A starter motor is a small battery-powered device responsible for providing your car’s engine with the power supply to kickstart the combustion process. A fault in the starter motor can bring your car to a halt as the engine will simply not work. Motor replacement is an easy fix to your problem. All you need is some basic tools like wrenches and screwdrivers. However, before you decide to replace the starter motor, it is important to thoroughly check the motor first. Read on to find out how to check and replace the starter motor in your car.
Signs of a Faulty Starter Motor
You can easily spot certain signs of a faulty starter motor; some of these signs are mentioned below:
- Your car’s engine doesn’t crank up despite jumpstarting the battery.
- You start to hear unusual clicking noises.
- Your dashboard lights are functioning, but the engine doesn’t rev up.
- You can smell or see smoking coming out of your car.
Checking the Starter Motor
If you spot any signs that might indicate a fault in the starter motor, you must immediately test the starter motor to be absolutely certain. To check the starter motor, you need to use a multimeter to identify any voltage irregularities. If you don’t have a multimeter available, you can carry out a simple power output test using a screwdriver.
Checking with Multimeter
Using a multimeter, you can easily determine if your car’s starter motor is faulty or not.
Place the positive probe of the multimeter on the solenoid switch and the negative probe on the starter motor’s metal encasing to ground it. For a battery with a 12-volt output, the reading should momentarily drop by 0.5 volts before going back to its initial output of 12 volts. If the reading drops more than 0.5, the starter motor is faulty.
Checking with a screwdriver
The test bulb will not give you an exact reading like the multimeter, but it can tell you if the electrical power is being supplied to the starter motor or not. But make sure you use a highly insulated screwdriver with a plastic handle to avoid getting electrocuted.
Jam the screwdriver head in between the terminal on the solenoid switch. A spark would appear, and the starter motor would start working. If the starter motor does not start functioning, there is an issue with the motor.
Replacing the Starter Motor
Once damaged, reviving old starter motors can be a costly endeavor. Even if you fix the old motor, you can’t be sure how long the motor will continue to function. Unless the motor only requires carbon brush replacements, it is advisable that you get a new starter motor for better results.
Things You Will Be Needing:
Following is the list of things you will require while replacing the starter motor
- A wrench set
- A screwdriver
- A new starter motor
- A car lift
You have to disconnect your car’s battery before working on any electrical component of the car so that you don’t end up getting shocked.
Removing the Old Starter Motor
Follow the following steps to remove an old starter motor from your car:
Step 1 – Make sure that your car’s engine is cool before you remove the starter kit.
Step 2 – Locate the exact position of the starter motor. It is a big cylinder-shaped device with another small cylindrical component and wiring attached to it.
Step 3 – Getting access to the starter motor is difficult in some cases. Jack the car up on a car lift to have a better view and working space for replacing the starter motor. For safety concerns, ensure that the ground where you decide to place the car lift is flat and firm.
You can skip step 3 if you can easily access the starter motor in the engine compartment.
Step 4 – You need to note the exact location of all the connections in a starter motor and all the electrical wires attached to them to avoid confusion later on.
Step 5 – Using a wrench of an appropriate size, you now have to remove all the bolts holding the starter motor in its place.
Step 6 – Once all the bolts are removed, disconnect all the connections so you can detach all the electrical wires.
Step 7 – Now, you have to remove the old starter motor out of your car carefully.
Fitting the New Starter Motor
Make sure you have the right starter motor replacement. Take the old starter motor when you buy a new one to get the dimensions right.
Follow the following steps to fit the new starter motor in your car:
Step 1 – You have to place the new starter motor in the exact same place from where you removed the older one.
Step 2 – Secure the starter motor in place by using a wrench to put the bolts back in their mounting holes.
Step 3 – Now, reconnect all the wires and connections to the starter motor. Make sure you know the correct placements to avoid any starting problems.
Step 4 – Check the connection and leads of a battery to determine if they need a replacement.
Step 5 – Before reconnecting the battery, make sure it has the right amps. Test the battery to check its condition. In case of a depleted battery, you can use a battery car charger or reconnect a new battery.
Start the car and notice the difference. If the problem persists, you might want to look for other reasons your car isn’t starting. Try checking and replacing fuses if they are faulty or blown. Also, get new spark plugs so you can change the old spark plugs that might have burnt or worn out.
Knowing how to check and replace the starter motor in a car are simple and easy tasks that can improve your engine’s performance. You can save money and your time by ditching your mechanic and doing these simple replacement tasks in your car yourself.