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View Full Version : Bad starter? You tell me.



alen
09-22-2010, 01:49 PM
Ok, so lately the starter has been making some grinding noise prior to startup on my 2000 1.8t.
It started happening a few weeks ago, maybe once every 10-20 startups. In the last week or so it started happening more often.
Then in the last couple of days, I have to crank it two, three times before the engine turns on. During these cranks, it's typical starter grind sound.

Now, considering how this issue has progressed, it leads me to believe it's something other than the actual starter. I could be wrong.
I've read a lot of threads here on this topic and there have been a few suggestions to test out some relays and solenoids, so I will do that first.

I also have a little bit of oil on the negative wire leading to the starter, so I'll clean that off and see what happens.

So, my main question is, based on the description above, does it sound like the starter itself?

Also, I found a few reman Bosch starters online, there is a SR0421X for $152, SR0421KT for $277, and 06B911023XKT for $265, all priced after core.
Are there any suggestions on which one is preferred?

Thanks,
Alen

JAMISONAWEAU
09-23-2010, 03:11 PM
i dont really see it being your starter obviously because its cranking which is what that noise it. did you check your neutral safety switch? something could be seized up and the starter could be trying to turn it over thus causing the grinding noise.

walky_talky20
09-23-2010, 08:45 PM
The wire going to the starter is the Positive wire! Negative is obtained through the case (via the engine block). Please be careful. Of course, it is advisable to always disconnect the battery when servicing the starter.

So when you turn they key fully, the starter engages, but just grinds instead of turning the engine? It does that a few times, until it finally works correctly, yes?

It seems to me that the starter is not engaging correctly with the flywheel. At this point it has probably damaged the teeth on the flywheel, so both the starter and the flywheel may need to be replaced. After removing the starter you will be able to view the flywheel and inspect for damage. It should be noted that the damage to flywheel may only be in a few spots. Unfortunately, when the engine is turned off it likes to come to rest in only a few different spots. It is quite likely that those will be the spots with damage, so a full turn of the flywheel should be performed during the inspection.

Many times this type of flywheel damage is due to the starter being previously replaced by a chinese rebuilt unit. The starter gear may not be made as well, or may be made of a material that is too hard, causing damage to the flywheel. This is just one reason why retaining the factory original starter (or a used OEM unit) is always preferred over the part store rebuilds, whenever possible.

Gaberossi
09-23-2010, 09:01 PM
x2^^ looks like a fellow tech is online

walky_talky20
09-23-2010, 10:44 PM
x2^^ looks like a fellow tech is online

Guilty as charged...[;)]

Gaberossi
09-24-2010, 06:26 AM
its funny I had a toyota in the shop with this same issue, the pinion gear teeth and flywheel teeth were all chewed up...ended up replacing both the starter and flywheel.

guy022077
09-24-2010, 06:35 AM
this just happened to me, the starter failed would fly out but not engage. pepboys has a 60 dollar one, after core. I went with a preowned oem. good luck 1.8t 2003

walky_talky20
09-24-2010, 04:39 PM
its funny I had a toyota in the shop with this same issue, the pinion gear teeth and flywheel teeth were all chewed up...ended up replacing both the starter and flywheel.

Toyota did a revision of the starter gear sometime in the 90's due to this problem (starter not engaging properly and chewing up the flywheel). The problem was the aftermarket didn't pickup the change and kept cranking out the old design gear that was an even harder material than the OEM anyway. So for a no-start problem, instead of just replacing the copper tabs in the OEM starter, people trade in their nice, japanese unit for a chinese pile of crap that eats their flywheel. Nice.

For a cheap fix on the Toyota's you can sometimes take the flywheel/flexplate off and rotate it a bit and bolt it back up. Because the engine always rests in the same spots, the old chewed spots are avoided altogether most of the time. You can only get away with that if the damage isn't too severe yet, though. Kind of a janky fix, but if that rusty Camry has 300k on it already, you're usually trying to fix it on the cheap. Not something you want to shortcut on an Audi though. Pulling the tranny is something you don't want to do twice.

Gaberossi
09-24-2010, 10:30 PM
Did not know that^^
Always learning something everyday

alen
09-26-2010, 07:18 AM
Thanks for the responses guys.


The wire going to the starter is the Positive wire! Negative is obtained through the case (via the engine block). Please be careful. Of course, it is advisable to always disconnect the battery when servicing the starter.

So when you turn they key fully, the starter engages, but just grinds instead of turning the engine? It does that a few times, until it finally works correctly, yes?

It seems to me that the starter is not engaging correctly with the flywheel. At this point it has probably damaged the teeth on the flywheel, so both the starter and the flywheel may need to be replaced. After removing the starter you will be able to view the flywheel and inspect for damage. It should be noted that the damage to flywheel may only be in a few spots. Unfortunately, when the engine is turned off it likes to come to rest in only a few different spots. It is quite likely that those will be the spots with damage, so a full turn of the flywheel should be performed during the inspection.

Many times this type of flywheel damage is due to the starter being previously replaced by a chinese rebuilt unit. The starter gear may not be made as well, or may be made of a material that is too hard, causing damage to the flywheel. This is just one reason why retaining the factory original starter (or a used OEM unit) is always preferred over the part store rebuilds, whenever possible.

So, what would cause this bad engagement? Is it possible that the neutral safety switch? I will check the flywheel teeth for any damage.

Thanks

Gaberossi
09-26-2010, 09:15 AM
Your starter needs to be replaced, and depending on the the damage you might need to replace the flywheel as well....This switch disables the starter operation when the vehicles transmission is not in neutral or park. If the engine was allowed to start in gear the car would immediately begin to move once the engine started. Neutral safety switches are equipped on automatic transmission vehicles only..For manual transmissions the safety switch is the on the clutch pedal and the battery cannot send power to the starter unless the clutch pedal is pressed down. On most vehicles the reverse light function is integrated into the neutral safety switch. The location of the switch can vary; designs can include a transmission selector shaft or steering column mounting location. A neutral safety switch carries starter solenoid voltage when the ignition key is turned to the start position. This switch works the same way a normal switch would work except the neutral safety switch is controlled when the vehicle gear selector is moved throughout its range from park to 1st or low gear. When a neutral safety switch fails the starter or reverse lights will not operate.

alen
09-30-2010, 08:01 PM
Ok, so I haven't had this issue happen in the last couple of days. Granted, I only started it about 5-10 times, but no grinding.

I did check under the car hoping I'd get to see the part number so I can order one, so I snapped a few pictures. Like I previously mentioned, a good part of it is soaked up in oil and grime. Don't know if this contributes to the issue. Here's a few pics:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9115.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9114.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9116.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9117.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9119.jpg

alen
09-30-2010, 08:06 PM
Also discovered that half of my APR snub mount is missing eeek!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9123.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9122.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/alenpalen/audi%20a4/IMG_9121.jpg

Gaberossi
10-01-2010, 09:43 AM
Replace that snub mount...and u need to take off the starter to see if you have any damage to the pinion gear teeth or flywheel teeth.