Starter Buying Guide

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Starter Buying Guide

There are many things that can happen to a vehicle over time with continued use that cause minor inconveniences for a car owner; however a bad starter motor is not one of them. Having a starter go out in a vehicle is more than a minor inconvenience, it is often a nightmare because many times there is not much forewarning, or the car owner does not realise what is creating the problem with the vehicle.

Replacing a starter motor is often a relatively expensive job, so many people choose to do the job themselves. Starters are located at auto parts stores and online at eBay. Since there are many different starters available, it is important to be able to distinguish the difference between them so the right choice is made for the vehicle.

Overview of a Starter

A starter is a vehicle engine part that is usually located on the front lower half of the engine. The starter causes the crankshaft to turn over which allows the vehicle to start by providing a large burst of electrical power to come in contact with the motor of the starter. This is often a part that is crucial to have replaced at the first signs of trouble in order not to leave the vehicle owner stranded. This is one reason why it is important to have regular check-ups on a vehicle by a trained professional so that problems like a worn car starter can be spotted and replaced as soon as possible. There are many tell-tale signs of a starter motor going out that can signal trouble so that the vehicle owner knows what to watch out for.

There are various types of starters that a vehicle owner can choose from. The first requirement necessary in this process is ensuring that the starter is the appropriate one for the vehicle, and then deciding if additional features are desired, such as heavy-duty starters that are designed for high performance engines. That is why it is important to know not only what signs to look for when a starter begins going bad, but also what type of starter to choose.

Repeated Cranking

Being able to recognise the signs that a starter is becoming faulty helps to give the vehicle owner a chance to replace it before problems get too bad. There are times when a starter signals that it is becoming faulty long before it actually stops working and unfortunately, some starters may give little to no warning at all. One of the common signs that a starter needs to be replaced is when the ignition is unable to turn over the motor without the vehicle whining or sputtering.

Often, the ignition can be used to try to start the motor multiple times and the starter eventually kicks in. Repeated cranking before a motor starts is a sign of a bad starter. Trying to get the engine to start in this way can also run the vehicle's battery down quickly as well, especially if the battery is not a strong one to start with. Because of this, a car owner should use care during the cranking process to avoid additional problems that need to be fixed.

No Power Loss

There are times when a car owner enters the vehicle and turns the key, and nothing happens at all. Although there are many different reasons why something like this happens with a vehicle, often the reason is easily diagnosed. For example, if a car battery runs down or the cables are loose, the vehicle is not going to start. Checking the connections and charging the battery is a simple process and helps to rule out one cause of a why a vehicle's motor does not fire up. However, if the lights and radio come on and are amply powered, the chances are good the problem may be resulting from a bad starter.

Making a Starter Purchase More Affordable

Depending on the type of vehicle a person owns, a starter is often a component that is expensive to replace, especially if it is one meant for handling a high performance engine. Although buying a new starter is a viable option, not every vehicle make and model comes equipped with a starter that is cheap to replace. Buying a used starter in good condition helps get a vehicle owner back on the road while saving money at the same time.

Because it cannot always be guaranteed that a used starter is one that lasts for a long period of time, some people choose to buy remanufactured starters. These starters have had all of the faulty components removed and replaced with new ones or with good, used components, and they often last longer than some used models found on late model vehicles.

Types of Starters

There are a variety of starters available to solve almost any starter replacement need. When choosing a starter, it is important to assess the needs of the engine. Some engines are ones that are have a lot of horsepower, and in that case, a starter that can handle this job repeatedly is often the best option. Listed in the table below are some popular types of starters as well as the notable characteristics of each.

Type of Starter

Notable Characteristics

High performance

Meant to handle high performance engines such as ones used in racing and other such endeavours

Remote starter

Used to start a vehicle without needing to enter it

Used for vehicles with automatic transmissions

Standard starter

Made with components that meet but often do not exceed starter specifications

There are various types of starters and the type of starter needed often depends not only upon the make and model of the vehicle, but upon the year as well. Most starters are equipped to handle more than one vehicle model year, so this makes finding the right one much simpler.

For those people who own vintage automobiles, finding a starter is sometimes very difficult. Even when a vintage starter is located, some of the components may not all operate efficiently. That is why many people choose to buy multiple car starters for parts and combine working components to create an efficient model themselves.

How to Buy a Starter on eBay

Finding auto parts and accessories is often difficult for people who have late model vehicles or who have vehicles with special requirements. Sometimes it takes multiple trips to various locations to find the right part. This can be very frustrating for people, so that is one of the reason why people choose to shop on eBay for great deals on auto parts like starters.

Finding the right starter is an easy process. All you need to do is to enter relevant keywords into the search query box. If you are looking for a starter for a vintage Buick, you can use keywords such as "vintage Buick starter" and all starters tagged with those keywords are displayed for you to browse through.


There is probably no feeling that is as bad as getting up in the morning, getting in a vehicle and finding out that it does not start. Often there are tell-tale signs that signal starter problems; however, the vehicle owner needs to know how to recognise them in order to avoid a problem like this one.

Many people replace a starter themselves and not everyone starts out this type of repair work knowing what to look for when it comes to buying a starter, or even what types of starters are available. There are starters that offer convenience like a remote car starter, as well as ones that work well with high performance engines, so knowing what starters are available and how to choose one makes the buying process easy.

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