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I know a "bad" starter can drain battery, but am unsure what constitutes "bad enough" to allow a starter to drain the battery. Suppose a hypothetical coolant leak has corroded one's starter. Would that cause a drain on the battery?

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    Can you describe what you are experiencing a little better?
    – HandyHowie
    Nov 3 '15 at 8:14
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A 'bad' starter wont drain the battery while it is not being used to start the car, if that is what you mean. If the starter has a damaged commutator, it will not run at full power and so could mean that you have to turn the engine over longer to get the engine to start which will use more energy from the battery. Even if coolant is leaking on the starter, unless the starter is running there will be no electricity near the starter, so the water will not cause a short. The outward appearance of the starter should not be used to judge its internal condition. I would be surprised if you starter is draining your battery. If the starter starts the engine well, then it is more than likely not causing your problem.

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  • Too low to upvote answer :(. Advance ran their thing and did not think it was an alternator or battery problem. I was a little suspicious as I have never had to turn it over very long to start, but I also doubt an alternator issue because the car ran for the whole work week after the first jump before needing another one, and I seem only the require jumps after letting the car sit for about a day without use. In addition, no light dimming or engine rpm going to 0. I thought starter because I do have a coolant leak, which can corrode that. Thanks for clearing up how starters work :) Nov 3 '15 at 15:27
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Yes starter will drain battery n ruin battery n some time ruin alternator ..I have ran into this few times . Once cops mechanic kept replacing battery's n alternators when was starter frying them . I told parts store . They thanked me for clearing it up . With new starter 14 years later no more problem n few same many times. It will take out core in batterys first

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