Signs that a car's starter is potentially going out include hearing only a clicking noise when attempting to start the car, the car taking too long to start, and hearing a grinding noise in the car's gears during startup. Figuring out if the car has a starter problem is important in order to prevent a driver from being stranded.
Hearing only a clicking noise when attempting to start the car is one of the main signs of a bad starter, but this can also be the sign of a bad battery. Turn on the headlights and interior lights, and ensure they are fully lit in order to rule out a problem with the battery.
If the car takes a while to start, this may also signify a problem with the starter. This can also be caused by a bad battery, and the above steps can be taken to rule out the battery as the problem.
Grinding gears during startup are also a sign of a bad starter. This is also known as freewheeling and indicates that the starter's gears are not working correctly. This is also the sound heard when a driver tries to start the car while it is already running.