Can You Jump Start a Car With a Bad Starter?

Can You Jump Start a Car With a Bad Starter?
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There is nothing worse than having a bad starter on your car. But, unfortunately, it is more common than you know.

In the case of a bad starter, poor battery maintenance may be responsible for damaged electrical connections. If you don’t have a good starter, then the below information will help you get it going by using a push start method. We can also help you figure out problems that can cause your car not to start. Getting on top of these problems is important before more extensive ones occur.

Jump Start a Bad Starter Using the Push Start Method

Your engine needs to be pushed into action in the case of a bad starter. Push-starting is an old-fashioned yet effective method of starting the car. Unfortunately, it is only compatible with manual transmissions.

  • Put your car’s transmission into first or second gear while you keep the ignition on. Push-starting your car is much smoother when you are in second gear. As a result, your car’s system is also less likely to be damaged.
  • Push-starts with considerably shorter distances should be done in first gear.
  • Aim to achieve a speed of 5-10 mph by having someone push your car from behind.
  • The clutch pedal should be let go once you have reached this speed. When the speed is reached, the car can be started.
  • If the first attempt does not succeed, repeat the process.
  • If this doesn’t work, there might be other components that are causing problems and should be checked by an experienced mechanic.

Signs of a Bad Starter

Engine Won’t Turn Over

Whenever you turn the key or push start and nothing happens, this is an indication that there is a problem with your starter. Starter relays or motors are likely burnt out, or there is an electrical component problem. Get in touch with your local mechanic if you notice these signs, as they can indicate other problems, not just a faulty starter relay.

Strange Noises

Take notice whenever you hear something new, like a clicking noise when you turn the key or push start. Any clicking or continuous grinding noises can mean the starter motor is dying. When starter parts wear out, they don’t engage as they should. This can create a sound you might hear when you turn the ignition switch when the engine is going. You can also damage the engine flywheel if you ignore the grinding symptom.

The Vehicle Has Intermittent Starting Issues

In the case of a car that does not ignite immediately but works fine later, you are probably experiencing problems with your starter relay. There are two kinds of starter relays: ones that send full electrical current to the starter or those that don’t. In this case, it’s either all or nothing.

Sometimes, when you turn the ignition on, the starter will make a clicking sound due to a damaged relay. A mechanic should be consulted if both of these symptoms occur – intermittent starting and a clicking sound.

Problems That Can Stop Your Car from Being Started

Check for Loose Connections

Check that all the connections in the starter battery pathway are connected securely.

Check the positive battery cable connections on the other ends if the connection looks good. There are two parts to this positive wire. One end goes to the alternator and the other to the vehicle’s starter. Having loose wiring can cause the car to start briefly or not start at all.

Check the Grounding of the Engine

Transmission grounds or engine grounds can affect the starter’s overall grounding. The two grounds should be checked for rust or damage, as they may cause an open circuit and prevent the starter from working.

It is also possible to bypass this problem by using cable jumpers to connect the battery’s negative post directly to the starter’s frame.

The Battery

The engine doesn’t start despite your dashboard lights and working headlights. Since you need a lot of power to crank your engine, this may be an issue with your battery. You can try jumping it or using a starter pack. The problem is likely to be caused by a weak battery if it starts. The battery is often the cause of starting problems, especially during winter.

Starter Solenoid Cable Inspection

As a result of the starter solenoid, your car’s starter is engaged with the transmission. Upon starting the engine, when the starter turns freely, it could be a solenoid problem. Make sure the solenoid wire is clean and free of grime or rust to determine if it’s a bad solenoid. In case the starter solenoid wire is corroded, you can bypass it.

The solenoid and starter should be connected directly with the battery via a 12V wire. The connection is made when you hear a click. It is now time to turn the ignition on.

The 12-volt battery wire should be removed as soon as the engine starts. If it doesn’t retract, the starter gear may get damaged through contact with the flywheel, which rotates much faster.

male mechanics check electrical wiring vehicle system in car service

Check the Flywheel of the Engine

To crank the engine, the flywheel’s ring gear engages with the starter motor’s pinion gear. Your car may also have a problem starting because of the transmission flywheel.

The flywheel should be examined as follows:

  • The electric motor must first be removed.
  • Put the car in neutral now.
  • You can use a ratchet or a breaker bar to rotate the crankshaft pulley center bolt. This pulley powers other components of the steering pump.
  • The flywheel may not engage with the starter gear if it has damaged or missing teeth. If any inconsistencies are discovered, the flywheel’s ring gear may need to be replaced.

This is a job that is best left to a professional mechanic.

Corrosion Inspection

One of the most common problems with car starters is battery corrosion. Check your battery terminals and cables for acid deposits to avoid this problem. Any battery terminal, post, or cable with acid deposits will have a white, green, or blue tint.

Here are some tips for cleaning corrosion on battery connectors:

  1. Prepare a 1:1 ratio of water and baking soda
  2. Place the baking soda solution mix over the terminals of the battery that are affected
  3. It would be best if you let it soak for a while before rinsing it with hot water

Check the starter solenoid, engine connections, ground wire, and motor for any rust, acid deposits, or dust. This can be cleaned using a wire brush.

Give the Starter a Little Tap

There is a tendency for the armature and the field coils of a motor to develop dead spots over time. Using a hammer, you can remove these spots on the starter’s motor and restore the starter’s functionality.


The push-start method can jump-start a car with a bad starter. This method is not recommended because its potential danger causes serious damage to the vehicle. It is ok to do it once or twice but needing to do it frequently means an underlying problem that must be fixed.

A damaged or malfunctioning starter should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Extend the car’s service life and keep up with a 12-month/12,000-mile service to ensure your car is kept in working order.


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