Can A Bad Starter Drain A Battery: Do You Know the Fact Right?

We have taken for granted the fact that our cars perform every time we turn the keys. But do you know that there are hundreds of factors that can prevent you from starting or driving the car? Among them, starter and battery draining are somewhat related.

So, can a bad starter drain a battery of a car?

Yes, it can. And, the story doesn’t end there. Because there are lots of reasons for a faulty starter motor to be the cause of draining along with a lot of others.

In this article, I am going to talk about all of them so that you can identify the issue and act accordingly. Let’s get started with some basic info.

What Is A Bad Starter Motor?

Well, having a bad starter motor is not common like the batteries. However, like other parts, it can go bad and you should know the symptoms of it. Let me tell you the common ones in short.

If the starter motor or the solenoids are worn out, you may hear a grinding noise. Another very concerning situation is when you try to crank the engine and hear a whining noise. You should show the car immediately to a mechanic in case of such symptoms.

Furthermore, one may face situations where the circuit doesn’t terminate power even after releasing the key. It can cause serious damage to the solenoids, the whole starter system, and the transmission flywheel. It is also possible to see smoke due to too much power drawing by the starter.

Apart from those indications, check the starter under the hood and see if it is drenched in oil. Even the slightest doubt about the starter’s performance should be enough to consult with an expert mechanic and sort it out to prevent further damage.

Can A Bad Starter Drain A Battery?

Or, you can ask, will a bad starter drain a car battery? Both of the questions mean the same, and the answer is yes. A faulty or bad starter system can drain your car’s battery leaving it useless when in need.

To know why it happens, you have to first understand how a starter works in a car. After turning the ignition on, the starter motor engages and makes the engine crank. Well, it is not as simple as it sounds as several things happen in the background.

It requires a flow of fresh air into the engine which is necessary for combustion. But the suction for air only happens when the engine turns and the starter motor helps it. Once the cycle has started, it keeps doing the combustion without the help of the starter.

As you can understand that fuel injection doesn’t come into play until the first move by the engine. So, it needs to be done by electricity provided by the car battery. A good starter system draws only the amount of power it requires for initiating.

Logically, a bad starter can drain a car battery by drawing too much power even when it is not in action. Now, you must be wondering about several different situations, and let me answer all of them.

Can A Bad Starter Drain A Battery When The Car Is Off?

Even though the possibility of something like this is very low, it can still happen. A faulty starter motor can consistently drain off your car’s battery. As a result, you would find the battery dead in the morning although the engine was off. I hope that you have got your answer to the question; can a bad starter drain a battery overnight?

What Can Drain A Car Battery When It’s Off?

Whenever something is draining your car battery, don’t blame the starter right away. Let’s see some other reasons for the trouble.

  1. By accidentally keeping the headlights on even when you don’t need them can drain a significant amount of charge.
  2. Lots of car devices like interior lights, door lights, audio systems, etc. can be responsible. Individually, the drain amount is not that much but collectively it is significant.
  3. A loose or corroded battery connection increases the load or resistance in the line making the battery drained too fast.
  4. When the outdoor temperature is extremely hot or cold, it can affect the performance of the battery.
  5. The alternator is supposed to be charging while driving the car. In case, it doesn’t work properly, the battery can reach a point of no return unless special treatments.
  6. As you know that cranking the engine takes a lot of power. So, taking too many short drives increases the number of cranking resulting in more draining.
  7. If your battery is old, the chemical inside can become less effective making it hold the charge far less than new ones.

So, when the culprit is not a car part of our concern in this article, how do you tell if it’s your starter or your battery?

I have already described what the symptoms are of a bad starter motor. If you see any of the signs, you can safely assume that it is the starter and not the battery. For the right assessment, consult with your mechanic.


When you turn the key and the car is making only a groaning sound without starting the engine, you must realize that it is drawing a lot of juice from the battery. So, can a bad starter drain a battery?

Yes, it can and the faulty system needs to be taken care of immediately. If you try to turn the engine on with the faulty starting system, your battery will be dead within 5 minutes. Don’t make a bad decision, don’t panic, and service your car.

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