Skip to Content

Can a Bad Starter Cause a Car to Stall? (Read This First!)

You may already know that a bad alternator can cause a car to stall, but what about a bad starter? does it cause a car to stall or not?

However, some of you perhaps are not aware of the answer to this query, thus, the answers related to this query have been explained ahead, go through the explanations to learn about them.

Can A Bad Starter Cause A Car To Stall?

A bad starter can cause a car to stall. When a car’s starter solenoid or starter relay has burnt out, starter components have been worn out, or the starter is facing electrical issues, the starter goes bad, thereby, the car’s engine doesn’t start upon turning on the key which causes a car to stall.

When there is a bad starter, a car is most likely to be caused by stalling as the car engine doesn’t turn up due to a faulty starter. However, there is a very slight chance that a bad starter will cause a car to cut off completely but it is not an impossible circumstance either, as with a bad starter anything can happen. In this case, if a caused to cut off completely by a bad starter, know that you will get several indications before it finally happens.

Also, your information on whether a bad starter can cause a car to stop while driving or not has been briefly explained here.

Car To Stop While Driving:

If it’s possible to start a car even after having a bad starter, it is quite unlikely that the bad starter will cause the car to stop while it is being driven on the road. But it is not a confirmed statement as the car may stop while driving due to a constantly discharged battery problem or alternator. If it’s a battery issue, a bad starter can be responsible for it because it can cause discharged battery issue that makes a car stop while driving.

How Would A Bad Starter Cause A Car To Stall?

Here, how a car is caused to stall by a bad starter has been listed and explained for your better understanding of such a situation.

A Bad Starter Solenoid:

A bad starter solenoid is a culprit that potentially causes a bad car starter problem which later becomes responsible for causing a car to stall.

The starter solenoid gets power from the car battery, when it isn’t getting sufficient or no battery power, the starter solenoid malfunctions, so it can’t help in transmitting electric power from the car’s battery to the starter. Thereby, the starter goes faulty and makes a clicking sound or no sound at all.

And when a starter goes bad, it becomes incapable of making the car’s engine start or crank it up which causes the car to stall.

Worn Out Starter Components:

Regular wear and tear is the most common cause behind a starter’s components getting worn out over the period, also after an average lifetime of a starter, the starter components naturally start to wear out which causes the starter to go faulty. And a faulty starter with worn-out components will cause a car to stall because when the components are worn-out they can’t make a decent contract. Thereby, the resistance of the brushes raises as well as the battery overheats causing the starter to go bad and eventually making the car stall.

Burnt Starter Relay:

The burned-out starter relay is another reason why a starter can go bad and cause a car to stall. When the starter relay goes bad due to corroded contacts, a worn-out battery, a faulty circuit, or other electrical signals aren’t able to make it from the car battery to the starter, thereby, the starter fails and makes the car stall.

Electrical Issues:

Any electrical issue such as an electrically damaged starter motor, single pinion gear, faulty electrical connections, starter pinion, or damaged freewheel, anything can cause a faulty starter which eventually causes the car to stall.

Can A Bad Starter Solenoid Cause A Car To Stall?

A bad starter solenoid can cause a car to stall because a faulty solenoid eventually causes a bad starter problem which ends up causing a car to stall.

A starter solenoid is basically an electrical device that functions like a special kind of electric relay by forming a portion of the starter circuit and supplying electrical power from the car battery to the car starter. So when the car has a faulty battery, corroded/loose battery terminal or cables, or problems with starting circuit, a bad starter solenoid is caused, and it fails to supply power to the starter from the battery. Thereby, the car engine doesn’t start and stalling happens.

Also. faulty wiring or worn-out wiring are the other possible causes behind a bad starter solenoid that ultimately leaves a whole bad starter which causes a car to stall.

What Happens To A Car When The Starter Goes Out?

Below the potential problems that a car encounters due to a bad starter have been listed so that you can take quick steps to repair whatever the problem is in the future.

Engine Makes Noises:

When the starter goes out, after turning the key on you will be hearing your car to make weird sounds like clicking, grinding, or whirring which is a basic indication of the impending expiration of the starter.

When the starter has gone out due to worn-out components or it’s not engaging appropriately, it will make grinding and if you ignore it, later your car’s engine flywheel will be damaged.

Your car may even face freewheeling due to a bad starter that is making whirring sounds. A faulty starter can’t engage with the flywheel, thus, while cranking the engine, you will hear a whirring sound instead of an engine cranking sound which can end up making you change the full component.

Starter Stays On After Starting:

The circuit responsible for desisting power to the starter motor is meant to be closed after you have started the engine and released the key or let the start button go off. But if it’s staying on even after the ignition of the engine and causing grinding sounds beneath the car, it can mean that because of a bad starter the starter relay has stuck due to being welded together. And eventually your car’s whole starter or transmission flywheel will be damaged.


The starter is powered by continuous supply of electricity, so when it has gone bad but you are still attempting to start the car, electrical power keep continues to be supplied which causes the starter system to overheat. Thereby, you will notice smoke accompanied by burning smell is coming from beneath the engine, and later on, it can cause your car great damage.

Motor Won’t Start:

When it’s a bad starter issue, sometimes even if the starter engages, the motor may not start due to mechanical problems such as dislodged gear against the flywheel or the gear has stripped. In such situations, your car’s whole starter needs to be replaced.

Intermittent Issues Starting The Car:

After attempting to start the car, if it doesn’t start immediately but works fine after trying again and again, it’s due to a bad starter problem where a bad starter relay is at fault. A faulty starter relay either will full-electric power or nothing at all which causes the clicking sounds and overall it can cause damage to your car.

Can You Start And Drive A Car With A Bad Starter?

More often you can start a car with a bad starter than ever. You can attempt to jump-start a car with a bad starter by supplying sufficient amps to the car’s starter so that it can start functioning and the engine cranks up. You can either use a portable jump starter kit or jumper cables and a battery from another car. Or else, you can try to push start the car but it will only work if your car is transmitted manually.

Also, if you have started a car with a bad starter, know that you can drive it too but it’s highly not recommended to drive a car with a bad starter.

How Long Can You Drive With A Bad Starter?

Since it’s not suggested at all to drive with a bad starter, how long you will be able to drive is kind of unidentified. So if you decide to drive with a bad starter and manage to start it, the car may not stop during being driven unless there is a battery or alternator issue.

Final Thoughts

A car will stall due to a bad starter. It’s because when the starter goes bad it happens due to a burnt-out starter solenoid or starter relay, worn-out starter parts, or if the starter has any electrical issue, thereby, the car’s engine doesn’t start in these situations and the car begins to stall.