Starlink dishes have electric motors inside that allow them to self-align to the Starlink satellites. When you first power on the unit, the dish will point straight up to find a signal, and then it will move into an optimal position a few minutes later.
The “Starlink Motors Stuck” error pops up on the Starlink app when the motors in your dish are unable to aim or move. When the motors aren’t working, you can expect performance problems or even service interruptions. In some cases, your dish won’t be able to connect at all.
If you are getting the motors stuck message like in the image above, don’t worry! In this article, I’ll explain some of the common causes of the stuck motors error, and give you some troubleshooting tips to fix it.
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What causes it?
The app will show the motors stuck error anytime it tries to move the dish, but is unable to do so. Each Starlink dish has sensors that let it know what angle it’s at, and what direction it’s facing. In other words, the dish will know if it’s unable to move itself.
There are several reasons why you would get the error:
Something is blocking the dish from moving
One common reason for the motors being stuck is an improper installation location. Many people will install their dish on the side of their home, or on the roof fascia, without thinking about how the dish will have to move once it is powered up.
When it tries to rotate or tilt, the roof or wall prevents movement, and the motors are disabled to prevent further damage. The app will show the error so that you can correct any obstructions, before the dish will attempt to move again.
The dish has tipped over
If you don’t have your dish securely mounted, it could be tipped over. Strong winds can easily tip a Starlink dish over on its side, especially if you are just using the included base. If it tips over, it won’t be able to move, so the motors stuck error will pop up in the app.
Too high of a mast angle
Another cause of stuck motors is mounting the dish horizontally, or on too steep of a roof. If you mount the Starlink dish to where the mast is more than 5 degrees from vertical, you run the risk of stuck motors. The dish cannot be mounted horizontally to a wall, as it cannot tilt enough to properly aim itself.
Starlink sells various mounting solutions to allow you to properly mount the dish to almost any surface or structure. Many mounts are adjustable so that you can ensure the mast is vertical, regardless of roof pitch or mounting location.
Finally, the last cause of the Starlink motor error is bad hardware. Sometimes, electronics just break down. There have been plenty of reports about brand new dishes that refuse to power up or move. When the dish won’t move from its stowed position, it won’t connect, and the app will generate an error.
I recommend that you try these troubleshooting steps to diagnose the cause of your motors stuck error:
- Go to where your dish is installed. Make sure it is still secure in the mount, and hasn’t tipped over.
- Make sure nothing is preventing the dish from moving. Is it hitting the roof or wall? Did a tree branch fall on it?
- Is the dish mast at an angle? Remember, the mast should be within 5 degrees of vertical. If you are trying to install the dish on a steep roof pitch without an adjustable mount, look into other mounting options.
- Reboot your Starlink by unplugging the power cord, waiting 60 seconds, and then plugging it back in. Give the system about 15 minutes to boot up. Check the app to see if the error has gone away.
Getting a replacement dish
If the troubleshooting tips above didn’t fix the motors stuck error, you will need to contact Starlink to see about getting a replacement dish. The motors in your dish are likely defective, so the entire dish will need to be replaced.
In most locations, the Starlink warranty covers your dish for 12 months. Even if your unit is out of warranty, Starlink will work with you to get your hardware replaced. To contact Starlink, create a support ticket on the app or website.
The “Starlink Motors Stuck” message is a pretty common problem, usually caused by the dish being tipped over or improperly installed. Most times, a simple reboot or clearing obstructions will fix the issue. But in rare cases, defective hardware is to blame.
If you’ve tried the troubleshooting steps in this article without any luck, be sure to contact Starlink to see about a replacement dish. If you have any additional questions or feedback about this guide, let me know in the comments below, or send me an email.