Your vehicle’s electrical system is equipped with an alternator, a battery, fuses, a starter, wires, and related parts. If your car is having difficulty starting and you have ruled out the alternator, battery, and fuses, as well as have checked all of the connections, it is likely that the starter is bad and it will need to be replaced. What type of starter should you purchase? The answer may very well depend on your budget.
1. Reliably rebuilt. . . or not. You can find bargain priced starters if you decide to purchase one that has been rebuilt. True, the quality may be suspect, but the price cannot be beat. . . except at a junk yard. Remember: you get what you pay for!
2. Junk yard jewels. I have a buddy who likes to go to the junk yard to find replacement parts for his vehicles. He doesn’t always find what he wants, but he has been able to pull several starters off from some of the junkers. Some work, some don’t while others may work for awhile and then crap out a few months later. If you have plenty of time and luck is on your side then this can be an option for you.
3. Dealer diamonds. One great thing about automobile dealers is that if you need a part they will have it on hand. If not, dealer parts departments will gladly order what you want straight from the manufacturer. Just like purchasing a diamond you will pay a pretty price for a dealer ordered starter. Ouch!
4. Auto parts store. A good auto parts supply store will have what you want at a price that is competitive. Some stores specialize in domestic parts and carry an ample supply of Ford starters or Chevy starters. On the other hand, you may find it more difficult to locate a Porsche or Daihatsu starter from the chains.
5. Online retailers. Just like a good auto parts supply store, a respected online retailer will have you want and then some. Reputable and established internet retailers carry a wide selection of parts at the lowest possible price. The BMW starter, unavailable locally, will likely be available online and at a price much lower than the dealer diamond. Only shop with those companies who have an established track record, have excellent shipping and handling terms, operate a secured website, and give you access to a live person if you need it.
Shop wisely and you will soon be ready to install a starter that is warranted, reliable, and value priced.
Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Car Parts Stuff, an online supplier of high quality and well priced automobile parts.