. Give us a call at (479) 717-9879 to request professional auto repair in Lowell today.