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Old 01-21-2013, 08:09 AM   #1
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Default Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

Like the title implies, it was about -3F this morning when I started up the EP3. I just bought the car 3 days ago. After cranking the car to start it and the engine firing I let off the key, but the starter stayed engaged to the flywheel and grinded for about a second. It sounded awful. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

I used to have a 96 civic lx that would do this if it was about -15F. I think it was the same issue. I hate Wisconsin sometimes....

I did find this information also (about halfway down the first page).

Start up grind

Has anybody tried to repair this, and if so did it actually help? I know that this will be hard on the starter if this happens repeatedly, so I would like to get this figured out. I understand the solenoid may just be stiff do to the temperature being so cold and isn't able to disengage from the flywheel. A new solenoid may help, but who knows..

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

Mine does this sometimes.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

From what I've read, it seems to be pretty common. I just don't want it to eventually destroy the teeth on the flywheel/starter/solenoid...

It would be nice to know if anybody has found a cure for it..
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

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Originally Posted by patrickvertigo View Post
From what I've read, it seems to be pretty common. I just don't want it to eventually destroy the teeth on the flywheel/starter/solenoid...

It would be nice to know if anybody has found a cure for it..
Mine does this in the cold, its been around 5 degrees here in Ohio and mine sticks about every morning. I plan on replacing it come spring just because its old. I think it might just be a sign of an old starter as mine did not do this last winter...

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

Most of the time there's not much you can do... this bitter cold frozen weather kills EVERYTHING... Only thing you can do is make sure to have the best strongest battery you can to keep strong constant power to the starter. Then also make sure the starter is in good working conditions.

I would check your battery, how old is it? How many CCAs? And then remember your starter is how old and been turned over how many times?
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

All good points. Battery is a brands new interstate. I think the CCA is 525. Best I could find for a battery that size.

Update on the situation.. The car continues to do this "grind" at any temp below +5F. I was doing some more searching on other forums and websites, seems like there is a way to lubricate the Bendix in the starter. Has anyone tried doing this?

I'm assuming with age, the Bendix gets stiff and has a harder time getting out out the way when the car starts. Also wondering if only that part is replaceable instead of replacing the entire starter.. A DIY would be awesome..
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

The started in my ep3 has always done that. Almost everytime when its cold and occasionally in the summer.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

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Originally Posted by Type-Spaz View Post
Only thing you can do is make sure to have the best strongest battery you can to keep strong constant power to the starter. Then also make sure the starter is in good working conditions.
That's good advice, I know my EP3 (when I still owned it) would grind less frequently once I installed my Stinger deep cycle battery. Car starts aggressively even in single digit temps (F').

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Originally Posted by patrickvertigo View Post
Update on the situation.. The car continues to do this "grind" at any temp below +5F. I was doing some more searching on other forums and websites, seems like there is a way to lubricate the Bendix in the starter. Has anyone tried doing this?
Sounds like a logical fix, but the starter is a b!tch to access from my understanding. Haven't had the pleasure of replacing mine yet.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Starter Grind on extremely cold starts, starter not disengaging.

Mine's had that issue since 50k miles (currently 125k)...

It doesn't sound like the teeth are grinding, just the starter gear is not disengaging in time.
If I have to replace the starter every 100k miles, so be it!
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