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The easiest way is to take it to a parts store where most of them will check them out free. It also helps if we know what kind of car you have. GoodluckJoe

turn your head lights on and try to start it if the headlights go out its more than likely your battery if they stay bright or barely dim its your starter

try the lights, do they turn on? if yes, then it probably isn't the battery. if its the starter motor, you should hear a loud clicking sound from the engine when you turn the key in the ignition. if this is the problem, turn the car off, open the door, stand on the sill at the side of the car while holding the edge of the roof and rock the car. if the car starts after this - its your starter.

If your starter was bad your car would not even crank. If its your battery the starter will click repeatedly.

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โˆ™ 2015-07-16 19:31:33
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Q: How do you tell if your battery or your starter is bad?
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Bas battery or bad starter?

Remove the battery and take it to an auto parts store for testing. They can tell you if it is bad. If it is good, then remove the starter and do the same thing.


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Could be the battery is drained or bad. Could be battery connections at battery and or starter are dirty and or loose. Could be starter solenoid is bad. Could be starter is bad.


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Your starter is incapable of being drained. It is an electric motor. However a bad starter can drain your battery


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My suggestion is to make sure that you have a good connection between your starter and your battery. Is the starter even functioning? If not, it is probably a bad starter, a bad battery, a bad fusible link for the starter, a blown fuse, or just a bad connection. My suggestion is to make sure that you have a good connection between your starter and your battery. Is the starter even functioning? If not, it is probably a bad starter, a bad battery, a bad fusible link for the starter, a blown fuse, or just a bad connection.


If your car won't start how can you tell if it is your battery or starter that is bad?

First, turn on the headlights. Now, have someone watch them as you try to start the car; do they get dim? If so, the battery is in need of a charge; If not, you need to check your connections at the starter. You may have a bad starter, starter solenoid, or connection.


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