Most people rely on their cars on a daily basis as a way to get to work, run errands, and enjoy good times with family and friends. A well maintained car can deliver highly reliable results and will start up virtually every time you sit down behind the wheel. Yet those who neglect basic automotive upkeep may find themselves faced with unsettling problems.
One common issue involves a car that exhibits an unusual degree of difficulty in starting up. If your engine creaks and cranks several times before begrudgingly turning over, you must contact a professional as soon as possible. This article takes a look at four of the most common issues that lie behind a slow starting car.
1. Faulty Starter Wire
When you turn the key in your car, you activate the ignition switch. This sends a low-powered jolt of electricity to the starter circuit, which produces the higher-powered jolt needed to turn over your engine. Of course, the starter does not supply the actual electricity; it simply acts as the trigger to release the electricity from your battery.
The starter connects to your car battery by wires. Turning the key in your ignition closes the circuit between starter and battery, thus allowing the necessary electricity to flow. Yet if the wires running between these two components have become damaged, corroded, or loose, your car may struggle to start.
Such problems inhibit the smooth flow of electrical current. As the damage continues to grow worse, you may eventually find that your car will not start at all. You may simply need to have a professional inspect, repair, and/or replace the wires connecting your starter to your battery to resolve your slow starting.
2. Aging Starter
An automotive starter uses both electrical and mechanical components to start your car. Both parts of a starter experience wear as time goes on, and at some point they will cease to function properly. The starter motor receives power through electrical contacts, which get worn down by the large amounts of electrical current that flow through them.
As the contacts wear, they struggle to transfer power to the starter motor. As a result, the starter motor fails to spin as rapidly as it should. On the mechanical side of things, the starter gear that engages your engine's flywheel experiences friction that causes the gear to wear down. Eventually, the gear may fail to engage the flywheel tightly, leading to a noticeable difficulty in starting your car.
3. Bad Battery
As noted above, the starter draws its charge directly from your battery. Turning over a car's engine requires a significant amount of power. An aging battery may have trouble supplying the necessary jolt. As a battery nears the end of its lifespan, it can no longer produce adequate amounts of voltage.
If a bad battery lies behind your slow starts, you may also notice other problems with your electrical system. For instance, your headlights, radio, or security systems may fail to operate as normal. Fortunately, replacing your battery should resolve all of these issues.
4. Faulty Alternator
Your battery maintains the necessary charge through the action of the alternator. The alternator uses your engine's mechanical energy to recharge your battery. Yet if your alternator has developed problems that prevent it from working correctly, your battery may remain chronically undercharged.
This issue often masquerades as a bad battery, with most of the symptoms being the same. If you suspect that either your battery or your alternator has fallen into disrepair, seek out professional assistance as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact Detroit's auto experts at Redford Auto Repair.