4 Common Signs of Starter Motor Failure

4 Common Signs of Starter Motor Failure

4 Common Signs of Starter Motor FailureWhile it seems very simple to start a vehicle, just by turning the key, the actual process is much more intricate. There are many parts that work together to get your vehicle's engine spinning. One of the most important parts is the starter motor. When fed electricity it actuates, causing its pinion gear to connect with the flywheel and spin it, getting the pistons pumping. If your vehicle suffers from some sort of starter failure you will not be able to get the car started and you won't be going anywhere. However before the starter fails you will often run into one of the following issues after turning the key before the starter completely shuts down.

Loud Clicking Noise

Perhaps the most common sign of starter motor failure is a loud clicking noise that occurs when you turn the key. You may either hear or a single loud click or a series of repetitive clicking. This is an indicator of some sort of mechanical failure within the starter motor. What is happening is that the pinion gear is being actuated but it cannot get enough power to spin the flywheel.


A buzzing noise that occurs when you turn the key that is not accompanied by any other sound generally indicates that electricity is flowing to the starter motor but not enough in order to allow it to do its job. This may be caused by poor connections on the battery terminal, corrosion on the battery terminals or some sort of other issue in the wires and connections between the battery, ignition and starter motor.

Grinding Sound

If there is a grinding noise that happens when you try to start your vehicle it is likely that the mounting bolts that hold the starter motor in place have become loose. This would allow the starter to roll and rock and not make good contact with the flywheel. As it tries to spin the flywheel the pinion gear will clank back-and-forth causing this grinding noise.

Whirring Noise

If you encounter a whirring noise or a swooshing noise it means there is trouble with the pinion gear as it cannot contact the flywheel. What you are hearing is the pinion gear spinning freely and not in connection with the flywheel. This often indicates mechanical failure of the starter motor.

If you have ran into any of these problems and your vehicle is becoming increasingly hard to start do not hesitate having the vehicle serviced. For professional starter repair in Lancaster, PA, contact McKonly's Garage. We provide full service auto repair for all makes and models. At the first sign of trouble give us a call at (717) 208-8210 to request expert auto repair in Lancaster or the surrounding area.

McKonly's Garage Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ

Top Benefits of Keeping Up with Oil Changes
Common Symptoms of Alternator Trouble
Why can't I get my engine to fire up?
Follow these 6 Winter Driving Tips for Increased Safety
Drive Safely by Completing these 7 Winter Maintenance Tasks
Why it's Important to Get a Coolant Flush
Common Symptoms of Suspension Failure
Expert Auto Repair in Lancaster, PA
Effective Ways to Boost Gas Mileage
7 Signs of a Brake Problem
7 Symptoms of Transmission Trouble
Is Your Car Up to Date with its Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
4 Common Causes of a Dead Battery
3 Important Tire Maintenance Tips
What are the Top Causes of Engine Trouble
What is Leaking From My Car?
When Should I get New Tires?
Top Causes of No Starts
3 Symptoms of a Failing Clutch
Top Triggers of the Check Engine Light
Important Auto Maintenance that Gets Forgotten
Do Not Ignore Brake Trouble
5 Services that Keep Your Car Safe to Drive
5 Reasons to Never Skip Scheduled Auto Maintenance
The Benefits of Modern Computer Diagnostics
Is Your Car Up To Date with Oil Changes?
When was the Last Time your Car had a Wheel Alignment?
Is it Time for Radiator Repair? 3 Things to Check For
Customer Reviews of McKonly's Garage in Lancaster, PA
Top Fuel Delivery Problems
4 Common Signs Your Car Needs Engine Repair
What Happens if You Ignore Signs of Car Trouble?
Expert Auto Repair in Lancaster, PA
4 Common Signs of Starter Motor Failure
Easy Ways to Improve MPGs
Does my Car Have an Exhaust Leak?
How to Tell if it is Time for Brake Repair
5 Common Check Engine Light Problems
Common Auto Electric Problems You Should Know
4 Causes of a Failed Emissions Test
How to Know if You Need Cooling System Repair
Should I go to the Auto Repair Shop if...
5 Signs Your Vehicle Needs a Wheel Alignment
Must do: End of Summer Auto Maintenance
My Car Won't Start, What Could it Be?
Is it Time for Transmission Repair or Service?
When does my car need a tune-up?
Is it Time for New Shocks or Struts?
Top Signs of Alternator Failure
What's that Noise? 4 Sounds that Mean You Need a Repair
This Means Your Need Brake Repair Now
What does that Light Mean? Common Dashboard Warning Lights
4 Signs of a Dangerous Exhaust Leak
4 Routine Auto Services to Never Skip
This Could Mean it is Time for Engine Repair!
5 Auto Maintenance Services Never to be Skip
Terms to Know When Buying New Tires
How to Prepare Your Car for Your Summer Road Trip
What Exactly is a Tune Up?
FAQ: Emissions Testing & Repair
Why is the Check Engine Light On?
Is it Time to Replace the Timing Belt?
5 Smells that Mean it is Time for Auto Repair
Top Symptoms of Brake Failure You Need to Know!
Do These 4 Noises Mean I Need Auto Repair?
Does my car need a new alternator?
How to tell if your Car Needs Clutch Repair
Car Won't Start? 4 Signs Your Starter has Failed
4 Signs your Vehicle Needs Suspension Repair
3 Reasons to Never Skip Oil Changes
5 Signs You Need Transmission Repair
Easy Maintenance Ideas to Improve Fuel Efficiency
5 Reasons Your Car Will Likely Fail an Emissions Test
Common Troubles of the Fuel System
Is it Time for Power Steering Repair?
4 Signs of Cooling System Trouble
10 Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
What is Factory Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
The Importance of Tire Maintenance
My Car Won't Start... What's Wrong?
A Guide to Vehicle Fluid Leaks
3 Signs Your Car Needs Engine Repair
5 Signs Your Car Needs Brake Repair