What is a starter motor?
On turning the ignition on, the starter motor connects and turns the engine over permitting it to pull in air and fuel. The flywheel on the engine has a ring gear connected around the edge that is fitted to the end of your crankshaft.
On the starter, the pinion is constructed to fit into the grooves of the ring gear. When you turn the ignition switch, the electromagnet inside the component engages and pushes out a rod to which the pinion is attached.
Like every car part, the starter motor can be damaged due to usual wear and tear. Usually failure is down to bad solenoid valves within the motor. Most faults with the starter motor can be repaired, but in some cases, the technician may advise that the starter motor needs to be replaced.
Starter motor repair costs and prices
The average cost of a starter motor repair can vary depending on your car due to differences in labour time and parts needed. The average starter engine repair cost is £256 based on WhoCanFixMyCar data. Take a look below at the average quote cost on WhoCanFixMyCar for some of the top car brands.
|Car make||Average price|
Starter motor repair
The average price of a starter motor repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £256.10Can include
- Repair or replacement of the starter motor part
Car electrical diagnostic
The average cost of a car electrical diagnostic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £52.81.
The more complicated part of fixing a problem with your car’s electrical system is figuring out exactly what’s going wrong in the system and where the fault is located. A car electrician will carry out a diagnostics test to pinpoint the exact source of the issue and recommend the appropriate repair.Can include
- Car electrics inspection
- Car electrical fault diagnostic test
The average cost of a car battery replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £181. Over time, car batteries lose their ability to hold a charge and eventually need to be replaced. If there’s a fault with your car’s electrical system, it can drain your battery quicker than average.Can include
- Car electrics testing and diagnostic
- Car battery removal
- Car battery sourcing
- Car battery fitting
Common starter motor repairs
Starter motor repair
After a technician investigates the issues with the starter motor, it may be possible that the garage technician is able to repair the fault. Sometimes, these faults can be due to excessive oil or paint on the starter mounting surface, battery issues, or cable connections have become eroded. Usually, garages can rebuild or repair a starter with a bad armature, shorted field windings, bad brushes, a bad commutator, or even a bad solenoid. The cost of starter motor repair jobs can be found summarised in the table above according to car make and model, the price varies due to cost of the part. Another factor that will affect the job cost is your location within the UK and of course that set by the individual garage or mobile mechanic.
Starter motor replacement
If the starter motor has in fact burnt out, this could possibly be as a result of low battery voltage. If there is a battery voltage at both starter terminals when pressing the Start button or turning the key and the starter motor doesn't run, it's bad and needs to be replaced. A garage technician may recommend a complete replacement of the starter motor.
Top warning signs your starter motor needs attention
Starters are designed to last around 7 years but can wear prematurely. Regardless of their lifespan, there are a number of symptoms you can look out for that indicate you have a faulty starter on your hands. They can aid you in getting a prompt repair or replacement before disaster strikes. These signs include: A clicking noise when you turn the key or push the start button
The engine will not crank
Smoke coming from the car
The starter is oil-soaked
Grinding or high-pitched noise
Sticking key switch
It is always worth having the component inspected by a mechanic, as often the signs of a bad starter are very similar to that of a faulty alternator or car battery. It is important to differentiate between these to ensure the correct and necessary repairs are being carried out.
Is a starter motor repair necessary?
When the starter motor is going faulty, you might experience that the engine won't turn over on the first attempt; it may take several tries before the starter motor engages. When this happens more than once, it’s important to have the car inspected by the garage because if you leave this to chance, it might mean costlier repairs! However, if your engine doesn’t start at all, then you definitely need to have the car checked by mobile mechanics.
Find local starter motor repair specialists, mechanics, and garages
Looking for reputable starter motor repair garages near you? There are numerous car starter motor repair specialists, mechanics and garages on our network. We make finding a car starter motor repair garage easier for you. To access the amazing starter motor deals in your area, enter your registration in our job post form at the top of this page.
After giving us a few details about your car and the nature of the repair we can connect you, free of charge, to specialists in your area, you can compare quotes and customer reviews to select the best garage for you, and book in today!
To find the best garages for this kind of work, you simply need to:
Enter your car registration number
Give us a few details about your car and your requirements
We'll send you a great selection of quotes from mechanics and garages in your area.
Get your starter motor repaired at home
Are you considering a mobile mechanic for your starter motor repair? Sometimes you are left with no choice but to ask a mobile mechanic, especially if your car engine is not turning over due to a faulty starter motor. Simply search on WhoCanFixMyCar for mobile starter motor repairs and we will find the relevant garages and service providers that are on our network.
What are the signs of a faulty starter motor?
There are occasions when the starter motor may stop working without any warning signs. However, in most cases, if the starter motor is beginning to go bad, then you will notice that the engine won’t turn over on your first try. It might require a few more tries before the starter motor engages.
In other cases, a worn-out motor starter might turn slower than normal, even if the battery is fully charged or recently replaced. In some cases, you might hear a screeching or grinding noise when you try the engine. And finally, another warning sign of a faulty starter motor is that sometimes it will work fine if it is cold, but at other times, the starter motor won’t crank the engine when hot.
What should I look out for to know my starter motor is on it’s way out?
To decipher whether your starter motor is faulty you can look out for these signs:
A clicking noise when key turned on switched to start
Smoke coming from the car
The starter is soaked in oil
The engine just will not crank
A grinding noise when starting up
Where is the starter motor located?
The starter motor can be found underneath the car on the driver’s side, it is just below the left cylinders.
How long do starter motors last?
On average, a starter motor should function in your vehicle for 5 to 7 years. However, they can both die prematurely and last a lot longer than expected, often with no deciding factors.
How do mechanics test the starter motor?
For diagnosing starter motor faults, mechanics will measure the voltage at the starter motor terminals. There are two wires connected to the starter motor, a small wire for the control unit and a larger one for the battery terminal. If the technician finds there is adequate voltage at both ends, and the start button or the turn key isn’t engaging the engine, then the starter motor may need to be replaced.
How long does a starter motor repair take?
The process of removing a faulty starter motor and replacing it with a new one generally takes around two to four hours. The length is dependent on how easy it is to access and remove the part.
What causes a starter motor to become faulty?
Occasionally it is simply age, as all starters will wear out overtime. Other causes include:
Faulty solenoid switches
Can I jumpstart a bad starter motor?
No, jump starting a faulty starter will not spring it back to life as extra battery will not be enough to turn over the engine. Your starter needs to be functioning well to successfully crank the engine.