Bad Starter Motor: How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Car’s Starter?

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To start your car, you turn on the ignition sending a jolt of electricity to the starter motor, which starts cranking your engine to get it running.

If you have a bad starter motor, this can’t happen – potentially stranding you and leaving you with a costly repair!

Starter motors are a key component of your car, and at some point in any car’s lifespan, it may need a new one.

Keep reading to find out what you can expect to pay to replace a starter motor and learn about signs your car might be giving you to let you know it’s time to get a new starter.

Estimate Cost to Replace a Starter Motor

Whenever you consider the cost to fix or replace a car component, you have to factor in the cost of parts and labor.

A starter motor is actually relatively inexpensive (though we are talking car parts here, so it’s not exactly cheap).

New starter motors themselves can range anywhere between $80 to $350, depending on your car. 

The starter replacement costs really come down to the labor costs involved.

Labor for a starter motor replacement can vary depending on how difficult the job is. Some starters take more time to replace than others. Labor can cost you anywhere between $150 to $1,000.

Though some may end up paying over $1,000, the average cost for a starter motor replacement hovers right around $500

Can a Bad Starter Be Repaired, or Does it Have to Be Replaced?

A faulty starter can potentially be repaired rather than replaced.

In many cases, components of a starter motor can easily be replaced to solve the starter’s issue.

However, given that starters can be relatively inexpensive, it often makes more sense to just replace the starter motor completely.

Sometimes labor to repair a starter can also end up costing more than just replacing the starter.

Your mechanic should advise you on the best course of action.

How Long Will it Take to Replace Your Car’s Starter?

Like with so many car fixes, the time it takes to finish replacing a starter varies by car.

Some starter motors are very easily accessible and can be swapped out within minutes, while others are much more difficult to get to and come with complications that can make the process last several hours.

If your mechanic is not busy and has the right parts, you should have your starter motor replaced within the day.

What are the symptoms of a bad starter motor?

So, how do you know if you may need to replace your car’s starter motor?

There are some key signs indicate that you might need to replace or rebuild your starter motor.

As you might have guessed, they all happen when you try to start your car.

Signs of a Bad Starter

When you suspect that your starter motor has failed, look for these signs when you turn on the car’s ignition:

  • Clicking sound.
  • Grinding.
  • Slow turning engine.
  • Lights go on, but nothing else is starting up.

If you experience any of these, it could mean it’s time to replace your starter.

However, it’s important to remember that the problem may not be the starter (or just the starter).

Noticing these signs could also mean that you have a dead battery or even a bad alternator.

There could also be problems with wiring or fuses.

Your first check should be to check that your battery has enough charge. Oftentimes, when you see signs that a starter might be bad, it isn’t actually the starter at all.

Be sure to consult with an expert if you are not sure what the problem is. Sometimes it may be a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix.

How Long Will a Starter Motor Last?

It really depends.

Starter motors are pretty unpredictable, but on average, a starter motor will typically last up to 150,000 miles.

Older starter motors have been said to have about 80,000 starts in them, but that has never been a very good standard to determine a starter’s lifespan. 

In general, you should be safe waiting for any signs that the starter needs attention before looking to replace or repair it.