Frustrated by the constant clicking sound when you turn the key? Many car owners experience this issue, which can be caused by a faulty starter.
But before you call a mechanic and spend a fortune on repairs, have you considered using a simple yet effective method to get your car up and running again?
That’s right; I am talking about hammering the starter.
Now, you may be thinking, “What? Hitting my car with a hammer? That can’t be right!”
But guess what?
It’s a well-known trick among car enthusiasts and mechanics alike. It’s a simple yet effective solution that can save you time, money, and frustration. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process, step by step, to help you tap the starter like a pro.
Table of Contents
- What is a Starter?
- Does Hitting a Car Starter With a Hammer Help?
- Why Tap the Starter With a Hammer?
- Where to Hit the Starter With a Hammer?
- Precautions When Tapping the Starter
- When to Tap the Starter With a Hammer?
What is a Starter?
A starter is a small electric motor responsible for starting your car’s engine. It works by drawing power from the battery and using that power to turn the engine over. Think of it this way: the starter is like the spark that ignites a fire.
Without it, your car’s engine simply won’t start. And when the starter fails, you’ll be left with a dead car that won’t budge, no matter how hard you try to turn the key. There are different types of starters, but most modern cars use what’s called a “gear-reduction starter”.
This type of starter is smaller and lighter than its predecessors, yet more powerful and efficient. It’s designed to last for years, but like all mechanical parts, it can wear out over time or fail due to other issues.
Does Hitting a Car Starter With a Hammer Help?
Hitting a car starter with a hammer can sometimes help if the starter is failing or stuck. Tapping the starter with a hammer can dislodge any stuck parts and get it working again. Although tapping the starter with a hammer is a temporary fix and should not be relied upon as a long-term solution.
Why Tap the Starter With a Hammer?
You may be wondering, why tap the starter with a hammer? It sounds odd, right? But believe it or not, this technique can work wonders in some cases. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Helps Dislodge Stuck Parts
When a starter fails, it’s often due to a worn-out solenoid or a bad connection. However, the starter gear can sometimes get stuck in the flywheel, preventing the engine from turning over. Tapping the starter with a hammer can help dislodge the stuck gear and get it back in working order.
2. Helps Free up a Frozen Starter
In colder climates, starters can freeze up due to moisture and cold temperatures. Tapping the starter can help free up any frozen parts and get the motor running again.
3. Saves Time and Money
Let’s face it, car repairs can be expensive, and a failed starter is no exception. By tapping the starter with a hammer and getting it to work again, you can potentially save yourself a trip to the mechanic and a hefty repair bill.
4. Easy and Quick
Tapping the starter with a hammer is a quick and easy fix that can be done with minimal tools and experience. It’s a great option to try before resorting to more complicated troubleshooting methods.
Where to Hit the Starter With a Hammer?
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why tapping the starter with a hammer can work, let’s explore where exactly you should tap the starter to get the best results.
1. Locate the Starter
The first step is to locate the starter. It’s usually located near the engine, often on the bottom or side. Refer to your car’s manual if you’re not sure where to find it.
2. Identify the Solenoid
The solenoid is a cylindrical part of the starter that is attached to the motor. It’s where the electrical connections and wiring are located.
3. Find a Solid Point
Once you’ve located the starter and identified the solenoid, find a solid point on the starter motor casing. This is where you’ll tap the hammer.
4. Give it a Tap
Using a hammer, gently tap the solid point on the starter motor casing a few times. Don’t hit it too hard or too many times, as this can cause damage. The idea is to give it a gentle nudge to help dislodge any stuck parts or free up a frozen starter.
5. Try Starting the Car
After tapping the starter with a hammer, try starting the car. If it starts up, congratulations! You’ve successfully used the tapping technique to get your car up and running again. If it doesn’t work, don’t worry – there may be other issues causing the problem, and it’s best to seek professional help.
Precautions When Tapping the Starter
While tapping the starter with a hammer can be helpful in certain situations, it’s important to take some precautions to avoid causing further damage to your car. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Use a Rubber Mallet
Instead of using a metal hammer, use a rubber mallet to tap the starter. This will help prevent any damage to the starter or other components in the engine.
2. Don’t Hit Too Hard
It’s important not to hit the starter too hard or too many times. A few gentle taps are all that’s needed. Hitting it too hard can cause damage to the starter or other parts of the engine.
3. Disconnect the Battery
Before attempting to tap the starter, disconnecting the battery is a good idea. This will prevent any electrical shock or damage to the electrical components of your car.
4. Use Caution Around Moving Parts
When working near the engine, be sure to use caution around any moving parts or hot components. Make sure the car is in park and the emergency brake is engaged before attempting any repairs.
5. Seek Professional Help if Unsure
If you’re unsure about how to tap the starter or if the problem is more complex, it’s best to seek professional help. Attempting to fix the problem yourself without proper knowledge or experience can lead to further damage to your car.
When to Tap the Starter With a Hammer?
Knowing when to tap the starter with a hammer can save you time and money on costly repairs. Here are some situations where tapping the starter with a hammer might be helpful:
1. Starter is Making a Clicking Noise
If you turn the key and the starter is making a clicking noise but the engine won’t turn over, tapping the starter with a hammer may help. This is a sign that the starter motor is failing or is stuck, and tapping it can sometimes dislodge any stuck parts and get it working again.
2. Car Won’t Start on a Cold Day
On cold days, the oil in the engine can thicken and make it harder for the starter motor to turn the engine over. Tapping the starter with a hammer can help free up any frozen parts and get the engine started.
3. Starter is Grinding or Whining
If you hear a grinding or whining noise when you turn the key, it’s a sign that the starter gear isn’t engaging properly. Tapping the starter can help free up the gear and get it working again.
4. Battery is Good but the Engine Won’t Turn Over
If you know your battery is good but the engine still won’t turn over, tapping the starter may help. This is a sign that the starter motor is failing or is stuck, and tapping it can sometimes get it working again.
How Long Will Tapping the Starter Work?
Tapping the starter with a hammer is usually a temporary fix that may get the starter working again for a short period, ranging from a few starts to a few days or weeks.
Why Does Hitting A Starter Make It Work?
Tapping the starter with a hammer can sometimes cause enough vibration to free up the stuck parts, allowing the starter motor to turn the engine over again. Additionally, hitting the starter with a hammer can sometimes create enough electrical connection to temporarily engage the starter motor.
Hitting the starter with a hammer can be a helpful technique in certain situations, such as when the starter is making a clicking noise, the car won’t start on a cold day, the starter is grinding or whining, or the battery is good, but the engine won’t turn over.
However, it’s important to take precautions to avoid causing further damage to your car, such as using a rubber mallet, not hitting too hard, disconnecting the battery, using caution around moving parts, and seeking professional help if unsure.