Your car's starter is a small electric motor that supplies energy to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the engine. The battery supplies power for the starter to operate. Your starter may last quite a bit longer if you follow a few simple tips. Use a good quality fuel in your car to reduce wear on the starter caused by excessive cranking. Try never to turn the starter for more than ten seconds or while the engine is running. An engine that runs correctly and is in tune will usually prolong a starter's life. Some mechanics suggest applying the parking brake when you start your car. This may prevent needless wear and tear on many parts, including the starter. Often, a starter may be replaced when another electrical problem is present. Some signs of a starter problem are slow cranking, strange noises upon starting, or failure to start. If you suspect problems with your starter, have a mechanic perform an electrical test on it to make sure it's not another electrical system problem. A qualified mechanic or auto parts dealer in your area may be able to answer any further questions you have about starters.