Just before christmas my car died while my girlfriend was on her way to work. She told me that when the car stopped it went completely silent (no engine/lights/music). Since she drove for about 15km (mostly highway) before that happened I suspected a problem in the realm of generating electricity. Bad smell made me fear for a more expensive defect of the clutch.
Fast forward and the nearest mechanic (to whom the car was towed) called and said the car is running again (with no work done), but the starter is in bad shape and he asks my permission to replace it since it might be related to the problem.
If my usual mechanic asked me that I would say "if you think the car is still worth it, go ahead...". But in this case I don't 100% trust the guy since the whole thing looks a bit shady to me (for example: he said his workshop could be found on the internet, which I couldn't(even looked up a company index of the town) And that's not the only thing)
So my question is:
Is it pausible that a defective starter stopped my car?
My googlefu brought less than satisfying results. Most sources I searched simply pointed to a faulty battery if the starter won't work. Only one site ambiguously suggested that such a defect could cause other issues, but nothing so far detailed what that could really be.
My main fear is that
- the mechanic simply didn't find anything and wants to do something so the invested time isn't wasted and
- the car simply works again because he charged the battery and I will have a stopped car when I arrive back home (altough a mechanic should notice the battery light if that is the case i guess...)
The car is a Toyota Corolla with 20 years and around 150.000km
I would prefer answers that go beyond yes/no or trust/don't trust that guy. I would say I only have an average understanding of cars, but when an issue arises I love to know as much about it as possible (which occasionally annoys my mechanic...)
Thanks in advance
UPDATE for anyone interested in my experience:
due to COVID/Home office my fetching the car was a little delayed but now I have it back. The original (possibly shady) mechanic did not charge me anything since he didn't do anything except look at it, which of course built a little trust, I gave him some money anyway since it's still his time and the towing alone was very valuable in that situation (the car chose an inconvenient spot to break down)
concerning the starter: as mentioned in the comments I drove the car to my trusted mechanic afterwards and he was surprised the starter did anything for me at all, since it didn't make a sound for him altough the power was present. So that part was true.
As for the breakdown: my mechanic couldn't find the cause for that either so he simply did a bit of "usual suspects" kind of maintenance hoping that might help. It runs a little smoother now and I'll have to see how long it stays that way. But for now all seems good. (and we half expect to retire the car this summer for other reasons anyways...)