Will a bad starter drain a battery?

Answered by James Kissner

A bad starter can definitely drain your battery. Let me explain why. The starter is responsible for initiating the engine’s combustion cycle by cranking the engine. It uses power from the battery to do this. However, if the starter is faulty, it may not engage properly or may draw excessive power from the battery, causing it to drain.

When a starter is bad, it may not engage the flywheel properly or may struggle to turn the engine over. In such cases, you may hear a clicking sound or the engine may not start at all. When the starter is repeatedly trying to engage but fails to start the engine, it will continue to draw power from the battery. This continuous drain on the battery can eventually lead to its depletion.

Moreover, a faulty starter can also cause the battery to overcharge. When the starter is malfunctioning, it may not disengage properly after starting the engine. This can cause it to continue drawing power from the battery even when the engine is running. As a result, the alternator, which is responsible for charging the battery, will work harder to supply power to both the starter and the electrical systems of the car. This can lead to overcharging the battery and potentially damaging it.

In my personal experience, I once had a car with a bad starter. It would often struggle to start the engine, requiring multiple attempts before it would finally crank. Each time I tried to start the car, I could hear the starter drawing power from the battery, and eventually, the battery would drain completely. I had to jump-start the car multiple times until I replaced the faulty starter.

To summarize, a bad starter can drain your battery by continuously drawing power from it during failed start attempts. It can also cause battery overcharging if it fails to disengage properly after starting the engine. If you suspect a bad starter, it is best to have it checked and replaced by a professional to avoid further battery drain and potential damage.