Starter Grinding

Q: When I turn the key to start my car I hear a grinding noise. The car starts and runs fine. I only hear it when I am starting the car. What could be the problem?

A: Three things can commonly cause this sound. The starter drive in the starter may be faulty. The starter drive’s purpose is to engage the flywheel to crank over the engine. If this drive isn’t fully engaging a grinding sound is heard. Another possible problem could be the flywheel. The flywheel is connected to the engine’s crankshaft. The starter drive engages to the ring gear (teeth circling the flywheel). If the ring gear is damaged a grinding sound is heard. Finally, a loose starter could also cause this type of grinding. Check the mounting bolts to make sure they are tight.