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Starter grinding sometimes

Pablo M
Go to solution Solved by Mike Self,

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Sometimes when I start the car, 72 tii, the starter grinds. I assume its the teeth not meshing with the flywheel. But, is this a starter replacement situation or something else?

Starter does not sound slow and often 'catches' the second or third time without issue. 

And I've read the e34 starter is a good replacement and easy to find.

let me know what you think.

Edited by Pablo M

2003 e39 M5 (daily)

1986 e30 325es (sons car)

1972 2002tii (fun daily alternative)

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Might be worn down teeth on the flywheel ring gear. A little patch of teeth wear down, when ever(frequently) the bad patch lines up with your starter on shutdown, you get grinding

If that’s the case a new starter won’t help.

Edited by tech71

76 2002 Survivor

71 2002 Franzi

85 318i  Doris

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  • Solution

It might be the ring gear on the flywheel.  Due to engine compression, when you turn off the ignition on our 4 cylinder cars, the crankshaft will stop turning and come to rest in one of four spots (on a six cylinder, it's six spots, etc etc.)  So, when you go to start the car, the starter's pinion gear is gonna mesh with the flywheel's ring gear in the same four spots every time.  Thus that's where the wear will occur.   


However, it's more likely either a sticking Bendix drive on the starter, a weak starter solenoid, or dirty terminals either on the starter or the battery, impeding and lowering current flow.  Most starters do this occasionally, but if yours does it pretty consistently, it's probably time to pull the starter and test it, and examine the flywheel for excessive wear.  



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'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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