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Old 02-12-2019, 05:43 AM   #1
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Starter squeal- how long before I need to replace?

My '05 has the occasional brief starter squeal that many others have reported. How many miles have others gone while living with this?

Is it just an annoyance or a sign indicating that I must replace the starter? If so, what has the experience been as to when it needs to be replaced?

Thanks in advance, Tom
*******************************BELOW IS AN UPDATE also in another post below****************************
I first posted this in Feb. I had bought the car in August and experienced the starting noise from time to time. A month or so after posting, the noise stopped. I think something had a bit of rust on it that caused the hang up and thus the noise. It is possible that the previous owner (who drove it an average of 3200 miles per year) put most of his miles on a few long trips which may have allowed the hang up. I use the car 5 days a week which appears to be enough to eliminate the cause of the hang up.

Theory aside, the fact is that with increased frequency of use, the problem has gone away and hopefully stays away.


Last edited by tlc356; 05-21-2019 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlc356 View Post
My '05 has the occasional brief starter squeal that many others have reported. How many miles have others gone while living with this?

Is it just an annoyance or a sign indicating that I must replace the starter? If so, what has the experience been as to when it needs to be replaced?

Thanks in advance, Tom
I wouldn't let it go too long as that noise is the starter Bendix drive grinding the teeth off your flywheel, which is a lot more expensive to replace than the starter...…………….
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:50 PM   #3
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And... if you remove the starter and take it to get a rebuild you should be able to do everything for about $100

Just remember to disconnect the battery first..
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:56 PM   #4
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I've had good luck just disassembling the solenoid part, cleaning and putting in new grease. Not a hard job, and free! I like free.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:54 PM   #5
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Repair as soon as practical.

That means you can still drive it, but order the parts or make the appt to have it repaired. Then repair as soon you have the parts.

If you wait too long, eventually the flywheel teeth will become damaged and shortly after that, the Bendix gear won't be able to drive the flywheel (due to the damaged teeth) and the starter will spin freely without turning over the engine and you'll be stranded.

Most owners replace the entire starter motor. But as NewArt mentions, you can clean the solenoid by removing the starter, disassemble the solenoid, then clean, re-grease, and reinstall.
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Last edited by thstone; 02-12-2019 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:45 AM   #6
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Here you go: Link.
I'm going to do the same in a couple of weeks
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:46 PM   #7
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I had the same problem on my 98. I just removed the starter, disassembled it, cleaned and greased it and now it works like new. Hardest part was getting the intake parts out of the way to get to the starter. Be careful of the the small plastic vacuum tubes going to the throttle body. I snapped one but the replacement was cheap.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #8
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I, too, have that sound. Likewise, I'll be tackling this within the next couple weeks.

szube... did the Torx bolts come out easily?

Hopefully the Torx screws won't be challenging, so I'll use penetrating oil beforehand.

Cheers!
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:09 PM   #9
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The lower starter bolt is accessed through the firewall panel by using a very long, or combination of shorter, extension bars for your socket. Just underneath the alternator you can see right through.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewArt View Post
The lower starter bolt is accessed through the firewall panel by using a very long, or combination of shorter, extension bars for your socket. Just underneath the alternator you can see right through.
Example here:


Just plan to replace the vacuum lines while you are in there if they are original.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:17 AM   #11
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Update on squeal

I first posted this in Feb. I had bought the car in August and experienced the starting noise from time to time. A month or so after posting, the noise stopped. I think something had a bit of rust on it that caused the hang up and thus the noise. It is possible that the previous owner (who drove it an average of 3200 miles per year) put most of his miles on a few long trips which may have allowed the hang up. I use the car 5 days a week which appears to be enough to eliminate the cause of the hang up.

Theory aside, the fact is that with increased frequency of use, the problem has gone away and hopefully stays away.

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