I know diagnostics can be prone to failure, but I want to know if this failure is correctly diagnosed, not if the diagnosis is in fact correct.

Earlier my starter motor emitted a higher pitched noise than usual as my car started from cold, the sound was louder and sounded faster than usual, as if it was spinning freely, still my car started no problem.

The next 4 or 5 starts took longer than usual, the sound was also usual so it didn't call my attention.

On the 6th start I heard a click sound (probably a relay) and absolutely no sound is heard from the starter motor. The car didn't start.

The battery is fine and so are all other electrical components, so is it safe to assume that the issue is coming from the starter motor and replacement of that single part is probably the best route of action.

Is this a sound diagnosis?


2 Answers 2


It may be the starter but you'd want to check for battery voltage at the B terminal on the starter and check that the circuit on the S terminal is OK first. When checking the S terminal have someone turn the key to the crank position.

Also it would be a good idea to check that the starter is grounded properly.

enter image description here

If you have power on both terminals and the starter does nothing then you can replace it.

  • How do you check if the starter is grounded properly? I thought they were grounded by contact with the block when you bolt it in, no ground wire or strap. May 25, 2016 at 3:57
  • @JimmyFix-it it is usually just make sure you have ground on the casing and that there are no engine to frame ground straps broken.
    – Ben
    May 25, 2016 at 10:02
  • Roger that, +1 nice graphic. May 26, 2016 at 5:34

Sounds like starter gear windingout and then overheating, I would replace the starter. These sound like typical symptoms...

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