Starter Not Engaging? This is How To Fix It.

Picture this… You have an early morning presentation with seed investors. This is an opportunity that will change your entire life.

The car doesn't start even though you hurry to your garage.

You can hear the starter spinning, but it’s not engaging with the flywheel. Is there something wrong? Why is my starter not engaging with the flywheel

Índice de Contenido
  1. Five Reasons Starters Aren't Engaged
    1. 1. Low battery voltage
    2. 2. Starter solenoid
    3. 3. Starter motor Plunger or Pinion
    4. 4. Futility in wiring can be fatal
    5. 5. Damages to the flywheel
  2. Starter FAQs
    1. What is the reason my starter doesn't spin and not engage with the flywheel?
    2. Is it possible to engage the starter manually?
    3. How to get a starter working?
    4. Can a jump be a good idea for a beginner?

Five Reasons Starters Aren't Engaged

Low battery voltage, or a defective starter solenoid are the most frequent reasons why a starter motor does not engage. Faulty internal components in the starter engine, like the plunger or the pinion gear can cause it to not engage.

While there may be many reasons your starter won't engage correctly, it is most likely due to an internal problem in the starter motor. Here is a more detailed list of the 5 most common causes why your starter won’t engage.

1. Low battery voltage

Bad Car Battery

The first thing to check if you experience battery problems is the voltage of your battery. If the battery isn't working properly, it will cause the starter to stop functioning completely.

If you don't have a working car battery, you could charge it fully and then try replacing it. If you're skilled, you can jump start your car with the car battery from another car.

The next step is to check if the battery terminals appear to be corroded. You will see a yellowish-greenish substance at the terminals.

If corrosion is evident on your battery terminals you will need to remove the clamps that hold the cable and carefully remove the terminals.

RELATED: Does Auto-Start/Stop Wear Out Engine Components?

2. Starter solenoid

Starter Solenoid

On top of the starter is where you will find your starter solenoid. Turn the key and it will push a plunger into the starter motor. This propels the pinion toward the flywheel.

To ground the solenoid, use a jumper cable. Listen for the click sound coming from the solenoid by turning the ignition. The solenoid should click loudly and steadily. However, if the clicking is weak or irregular, you need to check the wiring. Over time, electrical wires can become loose and dirty.

3. Starter motor Plunger or Pinion

Starter Motor Diagram

The starter solenoid might not seem to be working, but there may be a problem with your starter motor. This can be done by the starter plunger and the starter pinion.

Now it is time to take apart the starter. They are usually located at the top of the starter. When you fire up your engine, the pinion gears will engage with the flywheel.

These gears wear out over time and can cause issues with starter engagement. If the piston gear moves in one direction when it is rotated, it's time to replace it.

4. Futility in wiring can be fatal

Corrosion On Cable

It is possible for the starter to produce a noise, but not enough electricity to actually turn it. If the starter cable is damaged or corroded, this can occur.

To ensure a good connection, clean all cables at both the starter as well as the battery. It is easy to find bad connections simply by feeling the connection. A bad connection will cause heat.

5. Damages to the flywheel

Car Flywheel

The flywheel is the big wheel between the engine/transmission. It is connected to the starter pinion gears that turn it to crank the engine. You should look out for worn or damaged gears in a defective flywheel.

Turn the crankshaft with a ratchet while your car is still in neutral. You should observe the flywheel's behavior as you move the car. If you find that your gears have become damaged, it is necessary to replace them.

You would never expect it to happen so quickly. However, it is much more common for a flywheel to be wrongly installed.

Starter FAQs

What is the reason my starter doesn't spin and not engage with the flywheel?

Your starter motor may not spin or engage the flywheel if it has a defective starter solenoid. You may also have a problem with the internal components of your starter motor such as the pinion or ring gear.

Is it possible to engage the starter manually?

The starter solenoid must be powered and connections to the starter motor in order to manually turn the motor on. This is done by connecting the starter solenoid and power cable. However, this will turn the motor.

How to get a starter working?

To test if the starter motor has failed, give the solenoid a little bit of pressure to start it. If that doesn’t work, you can also hit the starter motor itself. You should be careful as the motor could suddenly start to turn.

Can a jump be a good idea for a beginner?

Jumping can sometimes help with a bad starter, due to the increased voltage that the starter motor receives. But in most cases a bad starter won’t turn over just because you give it more power, but it might be worth a try.

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