How Long Will Tapping The Starter Work? Find Out Here!

Looking to find out how long will tapping the starter work?

When faced with a car that refuses to start, tapping the starter motor has been a common technique employed by drivers hoping for a quick fix. The idea behind this method is to dislodge any internal components that may be stuck, allowing the starter to engage and turn the engine over. 

While tapping the starter can sometimes provide temporary relief and get the engine running, it is not a permanent solution. Let’s explore the effectiveness and limitations of tapping the starter and discuss when it may be necessary to seek further repairs.

how long will tapping the starter work

How Long Will Tapping The Starter Work?

Before delving into the duration for which tapping the starter may work, it is essential to understand the basic components of the starter system. The starter motor is responsible for initiating the engine’s combustion process by cranking the internal components. 

When the ignition key is turned, an electrical current is sent to the starter solenoid, which, in turn, engages the starter motor’s gear with the engine’s flywheel. This action allows the starter to turn the engine and begin the combustion process.

There are, however, limitations to tapping the starter. Tapping the starter can sometimes provide a temporary solution if the starter is experiencing a mechanical issue, such as a stuck gear or a worn-out component. By tapping the starter, you may be able to dislodge the problematic component, allowing the starter motor to engage and start the engine. However, this solution is generally temporary, and the issue is likely to recur.

Moreover, tapping the starter is a troubleshooting technique, not a repair. It does not address the root cause of the starter’s malfunction. There could be various underlying issues causing the starter to fail, such as a faulty solenoid, worn-out brushes, electrical problems, or a weak battery. Tapping the starter will not fix these underlying problems, and they will likely need to be addressed separately.

Additionally, tapping the starter requires accessing the engine bay and directly tapping the starter motor with a tool. This process can be potentially hazardous due to the proximity to moving parts and electrical components. There is a risk of injury if not performed correctly or if the engine unexpectedly starts while working on it. It is always advisable to exercise caution and consider professional assistance for any repairs involving the starter system.

Does Tapping The Starter Work?

Tapping the starter is a temporary solution that can help in certain situations, but its effectiveness and longevity can vary. There is no definitive answer to how long tapping the starter will work, as it depends on the specific issue with the starter motor and the extent of the problem. Consider these factors before you tap your starter:

1. Nature of the Problem

Tapping the starter is typically used when the starter motor has stuck components or worn-out contacts. If the issue is minor, tapping the starter may provide a temporary fix that allows the engine to start. However, if the problem is more severe or if the starter motor is on the verge of complete failure, tapping may only work for a short time or not at all.

2. Severity of the Damage

The effectiveness of tapping the starter depends on the severity of the damage or wear within the motor. If the components are slightly stuck or misaligned, tapping may jolt them back into place temporarily. However, if the damage is extensive or if the starter motor is in need of repair or replacement, tapping will likely provide only a temporary solution.

3. Frequency of Use

 If you find yourself repeatedly tapping the starter to start the engine, it is an indication that there is an underlying issue that requires proper repair. Relying solely on tapping for an extended period is not a recommended long-term solution.

4. Maintenance and Repairs

Tapping the starter should be seen as a temporary measure to get the vehicle started in urgent situations. It is crucial to address the underlying problem by seeking professional help or replacing the faulty starter motor to ensure reliable and consistent engine starting.

Should You Tap Your Starter?

While tapping the starter can be a useful troubleshooting step, it is important to recognize its limitations and seek professional assistance when necessary. Here are some scenarios where professional help is recommended:

1. Frequent Recurrence

If the need to tap the starter becomes a recurring issue, it indicates an underlying problem that should be diagnosed and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

2. No Response

When you notice that tapping the starter no longer produces any response from the engine, it suggests a more severe issue that requires professional evaluation.

3. Electrical or Battery Problems

Lastly, if you suspect an electrical issue or a weak battery, it is advisable to have the entire starting system inspected by a professional. They can identify and rectify any underlying issues that may be affecting the starter’s performance.

Why Tapping The Starter May Be Helpful

There are certain situations where tapping a starter may be ideal to do. Here are the common instances when you may consider tapping your starter.

1. Stuck or Jammed Components

Over time, various factors can cause the starter motor’s internal components to become stuck or jammed. Corrosion, dirt, grime, or wear and tear are common culprits. When the starter motor gets stuck, it may fail to engage properly, preventing the engine from starting. Tapping the starter is an attempt to dislodge these stuck components, allowing them to move freely and engage the flywheel.

2. Worn-out Contacts or Brushes

In some cases, the starter motor’s electrical contacts or brushes may wear out, causing intermittent or complete failure of the starter. Tapping the starter can help reposition or align these components, temporarily improving their contact with the electrical circuit. This temporary adjustment can allow the starter motor to engage and start the engine, albeit for a limited time.

Read More: Auxiliary Not Working In Car? Common Reasons You Should Know


It’s important to note that tapping the starter is not a permanent fix, and it is advisable to consult a qualified mechanic to diagnose and repair the starter motor or related components properly. They have the expertise to identify the root cause of the issue and provide a long-lasting solution. Ignoring the underlying problem or relying solely on tapping the starter can lead to further damage and potential safety risks.

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