While there are several tests for the starter on a vehicle, bench testing provides a definitive answer to a car that does not crank. However, before removing the starter from the vehicle, EasyAutoDiagnostics.com recommends eliminating other possible reasons for the car not cranking.Know More
A dead battery does not turn the starter to crank the engine. Diagnosing a battery problem is easy with a multimeter. Most cars use a 12-volt system, so on the volt setting, the meter should read 12.6 volts. If it is less than 12.3 volts, charging the battery sometimes resolves the problem. If the battery does not hold a charge, it is time for a replacement. The meter is also useful in testing the solenoid and ignition switch.
A locked engine or air conditioner compressor also creates problems similar to a bad starter motor. An appropriately sized socket on the crankshaft pulley bolt allows the tester to turn the engine by hand. If it does not turn, removal of the serpentine belt and another attempt to turn the engine determines if the problem is the engine or air conditioner.
After eliminating these issues as potential causes, it's time for bench testing. Most auto parts houses offer free testing for customers.Learn more about Car Parts & Maintenance
Most car starters are under the vehicle, where the engine and transmission meet. Sometimes in front-wheel vehicles with side-mounted engines, the car starter is accessible from the hood. However, owners and mechanics usually can only access the car starter by getting under the car.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Critical symptoms of a weak car battery include difficulty in starting the vehicle, a check engine light turning on, a low fluid level, corrosion on the posts and a swollen battery case. Age affects battery performance as well.Full Answer >
Test your battery when you notice that your engine starts slowly or fails to start at all when you turn the key. If the battery does not need replacement, then the starter needs replacement. Many of the signs of a bad starter and a bad battery are the same.Full Answer >