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How Much does a Starter Motor Replacement Cost?
To get your engine running, there’s one very important component that must be operating.
The engine starter motor is an electric motor that kicks your engine into motion.
When it’s used normally, the starter motor may function indefinitely. However, due to possible electrical issues, manufacturer defects, excessive wear, and grinding the starter accidentally, you may require starter motor replacement at some point.
The average cost of a starter motor replacement is around $400 to $600, although speciality and luxury models may be significantly more.
Starter Motor Replacement
What is a Starter Motor?
In its most basic form, the starter motor is a common electric motor intended to turn your car’s flywheel or flexplate.
A starter solenoid is mounted to the starter, which triggers the starter’s operation when the key is turned in the ignition.
A small gear engages the flywheel, forcing the engine to begin its rotation. Once the engine starts and the key is released, power is discontinued to the starter motor. It disengages from the flywheel and returns to its resting position.
The composition of the starter motor, like most electric motors, uses magnets to create a field to spin the starter as well as brushes to keep the starter rotating in one direction.
When a starter fails, it’s usually an internal failure at the brushes or a starter solenoid that sticks. Occasionally, the armature will get stuck or bend, but that’s an infrequent concern.
When the starter can no longer be relied upon to start the engine every time, it needs to be replaced.
Symptoms that Your Starter Motor Requires Replacement
- There’s a clicking noise when the ignition is turned, but the engine doesn’t turn over.
- The starter spins but doesn’t engage the flywheel.
- The starter begins to turn the engine then ‘kicks out’.
- The starter grinds for a second after the engine is running.
How is the Engine Starter Motor Replacement Performed?
- The battery is disconnected to prevent accidental shock
- The car is raised on jack stands or a hoist
- The starter motor’s wiring is disconnected at the starter motor
- The starter is unbolted from its location at the flywheel, where the engine and transmission join
- A new starter is fitted, then the mounting bolts are tightened to the proper torque
- The wiring is refitted and the car is lowered to the ground
- The battery is reconnected, then the ignition is turned to ensure proper operation
Tips to Remember
- Always disconnect the battery when working on electrical components like the engine starter motor to prevent injury from electrical shock.
- Always have the starter motor diagnosed by a trained technician to prevent needless repairs. Some faults such as a faulty ignition switch or damaged flywheel can mimic the symptoms of a starter failure.
How Important is Starter Motor Replacement?
As you’d assume, a faulty starter motor can prevent your car from starting at all. It can also leave you stranded if your car won’t start in a remote location.
While there’s no direct danger to you or others, a failing starter motor should be replaced to reduce the chance of an inconvenient broken-down car.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
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