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Old 02-09-2010, 05:46 AM   #1
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Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

sometimes my car wont start but when I turn the key it sounds like the starter motor makes a buzzing sound. Like its spining but not catching anything. Then if I stop and try again it starts. Could this mean my starter is on the way out?
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

If it clicks, might be a low battery. If it buzzes or doesnt engauge, might be starter failure or worn ring gear. Assuming it can be started, the battery can be tested with it in the car. You'll have to pull the starter to get it tested. Once you've pulled the starter you can also inspect the ring gear for wear or damage.

Good luck
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

. I just had the battery replaced the other day. It doesnt make any clicking sounds. Just sometimes when you go to start it it buzz's like its spinning but not catching. Is the starter the same on a v6 as a v8? I took one off of a v6 before it was only like two bolts and some conectors. its a wierd sound I never heard it before
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

The solenoid on the starter isn't working.
It's job is to push the starter gear into the teeth of the flywheel/flexplate.
It's possible to replace just the solenoid but most people replace the whole starter.
Before replacing you might want to get under there and check for bad or loose wire connections.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

There's nothing wrong with the starter solenoid if the starter is spins. It's the starter drive that's bad.

You can either replace just the drive or just install a new/rebuilt starter.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:09 PM   #6
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo57509 View Post
There's nothing wrong with the starter solenoid if the starter is spins. It's the starter drive that's bad.

You can either replace just the drive or just install a new/rebuilt starter.
http://www.samarins.com/glossary/starter.html
Click the image to open in full size.

It doesn't take much power at all to spin an unloaded starter, but it does take a lot of power to engage the gears and spin. It also takes more power to actuate the starter gear.
What I'm saying is that the relay part of the solenoid could easily be at fault here. Either way the solenoid has to come off to fix it.
I just wanted to clarify.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

Look at the diagram, specifically the solenoid.

When the ignition key is turned to start position, two things happen inside the solenoid.

1. Battery voltage from the ignition switch causes the solenoid to pull in and move the starter drive into position with the ring gear (shown as the Starter Control Circuit).

2. At the same time, it completes the circuit between the battery positive cable and the starter motor which causes the starter to spin (shown inside the solenoid as the "arm" and light gray box).

It is what happens in (2) above is why I say if the starter spins, it's most likely the drive that's slipping.

Replacement of the entire starter would be easier than tearing the starter down just to replace the drive.

Last edited by paulo57509; 02-10-2010 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:19 PM   #8
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

And some guys call the drive a bendix.

You may want to consider upgrading to a gear-reduction starter ( if it's not already ).
They are smaller so they fit under headers and stay away from exhaust heat so are not so prone to having problems starting when the engine is hot. Also are great for hi compression motors. Just a thought if you can afford one.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:27 AM   #9
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

Having dealt with this issue at least a hundred times (no, not all on the same car), I agree that the most likely cause is the starter drive. Repair requires removal of the starter, and changing out the drive, also called a 'bendix', as was mentioned in another post.

It's easier to just change the starter... but less costly to just replace the drive. The tradeoff is that it requires a little bit of skill and patience to do the job, and you still have an old starter.

If it were my car, I'd change the drive, unless I was having other problems, such as the heat issues mentioned earlier.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:08 PM   #10
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Re: Somtimes Car doesnt start. Sounds like starter motor making a buzzing sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ternandes View Post
Having dealt with this issue at least a hundred times (no, not all on the same car), I agree that the most likely cause is the starter drive. Repair requires removal of the starter, and changing out the drive, also called a 'bendix', as was mentioned in another post.

It's easier to just change the starter... but less costly to just replace the drive. The tradeoff is that it requires a little bit of skill and patience to do the job, and you still have an old starter.

If it were my car, I'd change the drive, unless I was having other problems, such as the heat issues mentioned earlier.

well I put a new starter on. It cost me 75$. I guess that fixed it I haven't had anymore problems with it. The starter sounds a different pitch then my old one did. Thanks!!!
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