Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Does a Starter Motor Replacement Cost?

How Much Does a Starter Motor Replacement Cost?

$ Starter Motor: $100-$400+ (Parts Only) $ $ Easy-Access Vehicle: $200-$650+ (parts and labor) $ $ $ Difficult-Access Vehicle: $400-$1,500 (parts and labor)

An interesting fact that many car owners don’t know is that their vehicle’s engine, also called the motor, needs another motor to make it function.

The thing is that when cars aren’t functioning, the engine is shut down, and to make it turn on again to make your car function, it needs energy.

The starter motor is the component in every combustion vehicle that starts the car by providing it the necessary energy; if the starter motor fails, the car won’t start.

How Does A Starter Motor Works?

The starter motor is an electric motor that activates when the key is turned.

The battery sends energy to the starter solenoid after the key is turned, and then the energy goes to the starter motor, which cranks the engine.

The starter motor uses then rotational power to create enough revolutions to fire up the engine and allow it to sustain itself.

The starter motor is necessary because the engine is incapable of starting itself using its own combustion, needing the kick start the starter motor provides it.

This video made by Teckno Mechanics explains how starter motors work more in detail.

How Long Does A Starter Motor Last?

Usually, the starter motor should be checked every 100,000 to 150,000 miles or every 1,500 key turns, but many experts agree that a starter motor can last the entire lifespan of the vehicle.

But few people have the starter motor into consideration when doing their vehicle’s maintenance.

Forgetting to check the starter motor when it’s the recommended time is a big mistake because it wears out as any other part of the vehicle over time and use; this is why the starter motor often breaks without warning.

The starter motor can wear out faster due to electrical issues coming from the battery or the alternator, but continued use is also an important factor to consider.

A damaged starter motor means that the vehicle won’t start and is inoperable, needing immediate replacement.

What Are The Signs Of A Failing Window Motor?

It is not common for a starter motor to fail outright; it will show signs that will tell you something is wrong before ceasing to work entirely.

According to BreakerLink, a failing starter motor will show the following signs:

  • Dash lights up but the engine won’t start.
  • The engine simply won’t turn over.
  • Metal on metal grinding noises and sounds.
  • Free-wheeling.
  • Overheating and smoking.
  • Oily starter motor.
  • Starter doesn’t stop.
  • Damaged solenoids.
  • Intermittent problems starting the engine.
  • Starter engages but your car won’t start.

What Consequences Provoke Not Replacing A Failing Starter Motor?

Not replacing a damaged or failing starter motor could provoke other parts and systems of your vehicle to start malfunctioning; according to, some of these consequences are:

  • Electrical system damage.
  • Dim lighting.
  • Damage to your transmission or engine.
  • Battery drainage.
  • The vehicle refuses to start.

If other parts of systems of your car get damaged by the failing starter motor, this will translate to needing more expensive repairs.

What Affects Replacement Costs Of A Starter Motor?

The costs for replacing a starter motor can vary depending on many determining factors like the make and model of your vehicle, where you take your car for the job, labor costs, extra damaged parts, and if the replacement comes from an OEM or an aftermarket shop.

Also, an important factor that modifies the final price of replacing a starter motor is the level of difficulty of the vehicle to access the starter motor.

Before replacing the starter motor, you need a diagnostic test, which usually is part of the overall costs of replacing the starter motor; if the diagnostic is not included with the replacement, it can cost from $50 to $120.

A starter motor replacement part can cost from $100 to $400; the starter motor replacement part for luxury cars is more expensive and can cost from $250 to $1,200 or more.

Professional labor costs to replace the starter motor on a vehicle of easy access can take one to two hours, charging $50 to $120 per hour.

Then, the total cost will be $200 to $650 for the professional replacement of a starter motor, including parts and labor, for a vehicle with easy access.

But professional labor costs to replace the starter motor on a vehicle of difficult access can take six to eight hours, charging $50 to $120 per hour.

Then, the total costs will be $400 to $1,500 or more for the professional replacement of a starter motor, including parts and labor, for a vehicle with difficult access.

Top Companies

You can get your starter motor professionally replaced at car dealerships, independent repair shops, and national auto care chains like Midas and Pep Boys.

And you can get just the starter motor replacement part at online retailers like AutoZone, Amazon, and Auto Parts Warehouse

The following comparison shows examples of price differences between some online retailers:

Company Type of Work Price Range
CarParts Parts $30 – $400+
AutoZone Parts $30 – $400+
Walmart Parts $40 – $380
Amazon Parts $50 – $400+

Things To Consider

Before Buying

  1. First, check the auto repair shops near you to ask for their starter motor replacement service and to know if they include the diagnostic test with the service. This video made by Tutor Build Eng shows how to perform a starter motor diagnostic test.
  2. If you are experiencing signs of a failing starter motor, you need to check it out immediately.

When Buying

  1. Replacing a starter motor could be an easy or difficult job depending on how hard it is to access your vehicle’s starter motor.
  2. If your vehicle’s starter motor is of easy access, then replacing it doing DIY is very straightforward. Here’s a video made by Scotty Kilmer that shows how to replace a starter motor.

After Buying

  1. If any other part or system of your vehicle was damaged due to the failing starter motor, it needs to be replaced too. If a new ring gear is required, it can add about $180 to your final price.
Giovanna Soto