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DIY mechanIc can get starteD on the starter

BY RAY MAGLIOZZI
Dear Car Talk:

using my car to learn how to work
on cars, and I’ve learned about
replacing starters but haven’t done
one yet. I don’t want to buy a new
starter and try replacing it if that’s
not what’s causing my problem.
What do you think? — Don

gear called the flywheel, which is do-it-yourselfers, Don, so I have
attached to the engine.
confidence you’ll succeed —

The starter motor’s job is to use
that little gear to turn the flywheel
until the engine starts running
on its own — it usually takes only
a second or two. Then, the starter
gear retracts, and the engine keeps
running. At least that’s what’s
supposed to happen. If the starter
drive doesn’t retract — or retracts
too slowly — then you’ll hear that
starter gear getting ground up by
the flywheel. Grrrrzzzzzzhhhhh!
Sound familiar?

I think you’re about to get your big
When I go to start my car (normally chance to change a starter, Don.
the engine is cold), after I turn the Maybe you can send out invitations
and get all the relatives to come
key and release it, I hear a grinding
and watch.
sound.
Every starter motor has a shaft with
This used to happen only when
a little gear at one end. That gear is
it was cold outside, but now called the starter drive. When you
sometimes it happens in the warm turn the key to the “start” position, So, you’re going to fix this by
weather, too. I was wondering if that starter drive pops out and replacing your starter. It’s a job
this could be the starter. I’ve been engages with a much bigger that’s within the reach of most

certainly after a few tries. Just
remember

to

disconnect

the

negative terminal of the battery
before taking the starter out so you
don’t set your hair on fire.
***
Got a question about cars? Write to Ray
in care of King Features, 628 Virginia
Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by
visiting the Car Talk website at www.
cartalk.com.
© 2019 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug
Berman Distributed by King Features
Syndicate, Inc

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