How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter With A Screwdriver

How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter With A Screwdriver
How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter With A Screwdriver


Starting a car with a faulty starter motor could be a tricky task for many drivers. However, there is an alternative solution to avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere. By using a screwdriver and following some simple steps, you can easily start your car, even with a bad starter.

To begin with, locate the ignition switch under the steering wheel column and remove its cover to access the wiring harness. Next, identify two wires that go from the ignition switch to the starter motor; one wire is usually red or black, and the other is purple.

Now, insert the screwdriver between these two wires’ connectors and short them by turning on or pushing the key in an ON position. This action will complete the circuit and send power directly to the starter motor.

It’s important to keep yourself safe while performing this method. Make sure that your vehicle is in a neutral or park position and that you are standing in a secured location.

Pro Tip: If your car frequently experiences such problems, it’s wise to replace or repair your starter instead of using this method every time you start your engine.

Understanding a Bad Starter

A Definitive Guide to Diagnosing and Resolving a Faulty Starter

When starting the engine, a bad starter will produce either slow cranking or no sound at all. A faulty starter may be caused by problems with the battery, wiring, solenoid, or the starter motor itself.

  • Slow Cranking: When turning over the engine, if you hear a sluggish-sounding noise, it indicates that there is not enough juice in the battery to activate the starter motor.
  • No Sound: When you turn the ignition key and you hear absolutely nothing, not even a clicking noise from under your hood, this is an obvious sign of a faulty starter.
  • Dash Lights Turning Off: If your dash lights fade whenever you attempt to start your car, then it’s clear that your car can’t handle both the needs and energy requirements of the starter together
  • Clicking Noise: Another symptom of a bad solenoid is hearing clicking sounds when starting up without engaging with the crankshaft effectively or consistently.
  • Loud Whirring Sounds:
    When attempting to start up your car and noticing loud whirring or churning sounds coming from the underside of it, these noises often indicate a damaged gear drive in your starter motor.
  • Burnt Smell: If you smell something burning after trying to start your vehicle or after some driving time, it probably implies overheated electric wires due to current flow issues within your car’s system, reportedly originating from diagnosed problems with wiring.


A troubled power supply can harm more than just one component, so if replacing components doesn’t fix the problem, jump-starting an internal interface using appropriate equipment might prove instrumental.

Some suggestions could include cleaning cable ends and connectors thoroughly while inspecting wires for cracks or leaks and reinforcing as needed. If significant burn marks exist, try replacing that section instead of patching what could go wrong in the future by using good-quality dielectric grease during installation. The process not only assists with better contact but also extends the life of your vehicle’s electrical system—finally, when stuck with a bad starter or dead battery on the go, emergency jumper cables might do the job if you know how to jump-start an engine without endangering the functionality of other components and making sure our auxiliary car is matched with our own car’s specifications.

How to Start a Car with a Bad Starter

Starting a car with a faulty starter requires an alternative method to ignite the engine. One option is using a screwdriver to connect the circuit and turn on the engine. Here’s a guide on how to do it:

  1. Locate the starter motor; it’s usually underneath the car and near the transmission.
  2. Find the ignition switch wire; it’s connected to the ignition switch and runs to the starter.
  3. Connect the screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the ignition switch wire and touch the end to the positive terminal of the car battery.
  4. Turn the ignition key; once the connection is made, turn the key to the “on” position, and the engine should start.
  5. Disconnect the screwdriver. Once the engine is running, remove the screwdriver from the ignition switch wire and put it away.

It’s worth noting that this method is not a permanent solution and should only be used in emergencies. Additionally, using a screwdriver to start a car can be dangerous, so use caution and seek professional help to repair the starter as soon as possible.

Pro Tip: Before attempting to start a car with a bad starter, make sure the battery is fully charged and the engine oil level is adequate. This can help prevent further damage to the engine and ensure a successful start.

Step 1: Switch Off the Vehicle

When dealing with a car that has a bad starter, the first step to take is to turn off the vehicle. This ensures that the starting system is not engaged, preventing further damage from occurring.

To switch off the vehicle in this situation, follow these three steps:

  1. Tilt your steering wheel all the way up and ensure that it’s locked in place.
  2. Put your car gearshift in “park” (automatic) or “reverse” (manual).
  3. Turn your car key back one notch so that all electrical components are switched off.

It’s important to note that leaving your car in “drive” or “neutral” can be quite dangerous as it could lead to unintended movement of the vehicle and result in accidents.

To ensure safety always comes first when dealing with car starters, make sure you engage all safety protocols when working under a car hood.

Did you know? Staring at an oncoming light while rotating can help relieve dizziness according to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Step 2: Locate the Starter Motor

Locating the Starting Motor is an essential step in starting a car with a failing starter. To do this, find the engine’s bottom part and locate the rounded or cylindrical object connected to it. This object is often on one side of the engine and has wires connected to it.

  1. Ensure that the car’s hood is open before proceeding.
  2. Inspect under the engine for a rounded or cylindrical object.
  3. Check for wires attached to it or bolts that hold it in place.
  4. If unsure, consult your car’s manual for specific instructions.
  5. A flashlight may illuminate the starter motor’s location better.
  6. Take note of its location as this will be essential in later steps.

It is crucial to take safety precautions before proceeding to Step 3 and avoid touching any parts if unsure of what they are.

Pro Tip: If unable to find the starter motor, try following the red battery cable running to its other end as this joining point often connects directly to the starter motor.

Step 3: Expose the Starter Motor

To access the starter motor, you need to perform a specific step of the starting process. Here is how to find and expose the starter motor in your car:

  1. Locate the Starter Motor – Identify where the starter motor is located under the hood of your car. You can refer to your car owner’s manual or get professional help.
  2. Remove Obstacles – Take care of any obstacles that might be blocking the way, such as wiring, hoses, or other engine components.
  3. Disconnect Battery – Before exposing the starter, disconnect the battery to avoid electrical shock or short-circuiting.
  4. Remove Protective Covers – Now remove any protective covers around the starter if there are any.
  5. Evaluate Accessibility – After removing all barriers, evaluate accessibility and get ready to expose it by using a screwdriver and pliers if necessary.

Extra tip: Before performing step 3, make sure you have all the necessary tools for accessing and removing parts safely without causing damage or injury.

It’s important always to handle car systems with safety precautions; otherwise, things could go wrong resulting in severe damages or injuries.

Step 4: Identify the Positive and Negative Terminals

To proceed with starting a car despite having a bad starter, it is essential to identify the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Locating these areas can be challenging to perform if you lack prior experience.

To make it easier for you, follow this simple 3-step guide:

  1. Find the positive terminal – Look for the “+” sign on the battery or in its vicinity. It could also be denoted by a red colour cap or wire.
  2. Locate the negative terminal – Search for the “” sign nearby or another black-coloured cap or wire.
  3. Avoid confusion – Ensure that other metal objects in proximity of either terminal are clear of them and not touching each other.

It is crucial to avoid rushing into performing this step because connecting wires on opposite terminals can lead to short circuits. Be patient and thorough with your assessment before proceeding further.

Additionally, keep in mind that different models and makes might have variations in terminal placement and colour-coding systems. Always consult your vehicle’s manual before approaching such issues.

Pro Tip: Wearing rubber gloves during this process can help you avoid accidental shock due to improper handling of wires and their contact with naked skin.

Step 5: Use the Screwdriver to short-circuit the Terminals

Short-Circuiting the Terminals with a Screwdriver is an effective way to start a car with a bad starter. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Locate the starter motor under the hood of your car.
  2. Find the positive and negative terminals on the starter solenoid.
  3. Turn the ignition key to the “on” position, but don’t start the engine.
  4. Touch the screwdriver against both terminals at once, creating a bridge between them.
  5. If successful, you’ll hear a loud clicking sound, and your engine should start straight away.

It’s important to take precautions when Short-Circuiting the Terminals with a Screwdriver. Avoid touching metal parts or anything else while handling live parts.

In case there are sparks when bridging connection points with screwdrivers, this could indicate that there are other underlying electrical problems that need to be addressed before attempting any further repairs.

According to Car Bibles, “Jumpstarting your vehicle will only work if your car battery is dead.

Overall, this simple technique can save you from being stranded in certain situations when you have no means of getting assistance. However, as with any DIY repair method, always exercise caution and ensure your safety before attempting anything.

Step 6: Start the Vehicle

To Bring Your Vehicle to Life

To start the car with a bad starter, follow these easy steps:

  1. Ensure the vehicle is in park or neutral and that the parking brake is on.
  2. Turn the key to the “on” position and press down fully on the accelerator pedal for 5-10 seconds.
  3. While still holding down the accelerator pedal, turn the key to the start position. Be prepared to release it quickly when the engine starts.
  4. If your car does not start, repeat these steps two or three more times. If it still doesn’t work, consider getting professional help instead of continuing with these methods.

Never let a dead battery or bad starter ruin your outing.

It’s possible that even after following each step correctly, you might have difficulty starting your car. In such circumstances, it’s important to seek professional assistance that can better ascertain what is causing your vehicle trouble.

Lastly, we suggest taking good care of your vehicle by regularly servicing it. Also, attempt not to let batteries go flat and maintain healthy driving behaviours that can minimize engine issues. Ensuring constant maintenance can ultimately prolong its shelf-life and prevent any future hurdles from arising.

Precautions When Starting a Car with a Screwdriver

When initiating a vehicle, utilizing an alternate method such as a screwdriver can be dangerous. It is crucial to take proper precautions to minimize potential harm and damage. Below are some essential steps to be followed while starting a car with a screwdriver.

  1. Disengage the battery before inserting the screwdriver.
  2. Insert the screwdriver into the ignition switch and turn it clockwise until the engine starts.
  3. Hold the screwdriver steadily with your dominant hand.
  4. After the engine starts, immediately remove the screwdriver from the ignition switch.

It is always best to seek professional help in such cases as starting cars using alternative methods can cause substantial damage, and it may be difficult for inexperienced individuals to judge when it is safe to stop using a particular technique.

It is also important to note that even if you manage to start your car using a screwdriver, it’s not a long-term solution and may result in more significant damage in the future. A friend of mine once tried to use this method of starting his car but was unsuccessful. As he forcefully turned the key using a screwdriver, he ended up breaking off half of it inside the ignition switch. This mishap resulted in significant repair expenses that could have been avoided by calling for professional help in time.

How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter With A Screwdriver – Final Thoughts

Starting a car with a defective starter motor can be challenging. However, it is possible to start the engine without the need for expensive repairs by using a screwdriver. By following specific steps, you can ignite the vehicle using this method safely.

  1. Turn off the ignition and remove the key from the car.
  2. Locate the starter motor under the hood of your car and then use the screwdriver to locate two terminals on its end.
  3. Touching these endpoints with the metal part of your tool will cause sparks that create a connection that allows electricity to flow from the battery to initiate your engine.

Ensure you take safety precautions while performing this task. Disconnecting your battery before starting will minimize any potential danger or accidental hazards such as electrical shock, electronic damage or injury. Repeat this process until your car starts efficiently.

Learning how to start a car with a failed starter using a screwdriver could be lifesaving and critical if an emergency comes up or when repairing essential parts of your vehicle is impossible due to location-specific factors such as remote locations.

If left unattended, simple problems may lead to significant accidents that are best avoided by enlisting professional help rather than risking severe outcomes by improper use of tools such as screwdrivers.

How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter With A Screwdriver – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a bad starter in a car?

A: A bad starter in a car refers to the component responsible for initiating the engine’s ignition process. It is responsible for turning the engine over when the key is turned in the ignition, and if it fails, the engine won’t start.

Q: Is it safe to use a screwdriver to start my car with a bad starter?

A: It can be safe if you follow the proper procedures and take precautions. However, it is important to note that this is a temporary fix and should only be used in emergencies. It is important to get your starter repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Q: What do I need to start my car with a bad starter using a screwdriver?

A: To start your car with a bad starter using a screwdriver, you will need a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a friend to help you jump-start your car.

Q: How do I start my car with a bad starter using a screwdriver?

A: First, ensure the transmission is in neutral or park and the emergency brake is on. Locate the starter under the hood, and using the pliers, touch the metal rod on the starter with the screwdriver. Have your friend turn the ignition switch to the on position, and the engine should start.

Q: Can I use this method on any type of car?

A: This method works for most vehicles with a conventional ignition system. However, it is better to consult your owner’s manual to confirm the procedure for your specific vehicle.

Q: How long can I drive my car using this temporary fix?

A: This is a temporary fix that should only be used in emergencies. It is important to get your starter repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Driving with a bad starter can cause further damage to the engine and electrical system.

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