A vehicle starting system is much more complicated than you may think. Though there are various critical components of your vehicle’s system, there is one that stands out the most simply because it’s called the starter.

At Express Auto & Tires, we want to educate car owners in Irving, TX, on everything they need to know about their car repairs. To that end, we will shed some light on what starters are.

A starter is an electrically driven motor that connects with and spins your vehicle’s flywheel to start the motion of pistons to create the required compression you need to start your car.

 If your vehicle’s starter fails, you will not be able to get your car moving since the engine will not start.

When you turn your car keys into the ignition, your engine turns over and cranks. However, getting your engine to crank involves much more than you may think it does.

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To start your vehicle, you need a flow of air into your car’s engine, which can be achieved only by creating suction.

If your engine fails to turn on, it means that there is no air. Having no air means that your fuel can’t combust. Your starter motor is responsible for turning your car’s engine over during ignition, allowing everything else to occur.

How does a starter work? 

Your vehicle’s starter is an electric motor. It starts when you turn your vehicle’s ignition to run, allowing your engine to suck in air. 

Your vehicle’s engine features a flywheel/flexplate with a gear ring around its edge and attached towards your crankshaft’s end. There is a gear designed specifically to fit into the ring gear grooves (also known as pinion gear).  

When you turn on your ignition, the starter motor gets energized, and the electromagnet placed inside its body engages. 

This pushes a rod that has the pinion gear attached to it. The gear comes in contact with the flywheel, and the starter turns. This results in spinning your engine over and sucking in both air and fuel.  

Simultaneously, electricity is passed through your spark plug wires into the plugs inside the combustion chamber.

As soon as your engine starts, the starter disengages, and the electromagnet stops. The rod retracts back into the starter, taking the pinion gear away from the flywheel, which prevents it from damage.  

If it is left in contact with the flywheel, the chances are that your vehicle’s engine would spin your starter too fast, which will cause damage to it. 

If you feel like your vehicle has a starter problem, given below are a few signs that may help you determine if it needs to be replaced.  

Loud clicking  

In most cases, the first sign of having a starter problem is a loud click or a series of clicking sounds that occur when you turn your keys. 

It is the sound of your starter motor actuating but not spinning. The chances are that it may or may not be connecting to the flywheel properly.  

Grinding noise 

You may have a grinding noise when you try to start your vehicle, which could be attributed to your starter motor. 

There are two most common reasons why this may occur. The first is that you’re mounting bolts have probably come loose, which can cause poor alignment of your flywheel and pinion gear. 

This may also happen because one of your gears may have lost a tooth, resulting in a grinding noise. 


If you hear a loud buzzing noise when you try to start your car, you are most likely listening to the noise of electricity traveling to your vehicle’s starter motor, but it is not enough to get it started. 

This may happen as a result of bad electrical connections and not because your starter motor is faulty.  

Intermittent engine cranking  

Another issue that you may have if your starter motor is malfunctioning is intermittent engine cracking. This means that your car may start to crank but stops and requires you to turn the key to ignition again.

You need to be aware of several other problems that could prevent your car from turning on. 

Dead battery If your vehicle’s battery is dead, it will display no signs of life when you turn your key.

Fuel delivery If your car cannot get fuel to the engine efficiently when trying to start the motor, it will crank over and over again without firing.  

Bad alternatorthe alternator is responsible for charging your battery when the engine is turned on. If it starts to malfunction, you will likely experience various other electrical issues such as dim headlights. 


All problems related to the starter are almost impossible to avoid since there isn’t recommended or predetermined replacement by the automotive manufacturer. 

This is why whenever you notice freewheeling, grinding noises, buzzing, or your vehicle not starting at all, you need to get in touch with a professional mechanic to help you further assist in figuring out the problem. 


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Get in touch with Express Auto & Tires today!

The best and most comfortable way to determine what is preventing your car from starting is by getting a proper diagnostic.

If you feel that you need to get your starter repaired in Irving, Texas, or think that there may be some other issue, head to Express Auto & Tires and let our expert technicians get to the bottom of your problem. We also serve the cities of Euless and Grand Prairie.

Our full-service auto repair shop can handle all types of jobs – from oil changes to wheel balancing! Give us a call at 972-636-4903 or fill an online form to book your appointment today.