What Causes A Starter To Burn Out? Here’s Why

If you have ever encountered an unexpected accident on the highway, you will feel very uncomfortable in this case. 

Especially with problems related to the engine system, there is almost nothing you can do but wait for the help of the rescue team. So, What causes a starter to burn out? The following article will provide you with detailed information about this critical incident.

What Causes A Starter To Burn Out


What Causes A Starter To Burn Out?

Currently, there are many reasons why your engine starter has problems. Here are 6 leading causes that you will likely encounter with your car:

Ignition Switch

The ignition switch is the first part you cannot ignore when considering an engine starter. As you know, the button is an essential part of the starting system, and it helps to activate the solenoid coil and close the electrical circuit when you unlock the car.

As a result, the cylinder set may get stuck in the ignition system when you turn the ignition. Right then, the motor will disconnect and possibly burn out unexpectedly. You will smell a burning smell when this happens.


Solenoids are the next cause of your engine burnout. Because this part connects to the engine system, including gears and clutches, when the solenoid switch is in operation, the remaining 2 connecting elements will continue to suck into the motor. It will cause the switch to have excellent wear and even burn the car engine.


When igniting, the starter plays an essential role in using the rotating machines to start the internal combustion engine. Moreover, this part also connects to the battery system when the ignition is turned on.

Short wiring will allow the motor to draw current from the battery, regardless of whether the ignition is on or off. The fact that the engine has a large amount of wear is because it is not operated continuously.

In addition, the battery’s insufficient charge will also cause exhaustion for the car. At that time, the starter will also be seriously affected.

User Error

Many users often overlook this cause. But in reality, user error can cause the engine to shut down. Because when they turn the ignition key for a long time, the engine will be forced to continue working.

Although pushing the engine about 1-2 times won’t damage the technology. But if the time number is increased, failure of the starter motor may occur.


Defects will rarely happen to your car, but you should not be subjective with this cause. It comes from the fact that the manufacturer needs to thoroughly control the quality of the motor starter, causing the connections to become loose.

You may realize this cause after troubleshooting the engine starter but not bring stability in the following days. It will still occur engine burnout. At that time, you can conclude that the cause is not an electromagnetic ignition problem but the manufacturers.

Like Honda CRV all warning lights, When you have a problem with your car’s starter, you’ll get a bunch of different signs. 

Each sign will be specific to some of the causes above. Here are 7 common symptoms when you have a burning engine problem.

What Are the Symptoms of a Car Starter Problem

What Are the Symptoms of a Car Starter Problem?

Grinding Noise

If your car doesn’t start, you will hear a crunching sound from the hood. Then you will have no problem turning the key or pressing the gas pedal. It comes from many other causes, such as double wiring, faulty spark plugs, faulty fuel sensors, and relays.


A free spin is the next sign that you are having problems with your starter. You can easily spot this when the engine makes a sound as you spin it. Even so, you won’t be able to start the car because this part doesn’t make contact with the flywheel.

When you discover this condition, you need to completely replace the damaged part because it is a severe problem that will affect your safety.

Intermittent Issues Starting The Vehicle

You try to start the car but cannot begin immediately. After that, you tried to reboot, and the reboot usually worked. Then you may be facing a relay-related problem.

The relay is responsible for sending all current to the starter. When you turn the key in the ignition, the engine will make a rattling sound if the relay fails.


Headlights are the next indicator to help you detect engine problems. When this part shows signs of dimming before you start it, it is a sign that the battery pack has failed. At this point, you should check the battery and recharge it to make sure the power is enough to start the car.


When you notice problems with the headlights and dashboard, it’s a sign that you have a problem with the battery. Sometimes it’s not because of low power but because your battery has been damaged or the wiring is loose.


Smoke is a telltale sign when you have an engine problem. At this point, you will notice smoke coming out of the bottom of the hood. Trying to start the car many times will cause the system to overheat. When it does, it will burn, and you will smell the burning smell coming out.


Engine starter failure can come from overheating. The cause is the battery, and cable connections are not sure. You may notice similar symptoms with low-glow headlights.

In addition, when troubleshooting with this part, you must always be careful with it to minimize other possible fire and explosion incidents.

How To Troubleshoot Starter Problems

How To Troubleshoot Starter Problems?

When you encounter the problem of the starter engine catching fire, what should you do in this case? Here are the tests and troubleshooting that you may know about:

  • Check the hood’s underside position: Check the wiring and the battery to ensure they’re in good working order simply because it is difficult or impossible for you to start the engine because the battery is weak, not enough power to the starter.
  • Tap the starter: Tap the top of the car a few times. It will help you to restart the car in some cases. In essence, this task will make the connections of the electrical components more solid.
  • Change transmission settings: When your car is to “park,” you cannot start the vehicle. Now, change the mode to “neutral” and try restarting your vehicle.

If you try many times but still cannot restart the car, you should seek the help of a repair agent. Because chances are the vehicle is in serious trouble and needs to be serviced immediately before it gets worse.

How you Can avoid your Car Starter from Burning out?

To minimize your engine burnout, you should only hold the ignition key for up to 10 seconds continuously. Instead, release it and let the engine cool for about 60 seconds before making the next start. As a result, the heat generated from the current through the coil will be negligible.

In addition, if the relay unit fails, you should resolve the situation immediately. Because burning many times will cause your engine to have serious problems.


What kills car starters?

Car starters can fail for various reasons, not primarily from overheating. In addition, engine mechanical problems can cause this part to overload, causing the car to overheat. At the same time, oil leakage is also the cause of overheating.

Can a starter go out suddenly?

One of the symptoms you’ll notice when the engine starter fails is a clicking sound when you turn the key. Also, the starter can die without making any sound.

What causes a starter solenoid to burn out?

Abnormalities in ambient temperature can cause the electromagnet to burn out. In addition, when the temperature is high, the insulation of the coil may be damaged and affect the next wire. A heat shield will give you some protection against heat radiation.

How do I know if my starter is burnt out?

  • You can rely on the signs:
  • Pin
  • Smoke
  • Electrical wiring
  • Electric switch system


Hopefully, the article will help you answer the question: “What causes a starter to burn out?” There are many reasons why this happens. Above all, when you find a problem, you should take your car to the dealer. Because sometimes, being subjective can lead to a few other serious issues, affecting the whole car engine system.

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