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The starter works with the battery to set the engine in motion when you turn the ignition switch. Without a functioning starter you won’t be able to get the engine running, so it’s an essential component of your car.
Replacing the starter costs between $172 and $955 to have the work done by a mechanic, while you can also buy a starter and do the work yourself for between $117 and $794. The cost of repair will depend on the type of car you own and what parts are used. In general the labor costs are quite low, so the majority of the cost is for the part itself.
Starter Replacement Cost Comparison
Below are some example costs for having your starter replaced at some of the leading auto repair companies in the country. These prices should be used as an approximate guide, as it will vary depending on your car and where you live.
|Parts & labor||12 months||$219 – $915|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$248 – $955|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$289 – $840|
|Parts||Limited||$99 – $218|
|Parts||Limited||$78 – $359|
What Is the Starter?
The starter in your car is an electrical motor connected to the battery, which works to start the engine in motion when you turn on the ignition switch. When your turn your key the car battery sends power to the starter, and the motor in the starter kicks in.
This motor will then turn the crankshaft, move the pistons and set the other components of the engine in motion, allowing these parts to move when the ignition system gets to work igniting the fuel. Once the engine is in motion, the starter has served its purpose and won’t be used again until you need to restart the engine.
If the starter becomes faulty or fails the engine will not crank properly when the ignition switch is turned, and the engine may struggle to start or fail to start at all. You’ll normally hear a clicking noise from the ignition trying to do its job but the engine will remain stationary and won’t catch, meaning the car won’t turn on.
Benefits of Starter Replacement
Having a fully functional starter is essential in your car, as without it the engine won’t start and you won’t be able to drive the car at all. The starter is an electrical motor, and as a result it will almost definitely need replaced at some point during the life cycle of your car, so regular inspection is essential.
The starter will be inspected during all routine maintenance work and at your annual check up, as it is prone to wear and tear and it’s a key component in the car. Being proactive is the key to avoiding any issues with the starter, and picking up on any potential issues early will prevent you having to deal with a faulty part at a later date.
The last thing you need is for your car not to start when you need it to, so ensuring the starter is in good working order will help prevent any nasty surprises.
When Should You Have Starter Replaced?
There are a few common symptoms of a malfunctioning starter which will indicate that a replacement is required.
The signs of a major issue with the starter are largely similar to those you would experience with a dead battery. With a faulty starter or a faulty battery, the engine does not have the power required to start the engine in motion.
You can test for either a dead battery or a faulty starter by testing electrical components in the car like the radio, the lights and the horn. If they won’t switch on at all then the problem is likely to be a dead battery, but if they are all functioning properly then a faulty starter is most likely to be the root cause of the engine not starting up.
If there’s a clicking noise when you try to start the car then there may be an issue with the starter, your battery may be low or the battery connections may be loose or dirty. The charging and starting system should be inspected to try and isolate the issue.
Another common issue which shows the same symptoms as a faulty starter is a bad switch, Automatic cars should have the neutral safety switch checked by a mechanic, while manual vehicles should have the clutch pedal switch inspected.
What Is Done During Starter Replacement?
- The first step is to locate the starter in your vehicle. The majority of cars and trucks have the starter where the transmission and engine meet, usually on the underside of the vehicle
- The positive battery cable should be disconnected from the battery
- The rear wheels of the vehicle should be blocked, and the car set on jack stands which are high enough for the mechanic to crawl underneath
- The mechanic will go under the car to remove the bolts which hold the starter motor in place
- The starter will be removed from its location, and the wires that connect it to the ignition and the battery will be disconnected from the unit
- The unit will be inspected to ensure all the required cables are in place
- The car will then be lowered from the jack stands and the blocks removed from the rear wheels
- The positive battery cable will be reconnected
- The mechanic will then attempt to start the engine and will monitor for any unusual sounds or potential issues.
How to Save Money on Starter Replacement
Replacing the starter is a fairly straightforward job, so it shouldn’t be too expensive for the labor involved to complete the work. It doesn’t require any specialist equipment other than a jack, which most car owners should have in their car or their own garage.
It’s a repair that can be done yourself if you have a little experience working on cars and are confident in your abilities. The part can be ordered online and the fitting should be pretty straightforward. Just make sure you’ve properly diagnosed the problem and that the starter is definitely the root cause, otherwise you’ll be throwing your money away.
The majority of auto shops will offer starter replacement as one of their standard services, so there may be some deals or discounts to be found in your local area if you call around. You can get quotes online, in person or over the phone, so have a look around to see if you can get a reasonable quote for the work.
How Much Does A Car Starter Cost?
Below is a list of prices which should give you an idea of what you can expect to pay to have the starter replaced on your car. We’ve looked at the most popular car models in the country, so it should give you a rough idea of what you can expect to pay for your brand and size of vehicle. These prices should be used as a rough guide only, as the cost of repair will vary around the country.
|Ford F-Series||$55 – $70||$117 – $324||$172 – $394|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$71 – $90||$258 – $424||$329 – $514|
|Ford Focus||$71 – $90||$175 – $248||$246 – $338|
|Toyota Camry||$47 – $60||$208 – $411||$255 – $471|
|Toyota Corolla||$63 – $80||$171 – $409||$234 – $489|
|Nissan Altima||$63 – $80||$220 – $291||$283 – $371|
|Honda CR-V||$126 – $161||$224 – $794||$350 – $955|
|Honda Civic||$118 – $151||$279 – $359||$397 – $510|
|Honda Accord||$173 – $221||$224 – $521||$397 – $742|
|Ford Fusion||$63 – $80||$155 – $223||$218 – $303|