How to Start A Car With A Bad Starter| Useful Guide

Having a lousy starter in your car can be incredibly frustrating and inconvenient. It can leave you stranded in the most inconvenient places, especially in a rush or far away from help. You can try several methods to start your car, even with a faulty starter. We will explore how to start a car with a bad starter that may save you time, money, and the hassle of getting stuck somewhere unexpected.

Whether you’re facing this issue for the first time or have dealt with it before, these tips could prove invaluable in getting your vehicle back up and running without replacing the entire starter system.

5 Ways How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter:

Here are five reliable methods to get your car up and running again.

Push-start Your Car:

Push-starting a car is an effective technique used by many drivers in emergencies. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Ensure the ignition is in position and all accessories are turned off.
  2. Find a flat surface where you can safely push the car, preferably with some help from others.
  3. Depress the clutch pedal (if you have a manual transmission) and put the car in second gear.
  4. Begin pushing the car while someone else helps steer.
  5. Once the car gains momentum, quickly release the clutch pedal to engage the engine.
  6. If successful, the engine should start running as power transfers from the turning wheels to the engine’s crankshaft.
  7. Be careful when releasing the clutch; sudden movements may cause the tires to lose grip or damage other parts of the vehicle.
  8. After starting, keep driving to charge up your battery so it can be restarted quickly.

 Remember that push-starting your car should only be done temporarily, and getting your starter fixed or replaced is necessary for long-term functionality.

Jump-start Your Car:

Jump-starting your car is a simple and effective solution that can quickly get you back on the road. To begin, you will need a set of jumper cables and another vehicle with a functioning battery. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Gather all the necessary tools: a working vehicle with a good battery, jumper cables, and safety gloves.
  2. Position the working vehicle close enough to your car so that the jumper cables can reach both batteries without straining them.
  3. Ensure both vehicles are turned off and put in the park or neutral with engaged parking brakes.
  4. Open both hoods and locate the batteries. They are usually found near the front of the engine bay.
  5. Identify both batteries’ positive (+) and negative (-) terminals. The positive terminal will have a red cable attached, whereas a black cable will attach to the negative terminal.
  6. Connect one end of the positive jumper cable to your car’s positive terminal and the other to the working vehicle’s positive terminal.
  7. Attach one end of the negative jumper cable to the working vehicle’s negative terminal, then attach the other to an unpainted metal surface under your car’s hood (e.g., a bolt or bracket).
  8. Once everything is connected correctly, start the working vehicle and let it run for a few minutes.
  9. With the working vehicle still running, try starting your car. If done correctly, it should start up.
  10. Remove all connections in reverse order. Disconnect the negative cable from your car first, then from the working vehicle’s negative terminal next, and remove the positive cable from each battery’s positive terminal.

Note: It is advisable to consult a professional mechanic if you continuously face issues with starting your car due to a bad starter, as jump-starting may not be a long-term solution and could indicate more significant problems that require attention.

Bypass the Starter Relay:

Bypass the starter relay by directly connecting the car battery’s positive terminal to the motor. You will need a jumper wire with alligator clips at both ends.

  • Locate the starter relay in the fuse box of your car. It is typically labeled and should be easy to find.
  • Loosen and disconnect the battery terminal from the positive side of the battery to ensure safety.
  • Using a jumper cable or a wire, connect one end to the positive terminal on the battery and touch the other end to the contact point where the relay connects to its power source.
  • Once connected, you should hear a clicking sound indicating the circuit has been closed.
  • Turn your car’s ignition key or press the start button while maintaining contact with both ends of the wire/jumper cable. They will send power directly from the battery to the starter motor, bypassing any issues with the faulty starter relay.

Check the Engine Grounds:

The engine grounds are crucial for proper electrical connections in your car’s engine. Locate the main ground wire that connects the engine block to your vehicle’s chassis. Inspect it thoroughly for any signs of damage or corrosion. If everything looks fine, try cleaning both ends of the wire with a wire brush or sandpaper to ensure good electrical contact. After that, reattach the wire tightly and securely to the engine block and chassis. Now attempt starting your car again and see if the problem is resolved.

Disconnect the Solenoid Cable:

To get the engine running, disconnect the solenoid cable. To do this, locate the starter motor under the vehicle and find the typically attached solenoid. Use appropriate tools to disconnect the line from the solenoid. You’ll need a good 12V wire to connect the solenoid and the starter. Make sure it is securely fastened to ensure proper conductivity.

This bypasses the faulty starter, allowing power from the battery to reach the motor directly when you turn on the ignition key. It’s important to note that starting your car this way should only be considered a temporary solution until you can get your starter repaired or replaced.

Remember that this method may not work for all car models, and it’s always recommended to consult a professional mechanic. If you’re unsure or lack experience dealing with car issues. By following these steps, you can start your car even with a bad starter, providing mobility until you can address the underlying problem adequately.

What Should I Check If My Car Still Won’t Start?

To be met with silence or a feeble attempt at starting. Before you panic and call for a tow truck, there are several things you can check to troubleshoot the issue.

Battery Voltage:

A weak or dead battery is a common reason for a car not starting. To check the battery voltage, you will need a voltmeter or multimeter. Connect the positive (red) to the battery’s positive terminal and the negative (black) to the negative terminal. The voltage reading should ideally be around 12.6 volts for a fully charged battery. If it reads below 11 volts, your battery must be recharged or replaced.


The connection to inspect is the battery terminals. Ensure they are tight and free of corrosion. If the terminals are loose or covered in white powder, it could prevent the battery from delivering power to the starter motor. Examine the starter motor connections. Look for loose wires or frayed cables that may prevent the starter from engaging properly.

It’s important to inspect the ignition switch connections. A faulty ignition switch can cause a no-start issue by interrupting power flow to critical components like the fuel pump and starter motor. Make sure all wires connected to the ignition switch are secure and undamaged.

Ground Wire:

The ground wire provides a direct path for electrical current to flow from the battery to different components of your vehicle. To check if the ground wire is causing your car’s starting problem, start by visually inspecting it for any signs of damage or corrosion. A loose connection or broken wire could prevent electricity from flowing properly.

Use a multimeter to measure the resistance between the ground terminal on the battery and various points on the engine block or body of the car. There should be little to no resistance, indicating a good connection. High resistance readings suggest that there may be an issue with your ground wire.

Solenoid Cable:

To check is the solenoid cable. The solenoid cable connects the battery to the starter motor and is crucial in initiating the engine’s ignition process. To diagnose the problem, ensure that both ends of the solenoid cable are securely connected to their respective terminals on the battery and starter motor.

If any corrosion or loose connections are present, clean them off with a wire brush and tighten them accordingly. Inspect the integrity of the solenoid cable itself. Look for any signs of damage, such as fraying or exposed wires. If you notice any issues, it may be necessary to replace the entire cable.

Engine Flywheel:

The engine flywheel connects to the crankshaft and is vital in starting your vehicle. It can prevent your car from starting properly if it becomes damaged or misaligned. To inspect the engine flywheel, locate it underneath your vehicle’s transmission housing. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks or missing teeth on its surface. If you notice any issues with the flywheel’s condition, it may need to be replaced.

Check for proper alignment by rotating the flywheel manually and ensuring no obstructions or grinding noises. Remember that it is always best to consult a qualified mechanic if you are unsure about inspecting or repairing this component.

Acid Deposits:

The acid deposits on the battery terminals. These deposits can build up over time and prevent proper electrical contact, causing the engine not to start. To address this problem, start by disconnecting the battery cables using a wrench or socket set, ensuring that you remove the negative cable first. Use baking soda and water to remove any visible acid deposits on the terminals and the cable ends. Scrub gently with a brush or toothbrush until all residue is removed.

Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. Reconnect the cables, starting with the positive cable followed by the negative cable, ensuring they are securely tightened. Attempt to start your car again; further investigation may be required if it doesn’t start.

Alternator Problems:

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine is running, so if it’s not functioning properly, it can lead to a depleted battery. Before jumping to conclusions about the alternator, it’s important to rule out other possibilities. For instance, a common cause of car starting issues could be a transmission fluid leak. It can affect your vehicle’s performance and prevent it from starting altogether.

To determine if this is the problem, inspect the ground underneath your car for any telltale red or brown stains indicating leaking fluid. Also, consult your car’s manual to check the transmission fluid level and condition. In case of low or dirty fluid, addressing this issue may be necessary to get your car back up and running smoothly again.

Final Words:

How to start a car with a bad starter can be a frustrating experience, but it is not impossible. Following the steps outlined in this article can increase your chances of successfully starting your car, even with a faulty starter. Remember always to prioritize safety and consult a professional if necessary. Proper maintenance and regular check-ups are vital to preventing starter issues in the first place.
Don’t let a bad starter keep you from getting on the road. Try these methods and get back behind the wheel today.

Also Read About Bad Spark Plug Symptoms


Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Starter?

Yes, you can jump-start a car with a bad starter. When you jump-start a car, you are essentially using the battery of another vehicle to provide the necessary electrical power to start your car’s engine.

What Destroys A Starter?

Many factors exist, but I will tell you the main cause that can destroy a starter. The reason is excessive heat, which can cause the starter motor to overheat and eventually fail. Another factor is wear and tear over time, as the starter is subjected to constant use and can eventually wear out its components.