Most people choose to hire WrenchPatrol mobile auto mechanics for replacing a starter. Our mechanics come to you, so you don’t have to tow your vehicle. If you are absolutely sure you need a new starter for your car, we’ll happily come and install one. If you’d like our mechanic to verify the starter is faulty and check out the rest of the electrical system before you spend money on the repair, please book us for a diagnostic appointment first.
The engine’s starter motor is an electrically driven, high-torque motor that must simultaneously perform precisely coordinated and high-load functions. When the driver turns the ignition key to the start/crank position, or pushes the button on key-less systems, the starter solenoid is activated with a low amperage control voltage – this is the signal to the starter motor to ‘GO!’. The solenoid closes a large copper contact that connects the electric motor of the starter directly to the vehicle battery. Because the electrical power required to turn the vehicles engine (especially when cold) is so great, the starter’s electric motor is large and requires a lot of current (amperage).
Provided the battery is in a good state of health (has the CCA – cold cranking amperage), the starter will extend a small pinion gear that meshes with the teeth of the flex-plate or flywheel of the engine to turn it. If the battery is weak of the starter is faulty, the driver may hear the dreaded single click of the contacts of the solenoid closing, followed by the silence of the motor portion being unresponsive. The gears or electrical brushes inside the starter may be worn out.
A certified technician can tell you if the starter has failed by checking the signal to the solenoid, the power from the battery and the behaviour of the starter motor. When a starter fails, the best course of action is replacement with a quality remanufactured or a new unit. It is possible to recondition your existing starter, but this will take too long for most people who need to be on the road again. The economical route to get you started fast is to replace your car’s starter motor with a starter that has already been re-built by a specialist. Of course, a brand new starter is always an option – some consumers will prefer to buy new.
Care must be taken as the electrical connections include those with high amperage capacities. Because of the pinion gear’s teeth must align with the flex-plate/flywheel, alignment must be maintained during installation to avoid grinding of dragging of the gear teeth. Cleanliness of the mating surfaces must also be checked as they serve as part of the electrical circuit. For these reasons, it is best to employ a certified mechanic with experience in a starter motor replacement.