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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone --- I'm getting what I would describe as a grinding/slipping noise on cold starts in my '04 WRX. From what I've read, I think it could be the alternator, but I'm not sure if my noise fits the other descriptions I've seen. I just changed both belts and the A/C accessory pulley, which fixed other lingering noises, but not the slip/grind on startup. I have a video that includes the noise if anyone is willing to evaluate it.

A bit new at this --- thanks in advance for anyone's advice!
 

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Are you sure it's not the starter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure it's not --- does that seem likely given that it only happens on start? Is it usually a failure of the entire starter or just a bearing within the starter?
 

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In Æternum
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This sounds like the starter motor.

My bugeye did this before the starter motor failed, but only in cold weather.
 

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My bugeye starter still does this once in a while, especially when it's a cold start. It's done it since around 2010 but I never found the time to change the starter. Maybe in the next decade.
 

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I experienced this recently. If the solenoid isn't powering the starter motor like it should then it won't extend properly to engage the flywheel teeth and grind against it. From what I'm told the flywheel is harder than the starter gear teeth so it should sheer the starter teeth before damaging the flywheel teeth. Your issue sounds very similar to mine and my solenoid died soon after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all for replying. Teh Dango --- my uncle experienced a similar issue in his 80's era Porsche and had the same exact thesis as you do. In your experience, will I need a whole new starter, or can I save the starter with a new solenoid?
 

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Thanks to all for replying. Teh Dango --- my uncle experienced a similar issue in his 80's era Porsche and had the same exact thesis as you do. In your experience, will I need a whole new starter, or can I save the starter with a new solenoid?
It would depend on any damage that's been done. If it were me I would remove it and inspect before I bought anything. You should be able to at least see the gear teeth if not pull it out with your fingers and check. If any teeth are grinded I personally would replace both starter and solenoid. I'm a rather been safe than sorry person. Plus, a new setup can't be that expensive with a core deposit.
 
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