Starter motor: How do I tell if mine is about to expire?
Starter motors do have a habit of quietly going on “strike” without any warning.
They do not have documented lifespans.
Sometimes, you cannot do much to avoid such a situation.
That said, in most cases, there are tell-tale signs that there is a problem with it.
Or the electrical circuit of the starting system.
The most obvious sign is a “lazy” or slow-cranking response when you try to fire-up the engine.
However, this symptom is not definitive.
It may be caused by a weak battery or even deteriorated motor cabling.
Even for one specific car model, there is no pattern to identify exactly how many years it will last or at what mileage it will fail.
The starter motor is the highest consumer of a 12-volt battery’s electrical energy.
It is a high-torque, high-speed motor that turns the engine to its minimum self-sustainable speed of between 70-100rpm.
Most starter motors in petrol-engine cars are rated at about 2kW.
The condition of your battery and main 12-volt supply cable is critical.
Check and ascertain (or as your mechanic to) that these items are functioning properly and in good health.
If they are, then the slow-cranking persists, you can then conclude that the starter motor is nearing the end of its serviceable life.