Starter Motors

What Causes a Starter Motor to Fail?

If you’re driving in or around Wollongong and you notice strange noises coming from your car and it’s related to the starter motor, then you should immediately have it checked by a reliable and experienced mechanic as soon as you can.

The starter motor is a device that rotates (cranks) an internal combustion engine, to start the engine’s operation, using its own power. Starter motors can be electric, hydraulic or pneumatic. On average, these devices can last for 150,000 – 200,000 kms. Most cars have starter motors that can last for the vehicle’s lifetime, however, there are some that can fail, ahead of time.

Starter motors fail due to a variety of problems, such as:

  • faulty electrical connection
  • defective solenoid switch (engaging relay)
  • defective electric motor
  • damaged starter pinion, single pinion gear or freewheel.

When any of these problems occur, your car’s starter motor will start showing signs that needs to be replaced:

Starter Motors

1. Clicking Noise

One of the symptoms of a bad starter is when you turn the key and there is a clicking noise, but most often a starter can fail, without making any grinding or whirring noise – so you should be paying attention to any of the other signs listed.

2. Warning lights on the dashboard, but no action

When you start the engine and the dashboard light is on, but the engine does not power up, it’s a sign of your starter going bad.

3. The engine won’t turn or crank

If your engine is not revving up, despite attempts to jumpstart it, then it might be for you to call 1st Choice Mechanical for roadside assistance, so that your car can be brought into the workshop for repairs.

4. Smoke coming out of your car

The starter is part of the car’s electrical system, the starter is subject to short circuits and blown fuses. The starter may overheat, due to attempts to jumpstart your car and the resulting smoke can occur.

5. The starter is soaked in oil

This is caused by an oil leak, which should also be looked into by a mechanic at 1st Choice Mechanical.

A quick fix for a failing starter motor is to jumpstart your car to get it on the road, at least temporarily until you get to our mechanical shop and get the problem checked out by our qualified car repair technician. If a jumpstart doesn’t work, then your only choice is to have the car towed, so that the starter can either be repaired or replaced.

At 1st Choice Mechanical, we do it all – tyres, batteries, brakes, oil change, starter motors etc. So, if you suspect a starter problem or any automotive problem in your car, turn to us for quality maintenance and repair services. We will provide you with a no-obligation inspection and once we find out that your starter is not working, trust that your car will get fixed right away and at the right price.

Contact us at (02) 4228 7949 or visit us at, no matter whether it is an emergency, checkup or regular maintenance.

We service the areas of Mount Pleasant, Albion Park Rail, Wollongong, Figtree, Greenwell Point, Warella, Worrigee, Corrimal, Shoalhaven Heads and surrounding areas.