How to Start a Car With a Bad Starter

A bad starter is one of the leading car problems. However, it may be not 100% true these days since a lot of electric or hybrid cars available on the market.

Yet bad starter will remain the leading car problem untile all vehicles convert to EV.

So, what should you do if you fall into this problem? How can you bring your car to a repair shop to fix this problem?

This ultimate guide on how to start a car with a bad starter covers everything you need to know.

The best part of this article is anyone can able to start a car with a bad starter after reading this guide.

So, let’s dive into this article and figure out the way of fixing the problem.

How to start a car with a bad starter?

Here are the simple hacks to start a car with a bad starter:

  • Check the connection
  • Inspect the engine ground
  • Hit starter with hummer to start a car
  • Look for corrosion
  • Check the battery voltage
  • Examine the Solenoid Cable
  • Push the car
  • Release the gear
  • Call a mechanic

1. Check the connection

First, check the wire connection of your car as it is the most common problem of bad starting.

If the wire connection between the starter and the battery is loose, the starter can’t get enough amps from the battery to function.

So, make sure the wire connection with the battery and starter are tightened. If the wire connection is loose, consider making it tight.

You can use a ratchet to make the battery terminator connection tight. If everything looks great, check the positive wire that comes from the battery.

The positive wire divided into two parts, one connected with the starter while another is attached with the alternator.

Shake the wire that is connected with the starter to see whether it is tight or loose.

Then, using a jumper cable, try to bypass the wire from the battery to the starter (if everything is alright).

2. Inspect the engine ground

The starter doesn’t have a ground wire. It comes from the battery. The ground wire connected with the started via the car’s body frame in contact with the transmission.
Indeed, the transmission needs the ground that links between the transmission and the car’s outer frame.

If somehow the car’s ground wires are damaged, it prevents your car from getting the start. Remarkably, both the ground wire and the engine wire affect and maybe a reason for bad starting. Both these two wires need to be faultless so that the starter function well.

You can easily bypass this problem by connecting the negative post of the battery to the taster frame using a jumper wire.

3. Hit starter with hummer to start a car

This is an old-school method to start a car by hitting the starter with a hummer. The mechanic suggests you tap the starter while cranking. It helps to develop inactive spots between the armature and the field coil.

However, this trick doesn’t work now as most of the car engine converts to the transversal engine. In the transversal engine, the started is positioned behind the engine. As a result, you can’t reach the starter for hitting with a hammer.

4. Look for corrosion

Corrosion can also be a reason for bad starting. It may decrease conductivity to your battery. So, make sure there is no corrosion in the terminals of your battery. If there have, clean it by mixing water and sodium bicarbonate and pour it on the battery terminals. Then, wait a few minutes for absorbing the water and clean the battery with hot water.
Don’t forget to check other parts of your car as they can also affect by corrosion.

5. Check the battery voltage

You can check the battery voltage how much current it generates using a voltmeter. The amount of current a battery generates determines whether your car will run or not.

If your battery generates between 12.4-12.6 volt, then you can understand your battery is ok. But if your battery provides less than 12.4v, then you should change the battery.
Don’t know how to check the battery voltage using a voltmeter?

Here how to do that:

First, set the voltmeter Second, set the voltmeter connecting with the terminal to post on the battery
Third, turn on the car’s headlight
Fourth, read the voltmeter

6. Examine the solenoid cable

A solenoid is a small cable that is connected with the transmission ring gear. While cranking if the starter of your car turns free, then it is sure the problem is in the solenoid cable.

So, check that the small wire is connected with the starter. You can easily bypass this problem by providing 12v current from the battery to the wire. While you provide the 12-volt current, you can hear a click. Then, crank your car engine to run it.

7. Push the car

If you own a car with a manual transmission, then you can start your vehicle by pushing. To do that, set the key to run position. Then set the gear in first or second and hold the clutch while your friend should push the car.

When the speed reaches to 5-10 mph, quickly release the clutch. It makes your car engine rotate & fire and it’s enough to run your vehicle.

8.Call a mechanic

If you can’t apply all the processes perfectly and fail to start your car, then call a mechanic to fix this problem.

What are the symptoms of a bad starter on a car?

There are a few symptoms that let you understand the problem of your car’s bad starting.
But don’t know the symptoms of a bad starter on a car? Below, I have described some common signs of bad starting of a vehicle.

  • The starter doesn’t make any sound
  • The car’s engine may not crank
  • Smoke comes from the car
  • Oil has drenched the starter


Bad starting is a common problem that can happen for many reasons. Trying the above procedure helps you to start your car. However, these processes I described are a temporary solution that can only help you to run your car. It helps you to save expenses by preventing you to hire a tow service. I recommend you change the starter to fix the problem permanently.


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