What To Do If Starter Spins Without Engaging?

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An engine works more than any other components in the vehicle. Many systems are associated with the output and function of the engine. But, it always requires a key to open a more prominent chest of treasure. The access to the engine is the starter motor. Yes, this small device operated by the electromagnets will start the engine. The current will flow from the battery to the starter motor through the relay. In winter days, the machine should be warm enough before it starts for optimal performance. In this case, the starter will struggle to move the flywheel because of the cold engine. If your starter spins without engaging, then these must be the cause of it. Fix it now.

Symptoms of Bad Starter

If you notice these symptoms in your car, then it is an indication of starter malfunction. Only a good starter can start the engine, so fix it quickly.

1. Ignition Problems

The typical symptom of a bad starter is the ignition problems. The car will never start even when in ignition mode if the starter is not engaging with the flywheel. Every time while starting the vehicle, the signal sent from the relay will allow the starter to engage with the wheel. In this case, the circuit is not complete.

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2. Click Sound

Sometimes you might only hear a click sound, but the engine will not start. When the signal from the battery is insufficient to power the starter motor, it fails to turn on the vehicle. The click sound is one of the primary indications of a starter not engaging.

3. Unexpected Ignitions

The car will sometimes start even with a weak battery. But we cannot be sure whether the vehicle will start every time. Sometimes it will not help you in the case of emergency, so it is better to recharge your battery and change the fuses if required to avoid this accident.

Causes of Disengagement of Starter

There are many cases at which the starter spins without engaging, and if you are experiencing the same, then these must be the causes.

1. Weak or Old Battery

The battery is the primary source of power that needs to support the system while starting the car. If the battery is weak or old, then it might trouble to start the system. The power from the battery is supplied to the starter motor through the relay and rotates the flywheel. A weak battery will not provide sufficient power. So, if your battery is weak or old, then recharge or replace it as required.

2. Bad Starter Motor

Even if the battery is good, the starter motor also has to be fair to start the engine. A wrong or faulty starter motor will fail to engage with the flywheel. Sometimes it might not even start, and sometimes it starts but does not engage properly. It is one of the causes of trouble starting. Starting your car immediately without warm-up in the winter days will damage your starter because the il will be cold and it holds down the flywheel.

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3. The Solenoid in the Starter

The solenoid above the body of the starter connects it, and it produces the click sound during ignition. Use a jumper cable and connect one to the solenoid and another end to the ground bolt. If you hear an excellent clicking sound, then your solenoid is working correctly, and there are no issues. But, if the sound is low or there is no sound at all, then the solenoid is damaged and not working. Replace the solenoid kit for proper functioning.

4. Bad Condition of the Flywheel

The flywheel is the exterior part of the engine, but it internally connects all the main components that need to be supported to start the engine. The flywheel will rotate the camshaft and opens the inlet ports and starts the engine. It is supported by the starter so that it starts quickly. But if the flywheel fails to engage with the starter or it is weak, then the starter spins without engaging. So inspect the condition of the flywheel if you have trouble starting and fix it quickly.

5. Worn Out Pinion

The output of the stater connects the flywheel through a pinion. The pinion will engage with the starter to rotate the flywheel. Over some time, the pinion will wear out because of various factors. A worn-out pinion will not wholly engage with the starter and causes trouble while starting. In this case, you can also notice the starter rotating sound, but it is not engaging with the pinion. Replacing the pinion will be the only possible solution to resolve this problem.

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These are some of the common causes of starter malfunctioning problems. Inspecting and repairing the parts as required will solve the issues.

How To Fix It?

The issues have to solved as required so that it generally functions without disturbing other systems. Always inspect the causes of the problems. Sometimes it could be a single problem, and sometimes it could be multiple issues. So finding the cause of the problem will make the process easier. Next check whether repairing the part will solve the issue or a replacement is required. Some parts can function after restored, but some might not. So if it is necessary to replace the part, then do it immediately before it gets worse. Always try to solve the problem permanently instead of temporary adjustment. The cost of repair varies based on the complication in work and the spares required. But you can do it on your own if you have respective tools and skills.


Next time if your car is not starting then these might be the causes of it. Fix it so that your vehicle won’t trouble you again. Have a scheduled service and maintenance to avoid such problems. It is our responsibility to take care of our car so that it will function to its extent. Also, do not drive with a bad starter because you cannot expect when it might go wrong.

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