How Much is a Starter for a Car

how much is a starter for a car

If your car is having trouble starting and the battery and alternator are in good condition, it could indicate a potential issue with the starter. How much is a starter for a car? Fortunately, diagnosing and replacing a faulty starter is usually a straightforward task for a skilled mechanic.

Suppose you can access roadside assistance services like AAA or one provided by your vehicle manufacturer, extended warranty provider, or car insurance company.

In that case, you can contact them to check your car’s starting problem. Technicians can help you identify and rule out simple problems like a loose battery connection, spark plug wire issue, or problems with the alternator.

If you’re concerned that your starter might fail, it’s essential to take prompt action.

Studies have shown that starter failures occur at inconvenient times, such as during important events like job interviews, childbirth, sports games, vacations, or other significant moments in life. To avoid unexpected issues, better to have the starter fixed as soon as possible.

Let’s talk more on Car starters and how much a car starter costs.

What is the Function of a Car Starter?

The car starter is like a helper for the engine. Its main job is to bring the engine to life and start the internal combustion process, which is like magic happening inside.

In the past, people began car engines by hand-turning them with a crank or spinning an aeroplane propeller. Now, the starter does that job for you using electricity from the battery.

If you’re interested in the technical details, it involves things like electromagnetic field coils, solenoids, armature, and commutator, but those might need clarification.

The critical thing to remember is that the starter spins and starts the engine. Just know that sometimes starters can stop working, but don’t worry about that right now.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Car Starter?

A car starter can usually handle about 80,000 starts before it might start having problems, no matter how many miles you’ve driven.

This could be around 150,000 miles for some cars, but in some cases, a starter can last for the entire vehicle’s life.

Like any other car part, starters are affected by time and the weather. They can wear out over time because you use them every time you start your car.

Living in a warmer climate may make your car starter last longer compared to harsh winter climates, where it might wear out faster. So, taking care of your car and considering the weather can affect your starter’s length.

What is the Price of Replacing a Starter in a car? 

A man checking how much is a starter for a car

If you search online, you can find car starters available for purchase, and their prices can range from $70 to $425.

The cost of replacing a starter will vary based on the type of car you own, but most regular vehicles typically fall somewhere in the middle of that price range.

Things that influence the cost of a car starter

Car make and model.

Car starters are sometimes located in different spots in every car. In particular car models, a mechanic could take more time to access and replace the starter. When that happens, you might have to pay more for the labour costs.

The type of car starter you need will depend on your car’s engine design. If you drive a luxury or larger vehicle, the starter options could be more expensive than those for cheaper or smaller cars.

Here are a few examples of price ranges for starters available for different makes and models of cars.

Car Make and ModelLow-Priced StarterHigh-Priced Starter
Ford Focus$99.99$219.99
Toyota RAV4$114.99$229.99
Chevrolet Tahoe$84.99$329.99
Lexus LS460$144.99$424.99
Car Starter Prices according to car models

If you’re looking for a more affordable option for starters, consider getting refurbished or remanufactured ones. You can find them at major auto parts stores; some even come with warranties, though they may only cover some.

Ring gear replacement

The ring gear is a circular gear that links to the starter and helps start the engine. If the ring gear is broken, even a new starter won’t be able to get your car running.

If you have to replace the ring gear and the starter, it can add around $180 to the total cost.

Where do you buy the parts?

You have two options to get the new parts you need. You can buy them directly from the mechanic or get them yourself and take them to the repair shop.

If you purchase the details from your dealership or mechanic, it might cost more, especially if they prefer using original manufacturer parts instead of aftermarket ones.

On the other hand, if you buy the parts from a retailer, you might save money. However, there’s a risk of getting the wrong model.

When you order through a professional like a dealership or mechanic, they will ensure you get the exact part you need. Another advantage is that ordering through a professional usually has a warranty on the elements and the labour.

Car Starter Installation costs

If you decide to have a professional install the starter, you’ll have to consider the cost of their labour, typically charged by the hour.

The time it takes to install the starter will depend on where it’s placed in your engine and how difficult it is to access. It could take one to a few hours to complete the installation, affecting the total cost you’ll need to pay.

Saving on Car Starters

  • It’s essential to have a reliable car starter, so don’t compromise when replacing a bad one.
  • Always ask for a price quote before installing the starter, regardless of where you take your car.
  • Get quotes from multiple shops to compare them, as additional fees can differ.
  • Check if the selection includes Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts. OEM parts fit perfectly but may cost more. Aftermarket parts are cheaper alternatives.
  • Consider installing the starter yourself if you know cars and the right tools.
  • Watch helpful YouTube videos to guide you through the installation process.
  • Be cautious to avoid making mistakes during installation, as they might lead to extra expenses to fix the issues.


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What are the signs of a Bad Starter?

  1. When you try to start the car, you hear a clicking sound instead of the engine turning over.
  2. That screech you might have heard when starting a car with a problematic starter, it’s a sign too.
  3. Nothing happens when you try to start the car with the key or push button, but it works later.

But remember, sometimes starters can stop working suddenly without any warning signs. So, it’s essential to be prepared and get it checked if you notice any of these symptoms.

Can I fix my starter?

Like any machine, fixing a broken starter in your car might be possible. However, repairing it could cost as much as getting a new starter guaranteed to work correctly. So, in most cases, your mechanic will replace the whole starter if the one in your car stops working.

Should I use a new starter, or is a rebuilt one okay?

When a starter needs to be replaced, remanufactured starters are commonly used. You can ask your mechanic if the part comes with a warranty. New starters are typically provided only for cars under the manufacturer’s warranty.

How can you start a car when the starter is broken?

Tapping a starter can give a failing starter a temporary boost, making it work one more time. However, it’s not a permanent solution and might not work again after that. We advise against car owners attempting this on their own. The best action is to have a professional mechanic inspect and fix the starter correctly.

How much is a starter for a car?

The Price of Replacing a Starter in a car varies between $70 to $425.