How much does it cost to replace a starter motor?

Based on Fixter’s repairs and replacement figures, the starter motor replacement cost (UK) ranges between £228 and £498.

The average cost of a starter motor replacement balances out in the UK at £290.

What does my starter motor do, and what’s likely to affect the price of a replacement?

The starter motor is a hard-working piece of kit. To crank the first revolution of your engine takes a mighty amount of torque, and you’re going to use it every time you climb into your car. It goes without saying, this is a heavy-duty electrical motor—it has to be—to do its job.

Replacing a starter motor isn’t the simplest job for a mechanic. Quite often, there are a lot of components to get past to access it. It can take a good couple of hours to clear the way, remove it, pop its replacement in place and put everything back together again.

What are the symptoms of a failing starter motor?

When you turn your key in the ignition (or increasingly commonly now, hit your car’s start button), you expect to hear your engine turn a few times before roaring into life. The first symptom of a failed starter moment is nothing happens.

You might hear a single click or a continuous clicking sound, both of which can guide you to where the problem lies.

A single click is your solenoid firing without the motor engaging. If you hear multiple clicks, the issue is more likely to be with your battery than your motor, as those clicks suggest the motor is trying to turn, but without the power it needs to build its required torque.

Another typical symptom is the grinding, buzzing, or other unusual noises coming from under the bonnet when you try to start your car. Those noises could be the gears in the motor failing, damage to your flywheel, or all sorts of other issues.

In other situations, your car could have developed electrical or mechanical faults that cause your starter motor to draw too much current. In those cases, your battery won’t be able to keep up, and the starter will appear to operate far slower than usual.

What are the starter motor replacement costs at a dealership compared to Fixter garages?

OperationVehicleDealer PriceFixter PriceSaving
Starter Motor ReplacementFord Fiesta 1.6ltr Petrol£262£23611%
Starter Motor ReplacementVW Passat 2ltr Petrol£307£26018%
Starter Motor ReplacementJaguar XE 2ltr Petrol£283£24416%
Starter Motor ReplacementVW Golf 1.6ltr Petrol£267£22917%
Starter Motor ReplacementLand Rover Evoque 2.2ltr Diesel£278£24414%
Starter Motor ReplacementBMW X5 3ltr Petrol£293£25316%
Starter Motor ReplacementNissan Qashqai 1.5ltr Petrol£291£25315%
Starter Motor ReplacementMercedes C Class£464£40016%
Starter Motor ReplacementAudi A4£570£48717%
Starter Motor ReplacementVW Tiguan£309£26019%

What factors can affect a starter motor replacement?

While looking into how much starter motor replacement costs, we’ve found the following to be the key areas affecting the overall price.

In most cases, the make and model, the size of your engine, where you choose to have the work carried out, and the brand of the parts you use will all affect the price. Another major factor is the age of your car.

Older vehicles are far more prone to faulty or deteriorating wiring systems. Where there’s any point preventing the power from your battery smoothly working its way to the starter motor, or any other point in the process, you’re going to face problems. You could have faulty or broken connector wires, corroded battery terminals, or a problem with your mounting bolts. Any of these can prevent the delivery of power your starter motor needs; leading to damage from working too hard, not hard enough, or from electrical surges and shorts.

What are the costs of starter motor replacement parts?

Prices for a new starter motor vary for each make and model. The average price of a starter motor from Eurocarpartsis £232.

In our search, we took an average for standard 2015 models.

Car MakeCar ModelStarter Motor Prices
FordFiesta£117
Fiat500£122
VolkswagenGolf£379
MercedesC Class£394
AudiA4£249
BMW5 Series£279
Land RoverRange Rover£439
VolkswagenTiguan£149
AudiQ5£289

What are the labour times and rates for starter motor replacement?

With such a fabulous and wide range of partners here at Fixter, we’ve got a great understanding of how rates between mechanics can vary. There are so many areas that affect each of their prices, for example, the size of the business, location, and the demand for their services in that area.

The average rate for businesses outside London currently works out at £72 per hour.

And, as you’d guess, the rates of garages operating within the London area are slightly higher, but not quite as much as you’d expect, at £78.

How long does a starter motor replacement take?

We took a look at the data we gather to determine an average, and a starter motor replacement should take anywhere up to 3 hours.

Here are a few of our findings; it suggests some differences in how long the job can take for different makes and models.

Car Make          Car ModelTypical Replacement Time
VolkswagenGolf1 hour
AudiA43.4 hours
BMW5 Series1 hour
Land RoverRange Rover1.1 hour
VolkswagenTiguan0.6 hour
Fiat5000.6 hour
MercedesC Class1.3 hours
AudiQ52.2 hours
FordFiesta0.5 hour

How common is a starter motor replacement?

Given that you use your starter motor at least once during every journey, and it’s a hard-working part of your engine system, replacements aren’t as common as you’d think, but you could expect to replace one during the lifetime of a vehicle.

Making many short trips—stopping and starting your car several times during an outing—will add more wear to a starter motor than long-distance drivers who will cover far more miles from a single start.

How complicated is replacing a starter motor?

The starter motor bolts to the engine block or transmission case; to access it means removing several other components to be able to get to the mounting bolts and make the room to lift it clear.

Always remember to disconnect the battery before you even think about starting the job—nobody wants a nasty shock during the process.

Is it safe to drive with a faulty starter motor?

Once a vehicle is running, you don’t need your starter motor; so, along those lines, you should be fine while you’re driving. The problem comes when you stop. Obviously, driving with a faulty starter motor suggests that you’re going to have issues getting the car started again. We’d always recommend a replacement or a repair over parking your car facing down a hill, so you can bump start it each time you need to use it.

Will a stop-start system wear out my starter motor faster?

Many drivers worry about the added wear on their starter motor in a car that utilises stop-start technology. The good news here is that the technology involved is quite advanced to lower those risks significantly.

The gear ratio from the starter-drive pinion to the flywheel ring gear is optimised in start-stop cars so that the motor can turn far slower and still engage the engine. This reduces wear to the starter motor brushes once the start is complete.

They also utilise different material brushes than traditional starter motors and needle bearings instead of oil-impregnated bushings to protect the system.

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