Things to Know About Vehicle Starter - Service Information at Capitol Chevrolet

When you turn the key to start the engine on your car, an intricate dance begins. A huge variety of moving parts spring into action, working in perfect harmony to begin the combustion cycle so the engine starts running. One key component is the starter. You might assume from its name that a problem starting your car means a faulty starter, but that's not always the case. Find out below how the starter works, how you can check it and what else could be keeping your car from starting up.

Exploded Car Starter

4. Check The Battery

It takes a lot of juice to get the starter to turn over your vehicle's big, heavy engine. Your car's battery is designed to store a charge that provides plenty of power for the starter for fast, consistent starts. However, just like the batteries in your smoke detectors and TV remotes, they'll eventually go dead and require replacement. However, the battery under the hood of your car is rechargeable! If your starter doesn't respond when you turn the key, it could be because of a dead battery. But just because the battery is dead doesn't mean it cannot be charged again. You might get a trickle charger or have a friend provide a jump start to recharge the battery.

However, if the battery continues to die, it's probably ready to be replaced. If you're not sure, stop by Capitol Chevy for a fast and easy battery health check. We can determine if your car's battery needs to be replaced, or if there's another issue in your vehicle's charging system that needs to be looked at.

Battery Health Test

3. Check The Alternator

When your vehicle's engine is running, it provides power to the alternator, which takes mechanical energy created by the engine and turns it into electrical energy to recharge the battery. So, if the alternator has malfunctioned, the battery may be perfectly healthy, yet it dies frequently as it's not being recharged by the alternator.

The alternator itself could be damaged, due to bad bearings or a bent pulley. There could be a wiring fault. Or, the alternator belt could have slipped. A quick look under the hood can identify some of these problems, but you may want the help of a trained technician if you suspect your alternator needs to be replaced.

2. Listen For The Starter When You Turn The Key

If your starter doesn't make any noise when you turn the key, you can bet it's a problem with your vehicle's battery, alternator or other charging system component. However, if the engine "cranks" when you turn the key, that means your car's battery has enough power to run the starter. If the engine cranks, but won't get running under its own power, there could be a problem with the engine or the starter may not be engaging properly with the engine itself.

Turning Key In Ignition

1. Get Your Starter Inspected By The Pros

What this means is, in almost every case where a car won't start, the starter itself isn't actually to blame. A failure to start condition can be caused by a lack of charge in the battery, a lack of fuel to the engine, a clogged air intake, incorrect engine timing and a whole lot more.

That means it pays to have the experienced professionals at the Capitol Chevrolet service center take a closer look at your car when it's not starting up consistently. We'll pinpoint the underlying issue and get it fixed so you don't have to worry about your vehicle. You'll have confidence that your car is getting expert car so it starts up strong morning after morning.



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