How to Start a Car With a Broken Starter

To start a car with a broken starter, use the push start method by pushing or rolling the car to get it moving, then pop the clutch in second gear to start the engine. When a car’s starter is broken, it can be frustrating and inconvenient, but with the push start method, you can still get your vehicle running without needing to immediately replace the starter.

This emergency method can be a temporary solution until you can get the starter fixed by a professional mechanic. Learning how to start a car with a broken starter can be a useful skill to have in case you ever find yourself in a situation where your car won’t start.

How to Start a Car With a Broken Starter


Recognizing The Signs

Unusual Sounds

One of the first signs that your car’s starter might be failing is hearing unusual sounds when you try to start the vehicle. These can include grinding, clicking, or whirring noises that are not typical when starting the engine. If you notice any of these unusual sounds, it may be an indication that your starter is experiencing issues and needs attention.

Engine Failure

Another clear sign of a broken starter is when the engine fails to start despite your repeated attempts. You may turn the key in the ignition and find that the engine doesn’t even attempt to turn over. This could be a signal that your starter has failed and needs to be addressed urgently. Ignoring engine failure due to a broken starter can lead to a range of other problems.

Checking The Starter

If your car has a broken starter, there are alternative ways to start it. Check the starter solenoid, tap it lightly with a hammer, and try starting the car again.

Battery Test

Start by checking the battery power with a multimeter to ensure it is fully charged.

If the battery reads low, charge it and attempt to start the car again.

Solenoid Test

Check the solenoid connection to see if it’s securely fastened.

Use a voltmeter to test if current is reaching the solenoid when the key is turned.

Using A Bypass Method

When faced with a broken starter, utilizing a bypass method can help you get your car started in a pinch. This method involves directly connecting the battery to the starter solenoid, bypassing the faulty starter altogether.

Locating The Starter

To locate the starter in your vehicle, start by opening the hood and visually inspecting the engine bay. The starter is typically connected to the transmission bell housing or engine block and has thick electrical cables running to it.

Connecting The Jumper Cables

Before proceeding, ensure the vehicle is in park or neutral and the ignition is turned off. Place the positive (red) jumper cable on the positive terminal of the battery, then attach the other end to the starter solenoid’s positive terminal.

How to Start a Car With a Broken Starter


Alternative Methods

How to Start a Car With a Broken Starter – Alternative Methods

If your car’s starter is malfunctioning, there are a few alternative methods you can use to get your car up and running. These methods can be useful in emergency situations where you need to start your car without the help of a fully functioning starter.

Push-starting The Car

Push-starting, also known as bump-starting, is a method used to start a manual transmission car when the starter motor is non-functional. To push-start your car, follow these steps:

  1. Find a flat, open area and turn off all accessories in the car.
  2. Put the car in second gear and have someone push the car to get it moving.
  3. Once the car is at a decent speed, release the clutch while giving it some gas.

Using A Jump Starter Pack

A jump starter pack is a portable power source that can be used to jump-start a car without the need for another vehicle. To use a jump starter pack:

  1. Connect the positive and negative clamps of the jump starter pack to the corresponding terminals on the car battery.
  2. Turn on the jump starter pack and attempt to start the car.
  3. If successful, let the car run to recharge the battery, and then disconnect the jump starter pack.

Preventative Measures

How to Start a Car With a Broken Starter | Preventative Measures

If you find yourself in a situation where your car’s starter is broken, you don’t have to panic. There are steps you can take to start your car even without a functioning starter. However, it’s always better to be prepared and prevent such situations from occurring in the first place. By following a few preventative measures, you can minimize the risk of a broken starter interrupting your journey. Let’s explore some of the key preventative measures you can take.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your car in good working condition and avoiding unexpected breakdowns. By adhering to a schedule of routine maintenance tasks, you can identify and address potential issues before they become major problems. Here are some important maintenance tasks to focus on:

  • Regularly check your car’s battery connections and clean any corrosion.
  • Ensure the starter cables are in good condition and securely connected.
  • Inspect the starter relay for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Regularly change the oil and filters.
  • Keep an eye on the condition of your car’s belts and replace them if they show signs of wear.
  • Inspect the ignition system for any issues and replace faulty components.

Carrying Spare Parts

In addition to regular maintenance, another way to be prepared for a broken starter is to carry spare parts with you. This can save you time and frustration if your starter fails while you’re on the road. Here are some spare parts to consider keeping in your car:

  1. A spare starter motor: This is the main component that can fail in the starter system. Having a spare can be a lifesaver.
  2. Starter solenoid: It’s a good idea to have a spare solenoid, as it’s another common part that can cause starting issues.
  3. Ignition switch: If your ignition switch malfunctions, it can prevent your car from starting. Keeping a spare switch can help you overcome this problem.
  4. Extra cables and connectors: Having extra cables and connectors can come in handy if you need to make a quick repair or replace a damaged component.
  5. Tools: Keep a basic toolkit in your car that includes essential tools like wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of being stranded with a broken starter. Carry out regular maintenance tasks and keep spare parts handy to ensure that even if your starter fails, you’re well-prepared to get your car moving again.

How to Start a Car With a Broken Starter


Frequently Asked Questions On How To Start A Car With A Broken Starter

How Do You Start A Car If The Starter Is Not Working?

To start a car when the starter isn’t working, try jump-starting the vehicle. If that doesn’t work, consider tapping the starter with a tool to free it up. Additionally, check the connections and battery. If the issue persists, consult a professional mechanic for further assistance.

Can You Jump Start A Car With A Bad Starter?

Yes, you can jump start a car with a bad starter by connecting it to a working battery.

Can You Push-start A Car With Bad Starter?

Yes, you can push-start a car with a bad starter by getting the car rolling and popping the clutch to engage the engine.

Can You Drive A Car With A Bad Starter?

No, driving a car with a bad starter is not recommended due to potential safety hazards and vehicle functionality issues. It’s best to have the starter repaired or replaced by a professional mechanic before driving.

Can You Start A Car With A Broken Starter?

Yes, it is possible to start a car with a broken starter using alternative methods.

What Are The Signs Of A Broken Starter?

Signs of a broken starter include a clicking noise, slow cranking, and the engine not starting.

How Can I Start My Car Without A Functioning Starter?

You can try jump-starting the car, using the push-start method, or using a remote starter switch.


Starting a car with a broken starter can be a daunting situation, but with the right knowledge and perseverance, it is possible to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. By following the steps mentioned in this guide, you can safely and effectively start your car without a functioning starter.

Remember to always prioritize safety and consult a professional if necessary.

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