How Long Do Car Starters Last? A Detailed Discussion

Car starters are a common part of how cars work. They help to ensure that the vehicle can start up easily and smoothly, even when conditions are tough. But how long do car starters last?

Starters can malfunction for many reasons. They have a specific lifespan and are bound to wear off after that time. Also, your driving habit, your vehicle’s age, and a few other factors play a role in how long they’re going to last. If you commute every day, then this could lead to quicker wear on your starter. Also, older vehicles may have more wear and tear on them, which leads to premature failure of their starters.

What Causes A Starter To Go Bad?

The purpose of a starter is to turn the engine so that the ECM commands fuel and spark to start the combustion process. Without the functions of the starter, your car can’t start and run like usual. Although this part rarely malfunctions, there are still some causes making your starter become useless quickly. Knowing the culprits of the car starter problems can help you diagnose and fix the problem timely, improving the lifespan of the car starter.

is it easy to replace a starter
Is it easy to replace a starter (Photo:

Damaged brush 

Brushes play an important role, making electricity flow from the stator to the rotor, thereby creating a vortex magnetic field that helps the motor rotate. During the operation of your engine, the brush is often rubbed against the metal surface, over time, this part will wear out and degrade the function. In addition, corroded carbon can produce a thin layer of soot that adheres to insulating surfaces. The gap between the rotor and the stator causes it to be filled and if this layer of coal mines is too thick, it can jam the rotor.

Faulty relay 

The relay is a part that is responsible for opening and closing electricity thanks to the contacts. In the starting system, the relay is linked to the starter ring gear and the starter gear. Only when these two gears are connected can current flow through. If the relay is damaged, it will cause a misalignment of gear that makes the engine difficult to start. The cause of this situation may be damage to the bad coil, causing the contact to open / close continuously. If you don’t detect and deal with this problem soon, the starter will definitely be damaged.

Failed solenoid switch 

Its main responsibility turns on the starter motor when starting the ignition process. When the solenoid receives a signal, it gets power from the battery and closes the switch so that the power is used to spin the starter motor and engine. When the solenoid switch is bad, it will cause a clicking sound from the starter motor. 

Besides these 3 reasons, there are still other causes of the bad starter like faulty installation, bad battery or loose bolts…

How Long Do Car Starters Last?

Starters are a simple but vital component of the car engine. It does not cost much but the replacement is kind of complicated, adding to the labor cost. Shall you be worried about its failure? Not really. If you know about the average lifespan of a car starter, you can be on time with your maintenance schedule and avoid the complications related to a failed starter.

How long does a starter last in a car? Counting mileage is not the most reliable way of clocking the life of a starter. Two starters from the same manufacturers are unlikely to last the same length of time. A car starter can last somewhere between 200,000 and 30,000 miles. So, you cannot tell whether the starter is about to die just by looking at the mileage.

average lifespan of a car starter
A car starter motor. (Credit: Willdre / Wikipedia)

However, if you are driving an older vehicle or one with higher mileage, the starter may need replacement sooner than these numbers suggest.

How many years does a starter last? It’s also difficult to predict there is no standard time period. But it’s likely to last for years. A brand-new fault-free starter can last up to 80,000 times, which is a huge number. Given that you only need to start your car twice per day, you will only use 730 starts in a year. In reality, the number will be lower because you don’t need to drive the car every day.

How Often Should You Change Your Starter?

How long does a car starter last? As there’s no specific way to tell, you should watch out for the warning signs. Sometimes, it just stops working without showing any symptoms. Otherwise, you should be alert for these signs:

  • It takes several attempts for the starter motor to engage.
  • The starter turns over slower than the normal time. It may happen even if the car has a brand-new or fully charged battery.
  • The starter motor does not work on a hot engine but functions normally when the engine cools down.
  • Unusual screeching sounds coming from the starter.


How To Elongate The Lifespan Of Your Car Starter? 

To make sure that the starter is always in good working order and does not affect the use of the car, you need to ensure the following 3 conditions:

  • Regular maintenance of the car’s electrical system every 5,000km or 6000 km. Do a general check to understand the condition of the car alternator. If there are signs of damage, it should be replaced with a new one to avoid problems with the engine.
  • Make sure the car battery provides enough power. In order for the starter to work properly, it needs to have the right amount of power. So, every time you do maintenance, you also need to check and maintain the battery.
  • Regularly check the electrical connection to the starter. Check if the electrical system connected to the starter is loose, misaligned, or open to fix it in time.

A starter is just a small part, but it has a very important task in your car. Therefore, when experiencing abnormal symptoms, it is best for drivers to go to reputable repair centers, and check for an accurate diagnosis to come up with suitable treatment plans or replace a starter. When noticing any symptoms of grinding or clicking when you start your car, you should check out whether the starter needs to be replaced or you can take your car to the mechanic. If you are not sure about the exact time to change the car starter, you should consult with your trusted mechanic to have the best advice. 

replacing a starter
If the starter is beyond repair, replacing is the best way you need to do. (Photo:

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Starter?

If the starter is beyond repair, replacing is the best way you need to do. However, many drivers have wondered about the time to replace the part and how much exact time we will need to make this process. 

It’s not an easy job to replace the car starter and it may consume a little bit of time to finish the replacement process. Normally, this task will take you from 1 to several hours to replace a starter depending on your experience and the make and model of the car. We can take an example if your car is a V6 engine, it will be more complicated than a V8 engine and it will take you more time because there are always more variants in V6 engines.

In contrast, V8 engines have bigger engines so it will help you easily access the parts in the engine bay including the starter motor and you will have more space to work during replacing the starter.  Additionally, when you change the starter by yourself, you should spend about a half day or even more to complete this process due to the complicated arrangement of the engine. To shorten the time, before the replacement process, you need to prepare professional tools to facilitate the execution. 


So, how long do car starters last? Well, you already know that it has many factors involved. Depending on how often the engine turns over, how old your vehicle actually is, and how you take care of it are all important parts to how long a starter will function properly. We hope that our article will give you a piece of full knowledge about the car starter to help you understand more about the function and the lifespan of this part of your car