replacement starter grinds when cold

ken_in_kcMarch 1, 2011

Replaced the starter on the '98 Honda Accord (4 cylinder) a few months ago. When it's cold it grinds when the engine starts, like it's not disengaging fast enough. Sounds like when you accidentlly hit the starter when the motor is running - that type of grinding. But it only does it when the engine is cold.

Should I take the starter back off and lube it and with what? Or complain to the auto parts store? Or should I have gotten a genuine Honda starter and not a remanufactured one?

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do not assume starter has shims? older GM cars did. sounds like solenoid assy is hanging up. could replace it and see. but here you are. original starter is gone. maybe should have rebuilt it? too late.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 12:23PM
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The original starter did not have shims, if that helps.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 12:43PM
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why did it fail before? sure your flexplate teeth are ok? flexplate is not warped/bent? all else, take it back. thats what warranties are for.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 2:43PM
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The original one developed a bad spot on the armature. Most of the time it was OK, but sometimes you'd hit the key and nothing. Hit the key multiple times, and eventually it would catch. At least that's what the Honda dealer said the problem was. They wanted ~$450 to put in a starter, so thought I'd do it myself.

Afraid I'd take it back, the parts store would say there's nothing wrong with it. But I don't want damage done to the flywheel teeth.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 6:17PM
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common for budget units to not perform well. not saying flexplate is problem but i think your bendix drive is the issue.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:40AM
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Although the original starter did not have a shim(s), the starter you now have may need those. If the mounting surfaces of the replaement starter has been machined (during the rebuild), it probably needs shims.

When the gear teeth do not mesh properly, those will make a groaning sound while cranking the engine. If the teeth are shoved too deeply together, binding occurs and excessive wear results on both sets of teeth. Also, increased loading appears on the starter bearing.

The pinion and gear should meet at their pitch circles.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:06PM
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Honda starters do not use shims. Honda DOES NOT RECOMMEND
after market starters on any of their vehicles. An after market starter should last one year if you use one. Maybe. The drive engage pitch is metric but which one ? Europe,
Japanese,or British ?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Thanks for the input. Think I'll take the starter off this weekend and see if they will give me another one.

It worked OK from July until a couple months ago. Only makes noise when it's cold first thing in the morning or after sitting several hours outside. And it's right when the engine fires that it grinds - not while cranking. Once the car has been driven a few miles, it sounds normal upon a warm restart.

Just wish that one bolt wasn't hard to get to.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 4:07PM
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