Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Starter

Even while a car with a bad starter can be jump-started just like a car with a good starter, doing so won’t increase your success. It is possible to increase the likelihood that the starter will have the power necessary to turn the car over when it operates by jump-starting a car with a dead battery and a failing starter that is still occasionally functional.

Remember, many components are involved with starting a car, and it may not be a malfunctioning starter that is causing you issues. In our guide, you can learn more about how to start a car with a bad starter and keep it going.

By the end, you’ll know various ways to jump a starter and spot your problem if it isn’t your starter and you have a good battery. (Read Are Volkswagens Expensive To Maintain)

Jump Start A Car

What Is A Car Starter Motor?

A car starter is a mechanism used to start an engine. An electric motor turns the engine over, a solenoid engages the starter, and a switch triggers the starter. The starter is on the engine’s side in the engine bay.

The starter turns the engine, drawing air into the cylinders and compressing the fuel-air mixture. The compressed mixture ignites and starts the engine. The starter is actuated via a dashboard or steering wheel switch—the battery powers the starter solenoid when the switch is on.

The solenoid completes the circuit and powers the starter motor by closing connections. Finally, the starter motor turns the engine over, starting the car. A car starter relay is an essential component of an automobile’s electrical system; without it, the car won’t start. If your car doesn’t start, check if you have a faulty starter motor.

If you have a malfunctioning starter, get it fixed as quickly as possible. A defective starter might prevent your car from starting and damage other sections of the electrical system.

What Noises Do Faulty Starter Motors Make?

If your vehicle doesn’t start, you should correctly diagnose the issue to avoid wasting time and money on fixing something that isn’t damaged. Frequently, the failure signs of a dead battery, a broken starter solenoid, and a damaged alternator are similar.

When you try to start, the vehicle’s noise can help you identify the issue. A starter can make the noises listed below as it malfunctions:


The starter motor rotates when you turn the key, and the starter gear should extend to contact the flywheel teeth. A whirring sound resembling an electric fan or vacuum occurs if this doesn’t happen or the gear won’t engage for a long time.


A faulty starter makes one of the most frequent sounds when the motor cannot correctly mesh with the flywheel teeth. As soon as you hear the noise, stop cranking the engine because continued attempts could shatter the teeth, necessitating expensive repairs. (Learn How To Turn The Heat On In A Car)

Crank Test


When you turn the ignition key, you’ll hear a clicking, and the starter gear can contact the engine flywheel but cannot engage. This is a flat battery, poor battery terminal, or ground connections.

To avoid overheating the starter and further damage and a fire, try not to try too many times on a car with a bad starter.

Loose or dirty battery terminals won’t cause a clicking sound. Yet you should check your battery terminals; if they are covered in corrosion, clean them using a wire brush and pour a baking soda and water mix to neutralize the acid buildup.


Turning the key and getting no response could show a car with a bad starter solenoid or starter relay. Ensure the battery is checked, the ground connections and battery terminals are clean and secured, and there are no loose connections.

Slow Crank:

When trying to start your car, faulty starter motors can sound like underpowered batteries. So check the battery once more.

Battery Checks

You already know that a completely dead battery is the most likely offender. Therefore, a thorough battery test requires a voltage check and a crank test.

Voltage test readings:

  • 12.7 – 13.2 volts: 100%
  • 12.4 volts: 75%
  • 12.2 volts: 50%
  • 12.0 volts: 25%
  • 0 – 11.9 volts are discharged (Flat)

Crank test

Although the single-click sound is frequently indicative of a faulty starter solenoid, it is not proof positive.

We’ll test directly from your engine bay fuse box to see if the starter motor is faulty. This eliminates the need to struggle to get to the starter to test or remove it, at least temporarily, unless it fails the test. (Learn How To Clean Aluminum Intake Manifolds)

Remove and Check Starter

Starter test

Put your car in park or neutral with the E-brake on before you start; this is crucial since we’ll try to start the engine. Next, remove the starter relay from the fuse box.

The relay will have four terminals:

  • 85 – Starter control ground
  • 86 – Starter control power
  • 30 – Battery power
  • 87 – Solenoid feed

Control starter circuit

The relay regulates the solenoid (load) circuit via the Ignition (PCM) circuit. A faulty starter relay should be replaced as they are rarely fixed. Caution engine may turn over – We’ll bypass the ignition and PCM/ECM with a fused jumper wire.

Hot wire starter motor

We can test the starter, solenoid, and primary feed wire. Suspect a faulty starter if the starter symptom doesn’t disappear. A jammed starter motor, hydro-locked engine, or mechanical defect could also generate the click sound. If the engine now cranks, investigate a faulty relay or PCM to fuse board wiring.

Jammed Starter Motor

A manual transmission car starter motor should become more lubricated by being swung back and forth.

To start an automatic engine auto, you will need sockets and a ratchet on the flywheel. In addition, the starter motor may become stuck because of a worn starter, starter gear, or flywheel ring gear.

Hydro-Locked Engine

This occurs when a cylinder fills with a non-compressible fluid, the piston becomes immobile, and the crankshaft becomes locked up. Now try starting the engine while removing the spark plugs. Car flooding in severe weather and a blown head gasket are common causes of hydro-locking.

Mechanical Faults

A mechanical fault is a possibility, too; any obstruction inside the engine will cause the engine to lock.

Security key on the dashboard:

If the security light is on, the receiver cannot read the transponder inside the ignition key. Use a spare key if you have one, but if it still doesn’t try, suspect a faulty ignition receiver.

Try starting your automatic transmission in Neutral (N) to get around the Park lockout switch if it functions, suspect for a faulty PRNDL or wiring. (Learn How To Reset Service Advancetrac)

Check starter circuit and fuse

Check starter fuse:

The starter motor fuse can be found listed in the fuse box in the engine bay. Vehicles with manual transmissions and a clutch switch should ensure the switch is installed and secured. Then, try unplugging it and reconnecting it to enable your starter circuit.

How to Replace a Starter

To replace your starter, follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect your negative terminal on the car battery.
  2. Remove your starter solenoid from the bracket.
  3. Disconnect the wires from your starter solenoid.
  4. Wipe the solenoid connector and solenoid cord.
  5. Remove your failing starter motor.
  6. Install a new starter or starter repaired in the reverse order.
  7. Reconnect your negative terminal.

Tips For Replacing a Starter

Several considerations must be made while replacing a car’s starter:

  • Before starting the repair, make sure you have the replacement item.
  • Avoid touching electrical parts with your bare hands, as this could cause harm.
  • When working with any electrical components, wear eye protection.
  • It’s recommended to leave the repair to a professional if you’re not confident working with electrical components.

What Is Jump-Starting A Car?

A car with a dead battery can be started using the jump-starting technique. To start the car, the procedure entails using a functioning battery as the jump starter for the dead battery.

You can try jump-starting your car if it won’t start and you believe the issue may be a dead battery. Jump starting is the practice of how to start a car with a bad starter. You do this by jumping a starter from using a car’s healthy battery to provide electricity to weak batteries.

Jump-start a car with a flat battery:

  1. Ensure not to touch the two cars when you park them close together, although they must be close as jumper cables are never very long.
  2. Switch off all lights and the two engines.
  3. Connect the positive (red) jumper cable’s one end to the battery’s positive terminal.
  4. The positive terminal of the good battery should be connected to the other end of the positive jumper cable.
  5. A negative (black) jumper cable should have one end connected to the negative terminal of a healthy battery.
  6. The other end of the negative jumper cable should be connected to an unpainted metal component of your car, such as a bolt-on engine block.
  7. Turn the ignition switch and leave the car running for a while.
  8. Try to start your car. Car owners might need to gradually rev the engine on the donor car before they try to see if your car engine starts. If dashboard lights are dim, there isn’t enough charge to power the car’s electrical system.

After your car has started, unplug all the connections of the jumper cables in the opposite direction:

  • First, the negative (black) cable should be disconnected from your car body.
  • Next, the excellent battery’s negative cable should be disconnected from the battery connectors.
  • Third, the good battery’s positive (red) cable should be disconnected.
  • Finally, the dead battery’s positive cable should be disconnected.

To accomplish this jump start, at the very least, you only need basic tools. A few tools would be a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a flashlight at night.

Can You Jump Start Cars With Bad Starters?

Technically, you can use a “push start” to for how to jump a starter that is bad.

To accomplish this, accelerate the car to a sufficient speed before throwing it into gear while the engine is still off. By doing this, the car’s momentum will enable it to start the engine.

This push start, to start a car, is not advised, though, as it could seriously harm your car. If your starter isn’t functioning properly, getting it fixed or replaced is always preferable.

Here are the steps for push-starting a manual transmission car:

  1. First, put the car in second gear, and push on the clutch pedal.
  2. The ignition switch should be in position two before the engine tries to make a clicking sound.
  3. Now, you need a few friends to push your car to bump start the bad starter.
  4. The driver should sense the speed, and when he is moving fast enough, remove his foot from the clutch, and he will hear the car makes a cranking sound as the engine fires or fails to start.
  5. Now, the force of the spinning engine should fire the engine enough power for it to start.

Note: First gear won’t work as there won’t be enough engine rotation.

You can’t use this method for diesel engines, automatic transmission, or electrically powered cars, as they all function differently.

Checking Your Flywheel

Frequently, an old starter is caused by the flywheel of the engine. This is because the wheel that connects the engine and the transmission is the flywheel, which is quite massive. The flywheel and starter gear is coupled to start the engine. The starter motor’s disconnection causes neutral transmission.

The crankshaft must be spun by turning the center bolt if you have a tool like a ratchet or a breaker bar. You might also ask for help in this area. On the engine’s bottom, a crankshaft pulley is visible.

A test run helps evaluate the vehicle’s condition following required repairs. A professional mechanic can do this test in auto repair.

Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Starter