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Can You Jumpstart a Car with a Bad Starter? (Answered)

When you are in such a dreadful situation where your car is not just starting when you need it to start the most, jump-starting your car certainly would be the first thought in your mind.

Thereby, you may want to know whether you can jump-start your car with a bad starter or not. Keep reading ahead to know the answer.

Can You Jumpstart A Car With A Bad Starter?

Jump-starting a car with a bad starter doesn’t guarantee to start the car engine, instead, it will only increase the battery power. However, if it’s a non-automatic transmission car with a bad starter, jump-starting may work to start the engine, but it’ll not work for an automatic transmission car.

Jump-starting the car basically means receiving energy from another car’s battery by connecting jumper cables.

But most of the time in such a case, it’s not guaranteed at all that jump-starting a car with a bad starter is going to help the car to start its engine, which means the result provably will be zero.

Especially if it’s an auto transmission car, jump-starting such cars with a bad starter absolutely will not help starting the engine, rather will need help from an auto mechanic shop.

However, there’s also another definition of jump-starting with a bad starter which says to roll the car to a slope or a penchant and try to jump-start the car. This method may work but it only will work with non-automatic transmission cars. 

And in this case, the car has to be in a neutral condition, the ignition has to be turned on, the car should be pushed through a slope by many people, and the driver has to be seated on his seat waiting for some speed.

The second gear should be applied and the clutch should be released slowly. And the movement would be responsible for turning the engine on. 

Jump-starting a car with a bad starter is not recommended for car owners or drivers with minimum skills.

Will My Car Jumpstart If The Starter Is Bad?

Whether your car will jump-start if it has a bad starter or not entirely depends on your definition by jump-starting. 

If you are meaning to use the jumper cables (the most prevalent meaning) to receive electrical power from another car’s battery to your car, your car most possibly will not jump-start, nor it will make any change. 

But if you are meaning to push or roll your car that has a bad starter through a slope, then probably your car will jump-start even if it’s a bad starter.

Many car owners stated that they themselves have adopted this way to jumpstart their car with a bad starter and it worked. However, remember that in this case, your car has to be a car with a non-automatic transmission, not an automatic transmission car.

Can A Jump Start Help A Bad Starter?

A jump start can help a bad starter only if your car’s battery is in a full functioning condition and you have a complete set of tools to jump-start your car. 

When the car’s battery is working well enough, upon connecting the jump cables should usually be capable of providing the starter with sufficient electrical power to make your car start again.

In this technique, jump-starting supplies adequate energy to swirl the car starter’s armature. 

However, nothing basically isn’t perfectly set in stone when it comes to auto-mechanics, thus, a jump-start only can help a bad starter temporarily only if the battery is fully functioning.

Why You Cannot Jumpstart A Car With A Bad Starter?

A bad battery makes the main reason why you cannot jump-start a car with a bad starter. It’s because when the battery is faulty, your car will be needing more than a jump-start.

Besides, even if the battery is working well due to not having proper jump tools, you may not able to jump-start your car. 

Moreover, if you are driving an auto transmission car, you may not be able to jump-start such a car with a bad starter. 

However, only if the battery is working and you got proper jump-starting tools, you may be can jump-start a car with a bad starter but it’s neither guaranteed nor a permanent solution. 

How To Jumpstart A Car With A Bad Starter? 

Jump-starting your car with a bad starter might seem a little difficult to many of you, thus, a step-by-step guide is added below for your convenience. 

Tools You Will Be Needing: 

  • Spare Charged Battery
  • Jumper cables 
  • Hammer 
  • Gloves 
  • A screwdrive

Locate The Car Battery: 

First, open the car’s hood and find the battery. If you aren’t recognizing which one is the car’s battery, check on the internet or the given car’s manual.  

Also, upon discovering the car’s battery if the batter appears to be bloated or if it’s leaking, do not try to proceed with jump-starting, rather call a mechanic. 

Use Red Jumper Cable To Establish A Connection: 

In the next step, you have to use the jumper cables to connect the spare fully charged battery with the current weak car’s battery. 

Without disconnecting the weak car battery, use the red jumper cable which is the positive wire to link the weak battery’s positive terminal to the spare battery’s positive terminal.

Use Black Jumper Cable To Establish A Connection: 

Then, use the black jumper cable to link the spare charged battery’s negative terminal to a bare metal component on the stranded car of yours. 

Turn On Ignition And Wait: 

Lastly, turn on your car’s ignition and let the weak battery to get charged up.

If your car’s battery is completely a drained out one then it might take 5-20 minutes to get charged up hinging on the car’s battery health, the car’s engine type, and DOD. 

And after jump-starting your car, disconnect the negative clamp of jumper cables first and then the positive clam. And make sure the negative and positive clamps don’t touch each other.

How To Test If The Starter Is Bad?

Many of you may not perceive the signs of a bad starter, therefore, the symptoms of a bad starter have been illustrated below so that you can test if the starter is bad or not.

Dashboard Lights: 

A classic symptom of an about to go bad or a bad starter is the appearance of illuminating dashboard lights. 

While trying to turn on the engine of your car to start the car if dashboard lights only appear, but the car engine isn’t powering up or cranking over, it means your starter is having a problem. 


While trying to turn your car’s key if you hear a dreaded “clicking-sound”, it could be a real sign of a failing starter. Also, even if you don’t hear a clicking-sound, there still might be issues with the starter.

Grinding Sound: 

When the car’s starter’s drive gear has been worn out as well as not connecting appropriately, a grinding sound is produced and it’s a symptom of a bad starter.

This grinding sound also warns about the flywheel having an issue. Don’t neglect these signs and take help from a professional instead.

Engine Isn’t Cranking Up: 

Even after trying a jump-start to start the car if the car’s engine isn’t cranking up, it’s a very clear sign of a bad starter. If the engine cranks over sluggishly or the starter is struggling to turn the engine, it also is a sign of a failing starter. 


Smoke is most like to appear when the starter is overheated due to excess power is being taken out from the car’s battery to the car’s starter while desperately trying to start the car.

So if you notice smoking coming out with a burning smell, know that your starter has gone bad.

Oil-Soaked Starter: 

A starter is placed at the underside of the car engine, so it’s pretty susceptible to getting drenched with oil leaking from the car engine. If you open your car’s hood and notice that the starter is soaked in engine oil, it can cause a malfunctioning starter.


After turning on the ignition switch if you hear whining-like sound and the car engine isn’t cranking up, it means the car starter gear isn’t connecting with the flywheel. If it happens, know that the starter has failed and you need a new starter. 

Broken Solenoid: 

The solenoid supplies electric power to the starter from the car’s battery when the switch of ignition is turned on, but if the solenoid got broken, the starter will not work anymore.

Final Thoughts 

Jump-starting most likely is not going to start a car with a bad starter. But if the car’s battery is working well, maybe trying to jump-start with a jumper cable will help to start the car engine again, but it’s also not guaranteed. Also, jump-starting may not work with an auto transmission car.