How Long Can a Starter Last After Being Hit to Work?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertHow Long Can a Starter Last After Being Hit to Work?
Susan Eleanor Martin asked 5 months ago
A few days ago, our 2005 Toyota Corolla wouldn't start, and we thought it was the battery. After replacing it, we realized it was the starter. My husband managed to get it working by hitting it, but the car shook a bit on the way home. We can't afford a replacement for a couple of weeks, but he needs the car for his daily 1-hour commute. Is it safe to drive until we can get it fixed, or should we avoid using it? Also, is replacing the starter something he could do himself, given he has some mechanical skills?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 5 months ago
Hey there, Susan! It's great you're being proactive about your car's health, so I'd be happy to help provide more insight on this, based on what you're described. Here's some advice:
  1. Lifespan of a Hit Starter: The starter might work for a few weeks, but there's no guarantee. Each start could be the last time it works. The "shaking" you mentioned is likely unrelated to the starter, as it only functions during ignition.
  2. Driving Risks: The car won’t stop mid-commute due to starter issues. However, if you turn off the engine, you might not be able to restart it, potentially leaving you stranded.
  3. DIY Replacement: Replacing a starter can be a feasible DIY project, especially for someone with mechanical knowledge. For a 2005 Toyota Corolla, it's generally considered a straightforward task. You can find many tutorials online, including YouTube. Just ensure to disconnect the battery before starting.
  4. Cost Considerations: A new starter can cost around $100. Consider refurbished or rebuilt starters as a more budget-friendly option. Also, some local garages might offer installation at a reasonable price.
  5. Recommendation: If possible, replace the starter sooner rather than later to avoid potential inconveniences or safety issues.
Remember, while temporary fixes like hitting the starter can work, they're not reliable long-term solutions. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team