Where Is The Starter Located In A Car?

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Cargroot is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with your car that doesn’t want to start, it’s not a bad idea to check the Starter quickly. This guide will cover everything that you need to know about Starter Motor. So stay tuned.

Your car is a complex machine, and it’s impossible to know about everything inside it. But during emergencies, when you don’t have any technical assistance, you might have to fix minor issues on your car. The faulty Starter plug is one of those issues that you can take care of. 

In this article, I will talk about the following:

  • Basic knowledge of Starter motor
  • Where is It located?
  • Step-by-step guide


What is A Starter?

A starter is an electric motor in the car that helps you start the engine. When you insert the keys and start the ignition, the Starter motor generates a lot of torque and enables the flywheel/flexplate to engage with gear rings, sending the movement to the crankshaft. 

That’s how the whole process works:

  • When you insert the keys and start the ignition, the electric power is transferred to the ignition system.
  • The spark plugs get fired up.
  • The power is also sent to a magnetic switch called Solenoid, which is attached to the Starter motor. 
  • The Solenoid sends power to the Starter motor, which engages gears with each other. 
  • When enough EM is generated, the Solenoid starts the electric motor within the Starter motor.
  • As the motor runs, it pushes the rod with a pinion gear. 
  • The gear gets engaged with the flywheel and starts moving it, sending the motion to the crankshaft. 
  • The engine gets started and sucks the air and fuel in. 
  • At the same time, electricity is transferred through spark plug wires to ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber.

The starter motor needs high power to get going, and if you have a low battery, you won’t be able to start it. The main reason you hear the clicking sound when you try to turn on the ignition on a low battery is that there is not enough power to turn on the Starter motor, but the Solenoid keeps working as it should. 


Where Is It Located?

Traditionally, The Starter is housed on the driver’s side of a vehicle, underneath the left mound of cylinders, between the transmission and the vehicle’s engine. It’s secured to the mounting plates with the help of a few fastener bolts. To power up the motor, there are two electric wires connected to it as well. 

Please refer to this video to find out more about this. 


How to Find the Starter in Your Vehicle?

A starter motor provides the energy to start the car’s engine. It’s a robust and durable piece of automobile, not something you will replace every year or even for five years. Ideally, the Starter motor needs to be replaced only once or twice during the car’s lifespan. 

Whether you are an auto freak or not, you can locate the Starter motor on your car based on your skills and the tools available. Let’s look at what you need to do:

  •  Open the hood and start the ignition. Now carefully inspect around/behind the hood. Check if any sound is coming from there. 
  • Check around the engine to see if there is any cylinder-shaped component bolted. 
  • The rest of the process is straightforward if you locate something secured by 2-4 hex bolts. 
  • Find the Positive terminal and check for a red cable attached to it. If you have a relatively newer vehicle, it should be covered with plastic tape. 
  • Follow the cable until the next connecting part. Please keep track of the cable, as it runs under many components and is easy to mix with others. 
  • At the end of the cable, look for two cylindrical parts connected to each other. That’s the Starter Motor.
  • Remember that the bigger part is the Starter, and the smaller is Solenoid. 


When Should You Check the Starter Motor?

Here are some common symptoms of a faulty Starter motor:

1. Clicking Sound without Ignition

The most visible indication of a dead Starter is the clicking sound when you start the ignition. You will hear a minor clicking noise under the hood as you rotate the keys or press the Start button. It is coming from the Solenoid. If the car fails to start, it’s time 

2. Smoke around the Engine Chamber

The Starter motor runs on electric power and is prone to short circuits and power failures. Sometimes when you keep trying to turn the engine on, the Starter gets overheated and might create smoke. 

3. Dashboard Lights Up without Ignition

When you insert the keys and try to turn the engine on, the dashboard lights up. If you see the lights, but the engine doesn’t fire up, this might be because of a faulty Starter Plug. 

4. No Engine Movement

If your engine shows no movement and you hear unusual low-pitch noise after ignition, a dead Starter motor causes this. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here