Cars are complex machines, especially to those who have little or no experience performing car repairs and maintenance. If you find yourself in this category, a broken down car can make you feel like the world is nearing an end. However, it is not. You’ll be fine. If you’re in the Folsom area, give our auto repair shop a call, and we’ll help get you back on the road.

When something goes wrong with your vehicle, being able to have an idea of the problem — and, therefore, the solution — can help reduce the devastating feeling. In today’s blog post, we are going to focus on the starting system, which includes the battery, spark plugs, ignition, and starter. Without the starter system, the motor won’t start pumping, the pistons won’t generate compression, the spark plugs won’t combust the air and fuel mixture, and, well, you won’t move. If you experience any of the issues in this post, know that your starter may be on the fritz, and it’s time to get your vehicle to your local auto mechanic.

4 Signs Your Starter Needs Attention

Loud Clicking

If you turn your key and the sound of an engine starting up is replaced with the sound of loud clicks, you may have a problem with your starter. Particularly, this loud series of clicks is likely because your starter is receiving the electrical current it needs to actuate, but because of a mechanical failure of the starter or solenoid, the pinion gear is being prevented from spinning. As you may have guessed, if you experience this issue, your options are limited, and you need to call your local auto repair shop ASAP. 


If you try to turn the key and the engine won’t turn over, instead of filling all of the air with screams and profanities, take a second to listen closely. Do you hear a constant buzzing noise? If so, this is likely because of a weak flow of electrical current going to the starter. The good news is that this is often the result of a weak battery connection or corrosion on the starting system — or, in other words, this will probably be a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.


One of the first signs of a starter problem is a grinding noise. This noise is a result of a flywheel or pinion gear that is missing gear teeth, causing the two cogs to grind as they interact. When this occurs and worsens, it is likely that your motor won’t start. Also, similar to almost all vehicle issues, the sooner you fix your starter issue, the less overall damage you’ll do, and the less you’ll spend on auto repairs. For example, if you ignore a grinding sound caused by a bad starter, you could do serious damage to your flywheel.


Smoke can be indicative of a number of car problems, including an issue with the starter. If you smell or see smoke emanating from under the hood of your car or truck, it may be because 1) your starter is drawing too much power, 2) there is a short-circuit in the starter motor, or 3) the starter is burned out after attempting to crank the engine too much.

If you begin to notice these symptoms, it’s time to get your vehicle to an auto repair shop. If you are in the Folsom area, pay Shannon Family Automotive a visit. Whether you are in need of starter repair, routine auto maintenance, or some other service, we can handle it. Our mechanics are experienced and ready to help. Our service center specializes in Toyota and Honda repairs. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your auto service.