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How to start a car without a starter

Years ago my starter went and my mechanical minded brother was able to reach under the hood and start the car so I could get it to the service station. Anyone know what he did???

Providing you can unlock the steering wheel and the ignition system is engaged, (hot), you can jumper with a screwdriver the two terminals on the starter selenoid. Go from the one the large battery wire is attached to and also to the one next to the starter housing on the selenoid. If it only spins the starter without starting it, you’ll need to come off the small terminal to the large one at the same time which will throw the starter gear up against the flywheen ring gear. This isn’t for the inexperienced, as you can have a small 4th of july celebration if you’re not careful, or you can burn yourself, or do some other type of electrical damage by welding the wrong thing under the hood.

Don’t let bennyandthejets kid you, it was MACHANICS’ MAJIC. With a little practice, anyone can do it.

I’m guessing it wasn’t really the starter per se but the solenoid and I’m guessing it was either a very old car or a moderately old Ford product, which had the solenoid mounted nice and conveniently on the fender wells as opposed to tucked under the engine on the starter itself. His trick will only work with a failed solenoid (which is the relay that energizes the starter) and not an actual failed starter, so unfortunately it’s of limited usefulness.

I am not sure what exactly your brother did, but you can often push-start a car with a manual transmission. I am guessing you don’t need a starter to do it.