Updated at: 14-03-2022 - By: micdot

Your starter may be defective if it can engage but not turn the flywheel. It’s a common occurrence for car drivers to find themselves in this predicament. The majority of them are utterly stumped. So, what are your options if your starter turns on, but the flywheel does not? Ensure that your battery voltage is enough and that your starter motor is functioning properly. By performing all three steps, you will be able to rule out any other potential causes of the issue and identify the true source of the issue.

We find ourselves in a tense situation. As soon as you switch the ignition on in an effort to get somewhere quickly, you’re met with silence. The starter may be spinning, but it isn’t actually contacting the flywheel. Low battery voltage is the most typical cause of a starter that does not engage or engages. Starter solenoids can also malfunction. A problem with the starter motor’s actual parts is also possible. In the end, there are numerous explanations for this occurrence. In this article, we’ll go through some remedies for a starter that will crank the flywheel but not the engine. Let’s get this party started.

Why Won’t Starter Engage Flywheel?

If your starter does not engage your flywheel, here are some possible causes.

1. You Might Have A Low Voltage Battery

The voltage of your battery is the first place to look if you’re experiencing battery issues. As a result, this should be your first point of focus. Your starter is powered by the battery in your car. Your starter won’t turn on if your battery isn’t functioning properly. As a result, it’s imperative that you keep your vehicle’s battery charged. If you have a spare, you can also swap out the battery in your vehicle. You can also use a jumper cable to get your car started. Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion as another option.

You may see a white or green stuff on your terminals as a result of this. Remove the battery cable clamps and remove the battery terminals if you notice corrosion.

2. Check Your Starter Solenoid

The solenoid for the starter can be found on top of the starter itself. When you turn the key, the solenoid in the starter motor pushes the plunger. The pinion will be pushed into the flywheel as a result. The solenoid can be grounded to a bolt with the help of a jumper wire.

3. Pinion Or Your Starter Motor Plunger

Your starter motor may be malfunctioning if your starter solenoid is working properly. This can be found in either the starter plunger or the starter gear. The starter can be untangled and the pinion gears checked.

4. Faulty Wiring To The Starter

There is a chance that the starter will be powered by electricity and make a noise. You must also turn on the starter. This can happen if your car’s battery and starter are connected by a shoddy starter cable.

5. Flywheel Damages

The flywheel can be identified by its large wheel. Between the engine and transmission is where you’ll locate the alternator. To get the engine going, the starter pinion gears need to be engaged. Damaged gears or a faulty flywheel must be found.

How Does A Starter Engage Flywheel?

When you turn the ignition switch, your engine begins to crank. However, there are more components involved in the cranking process. Air must be pumped into the engine to keep it running. If there is suction, this can happen. There will be no air if your engine is not running. The fuel cannot combust if there is no air in the combustion chamber. During the ignition process, the starter motor turns the engine. In order to allow the engine to take in air, you need to turn the ignition key. The flywheel in the engine is attached to the crankshaft by a ring gear that is connected to the edge of the flywheel..

The starter’s pinion is designed to fit into the ring gear’s grooves and curves. The body’s electromagnet will activate when the ignition switch is turned on. Pushing the pinion’s rod out of its socket will then be accomplished. The starter motor will start when the pinion and flywheel come into contact. The engine will rev up and consume all of the available air as a result. The starter begins to disengage as soon as the engine begins to crank. Consequently, the electromagnet will stop working.

How To Fix When A Starter Engages But Does Not Turn Flywheel?

Here are some things you can try if your starting engages but the flywheel does not turn.

1. Check Your Battery Voltage

If your engine won’t start because your battery has low voltage, you should have it checked. Your starter will fail if you don’t have enough power. A voltmeter can tell you if your battery has power.

2. Check For Battery Corrosion

There will be green and white deposits on your automobile battery if it is rusted. If you wish to clean it, try a water and baking soda solution. One part baking soda to three parts water is the correct ratio.

3. Check Your Starter Motor

The mounting nuts and other connecting wires can be tightened. The flywheel will not be properly engaged if the mounting bolt is a little sloppy. There will also be a grinding sound.

How Do I Know If My Starter Or Flywheel Is Bad?

If your car won’t start after you turn the ignition switch on, it’s possible that your battery is dead. That’s what you get with a shoddy starting. Freewheeling will also be possible. The starter gear may not be engaging the flywheel when you turn on your ignition switch and hear that whining sound. It’s time to get a new beginning. There is also the possibility of smoke. If your starter isn’t working properly, you might see some smoke.

If your starter battery is draining a lot of power, you’ll see a lot of smoke. Last but not least, there’s always the possibility of oil soaking. It’s possible that oil or other fluids could leak out of your starter, which is located at the bottom of your engine.

How Do You Turn A Flywheel Manually?

Rear of crankshaft is flywheel, which is bolted in place. It’s impossible to turn the flywheel by hand if you remove the spark plugs from your engine. You’ll have to make do with the starter. Your front crankshaft bolt can be turned by hand by placing a large socket on it. Rotate the crank after linking the long ratchet wrench.


To sum up, it is possible that your starter will start but the flywheel will not turn. There are numerous reasons why this might happen. Battery, starter, or other components could be at blame. It’s a good idea to have your car checked over by a professional. A problem can be identified by them.