Can A Starter Solenoid Drain A Battery?

Can A Starter Solenoid Drain A Battery?

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the solenoid is one of the most important components of a vehicle. It enables your car’s ignition system to reach the starter motor, causing the car to start with ease. In case you don’t know, the starter solenoid works by transmitting electrical current from the battery to the car starter.

No doubt, the starter solenoid plays an important role in how a car runs smoothly. However, you need to understand that it isn’t without its issues. One of the common symptoms of a faulty starter solenoid is starting issues. Yes, with a faulty solenoid, the car starter will fail to perform its function, which is to start the engine. But here’s a burning question; can a bad starter solenoid drain a car battery?

A starter solenoid can surely drain your car battery. The starter tends to draw a lot of current from the battery. In the case where the engine fails to start and the ignition switch remains continuously in action to get the car into action, it can cause the battery to drain in about 4 to 5 minutes.

Some of the frequently asked questions regarding car starters are – what are the warning signs of bad starters? Is it possible for a bad starter motor to drain the battery? What is the best way to test car starters for battery drain? In the rest of this post, you’ll find answers that matter to these burning questions and more; so read on.

What Are the Bad Starter Symptoms?

Can A Starter Solenoid Drain A Battery?

Before going ahead to talk about the symptoms of faulty or bad car starters, here’s a quick question; what exactly is a starter and what does it do?

A car starter is a small motor engineered to rotate or crank an internal combustion engine. Powered by the car battery, the primary function of the device is to get the engine started under its power. Furthermore, the car starter has a relay, which usually sits in between the battery and the starter motor. The work of the relay is to transmit electrical power from the battery to the starter.

As you can see, there’s no denying that the car starter plays an integral role in how the car engine gets into operation. Now, let’s go back to the burning question; what will happen when a car starter becomes faulty? What exactly are the symptoms of a bad starter?

1. There’s light but the engine isn’t working

One of the few symptoms that you’ll get to understand that your car starter may be faulty is when you find light coming from the dashboard but the engine itself fails to come up. No doubt, this issue doesn’t always happen. However, any time you notice something like this, it could be a sign that you have a bad starter.

2. When your engine fails to crank

Another common warning sign that you’ll get when you have a faulty starter solenoid is when your car engine fails to crank or start. So, whenever you experience this kind of issue, the first thing that should come to your mind is the starter – just find a way to diagnose it.

3. No click sounds

I’m sure you know that a car, most often, will produce clicking sounds anytime you try to start it. A common symptom that you’ll get to understand that the starter is bad is when there’s no clicking noise when you’re trying to start your vehicle’s engine. Well, if this happens, it could mean that the problem is coming from the starter solenoid or the starter relay.

4. Engine cranks, but sluggishly

As earlier mentioned, if your car engine fails to crank, it could be a sign that the starter is bad. However, you need to understand that it’s possible to get your engine crank and still have a faulty starter. Although this rarely happens, having your car engine cranks sluggishly is a good sign that you’re using a bad starter.

5. Smoke

Another warning sign that you’ll get to understand that your car starter is failing is when you see smoke coming from your car hood. I’m certain you know that the starter is part of the electrical system of your vehicle. Unfortunately, if there is an issue with the fuse or short circuit, it could result in smoke, causing the starter to become defective.

Can a Faulty Starter Motor Drain the Battery?

Can A Starter Solenoid Drain A Battery?

The straightforward answer to this question is yes, a faulty or bad starter motor can drain your car battery. As earlier mentioned, the car starter is powered by a battery and tends to draw a lot of current from the car battery when you get it to work. However, if the engine fails to start when you get the starter to work, which is a common symptom of a bad starter, and you continue to engage the ignition switch for a long time, it could cause the battery to drain completely – possibly in a couple of minutes.

How to Test the Starter for Battery Drain?

Do you continuously have battery drain and you’re confused as to whether or not the issue is coming from the starter? If yes, the best way to find out what is going on is to diagnose the starter.

You can check below for the step by step guide On how to test your car starter for any battery drain:

  • First, you need to try and turn over the car engine. If after trying, the engine fails to turn over, two things are involved. It could either be that the battery is drained or you’re having a faulty starter.
  • To understand if the starter is responsible for the issue, start by opening the hood of your vehicle. After that, remove the battery terminals starting with the negative. Next, reconnect the terminals and turn on a couple of components, such as the headlight. If the components fail to dim, it means the issue is with the starter.

Can a Starter Cause Parasitic Drain?

Yes, your car starter can cause parasitic drain or current draw to your car battery. This type of issue often stems from the starter motor brush box.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

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