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No start, no crank, grinding sometimes?

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Jan 14, 2016, 10:00 PM

Post #1 of 9 (1068 views)
No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

2009 Lancer DE
2.0L Non-turbo
98k miles

Car wont start. When i turn the key all I hear is a buzz sound, no clicking. Sometimes if I take the key out and let it sit for a second then turn the key real fast sometimes I would get a clicking noise. I pulled the starter had it tested, and its said to be good. Reconnected the starter, same thing, no click, no start, just buzzing when i crank it. Again every now and then I could turn the key and get something, this time sounded like a grinding noise. But mostly no start, no crank, no click.

Battery is good, starter is good. When i turn the key the ac turns off i guess meaning the car knows im turning the key, neutral safety switch sounds good then?

Not sure where to look next?

thank you

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 15, 2016, 3:05 AM

Post #2 of 9 (1051 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

? Not so sure yet on much. This grinding noise when it did - was that the starter drive gear on "flywheel" sound or something else? Would you know?
Tests on starters off car to me are not conclusive or prove a starter is good and find the testing on that car more informative as it has the load of that particular engine.
Battery: Why are you so sure it's good? Just because some lights work doesn't mean so. Plain volt readings could show green on some testers and doesn't mean it's strong enough new or not. A jumper box battery jump if battery is just weak would be info too or make it start.
Neutral safety switch: If and you should have tested power makes to trigger wire at solenoid on top of starter it's probably fine. In fact possible even in stock a jumper tool wire with momentary switch to power that would be info on whether starter can crank engine or do the same things for noises. If just noises I'd see if engine can be cranked by crank bolt - it might have a problem and be too tight for some reason?
Ignition switch itself could still be at fault. There's more testing to do IMO to pin this down better. At a minimum a voltmeter, test light, jumper box would help and jumper wire fused best.
For only the info here now I don't think your battery can deliver proper power (AMPS) to starter motor but a weak guess so far,



Jan 15, 2016, 10:15 AM

Post #3 of 9 (1036 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

I had the battery tested at the auto parts store. I also tried jumping

The grinding sounds like it's coming from the flywheel. But again it only does it every 20 or so trys at turning the key.

The starter is very very hard to get to. Only way I can get to the starter terminals if I remove the starter bolts and pull the starter down below.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 15, 2016, 11:13 AM

Post #4 of 9 (1030 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

OK - Things to understand - many: If in fact starter is grinding on the "flywheel" it is usually a broken few teeth on that larger flywheel on an automatic trans called a ring gear - same idea.
The small gear of the starter is part of what's called a "starter drive" that looks like this if it shows.........

So, when starter is triggered at solenoid this is pushed out at that ring gear. This drive is made to only grab one direction and can turn by hand the other in the event starter is accidentally engaged on a running engine spins at the speed of the engine with quite a noise and not good for starter or that ring gear. If this thing isn't held in proper closeness to the ring gear it could be too tight or too far away as well on some or worn how it's help by starter somehow and doesn't hold its position - never seen by me.

That would be a real problem. A starter off car may work but not on the engine as said above.
Jumping with another vehicle is not longer suggested but done all the time. Jumpers frequently do not make an adequate contact and may take time to charge a battery that is low on charge but not totally dead jumping doesn't usually work.
Improper AMPS means power that is delivered. If weak along the way volts would drop and items in the just crank mode including a starter could make some funky lighter noises.
In turn low volts if seen and you have to be watching things will not behave.
Things have to be noted and ruled out from does the starter get proper trigger power from the ignition switch then in turn from the battery next.
An experienced ear with this crap could rule out lots before tools come out.
Parts difficult to get at as you said is the norm for lots of things. Bummer as with the grinding I would have spun the whole engine by the ring gear by crank bolt with a helper or pry bar or screwdriver a full round to see teeth on that ring gear marking it with a dot of paint or something so you know you've seen the entire thing. Broken off teeth are usually just one small are if so and the fix means taking trans out! You don't want that.
Trying to be concise but this still needs ruling out things one by one. The parts store testing of anything is nice but only as good as the person doing it on what equipment and can give wrong results battery or starters. Wrong info cause real waste of time if something is thought known good and really isn't.
Try the jump again and if with another running donor vehicle let it stay connected for 10 minutes or so. It battery is worth damn in the car now it will be closer to helping and may grind each try at that point. If so turn the engine which can be done by crank bolt with a socket you probably don't have so try turning engine by an accessorie like alternator or the belt itself just a bit. If it instantly behaves that's damning for a broken ring gear. If no change it pretty much rules that out.
Just FYI - an engine only comes to stop in a few spots so grinding one in 20 is confusing me. By rights/odds it would grind once every 3 tries on average so really not sure on that part of the issue.
IDK - try the jump again this time leaving cables or jumper box on quite a while and see if we can rule that out. Gotta get some possible issues out of the real problem and begin somewhere,



Jan 15, 2016, 1:47 PM

Post #5 of 9 (1025 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

Thank you for the detailed reply and taking take to help me.

Before I removed the starter there was no grinding sound, only until i reinstalled the starter.

When I turn the key I get nothing other than what sounds like a buzz sound. No grinding, no clicking. But if I keep trying over and over again, sometimes I would get the grinding noise. Now before I removed the starter, every now and then I would get a "clicking" noise. The sound of a dead battery. But I got the battery tested, and I tried to jump the car off. I will try to jump again and let it sit for 10 minutes and I will report back.


Jan 15, 2016, 2:35 PM

Post #6 of 9 (1023 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

Jumped the car off for 10mins, no start, no crank, no click, nothing.

I then got a long screw driver, taped a piece of metal rod to it to make it long enough to reach the solenoid.

I can cross the solenoid and I can hear the starter free-spin.

So I may have more than 1 problem? The starter will power on manually, but not when I turn the key.

Why is the starter just free-spinning?

I could not replicate any grinding/clicking by turning the key, even after 50 or so trys.

EDIT: I jut realized my method of jumping the starter is only turning the starter, and not engaging the solenoid. The S on the starter might prove to be too difficult to get to without removing the starter again.

EDIT #2: Got the motor to turn! I was able to jump the S on the starter with my screwdriver and the motor turned over a couple times. So now where down to what ignition switch and neutral safety switch?

(This post was edited by robert95z on Jan 15, 2016, 2:48 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 15, 2016, 3:07 PM

Post #7 of 9 (1007 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

OK - now you mentioned a clue to go on. Not much time right now but stick with me/us I think we can solve this. FYI this isn't live help here it's volunteers here when they can be and I can quite a bit.
The clue is the free spinning starter now: What happens and you might find a YouTube of one in physical operation even a whole starter with solenoid you can test out on the ground or floor with jumper cables and you call it "crossing the terminals which I take as getting power to the trigger wire of the solenoid which is on top of the starter on this.
They way that works is when triggered, meaning smaller wire given power and enough of it the solenoid is both a magnetic plunger that pushes that starter drive at the ring gear (flywheel) AND at the same time turns the engine. We aren't even talking about if it runs - not the issue at hand. You hear the starter motor which I would describe as a humming sound when it doesn't engage the small gear of starter drive to ring gear or can do that intermittently and be engaged but small gear of the starter driver is slipping. For decades that's been rare to me and once just the drive was available by itself you could install in an otherwise good starter.
I plead guilty as I don't know how these parts are sold now to the public but probably not popular vs swapping out whole starter already done, hopefully checked out. Near all will be remanufactured and have new brushes, solenoid and the starter drive. If the core they used was all screwed up with some other odd problem that starter could fail too but pass testing before they rebuilt it. What I'm saying is there is a failure rate to rebuilding these things and sometimes totally new is wildly expensive or unavailable easily or at all.
What you described would work on the floor as said as there's no load on it.
Wish I could be right there with obstruction tools to get starter out quicker but a strong guess (can't do better without problems in front of me) is a rebuilt starter would solve this and if that didn't work properly it probably would be a different way of misbehaving.
If cost is excessive for you for this high chance my experience is that you can get used starter whole from junkyards. Even better if you can go see the car it came out of giving clues that it was junked from a non engine issue at all like a wreck suggesting it was a running vehicle before that makes me more confident with used parts if you need to go that way for cost reasons.

Other: Things that are hard on or ruin starters. Cranking way too long with a non starting engine. Dunking one under water such as a flood ruin car. Trauma from the age old whack the snots out of one with a hammer trick but too hard. Brushes can wear out but starter wouldn't turn at all when they are worn totally.
Just FYI - old phart here. Nobody would be thrilled WAY back when if a mechanic didn't fix YOUR starter him or herself. Now there's just too many different ones, parts would be slow to acquire and customer unhappy for wasting time to get going again so it's whole part tossing for one already done in this trade when problem like that found and on to the next pain in the butt problem.

Dang I'm glad to be retired from this and just typing away sometimes!

Good luck, still a bet but a pretty high chance starter in whole would fix this,



Jan 15, 2016, 3:16 PM

Post #8 of 9 (1004 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In


Thanks again for the reply. I guess you didnt see my latest edit, but I did get the motor to turn by jumping the trigger wire to the starter motor. At first I was simply jumping the hot wire from the battery to the starter motor, thus not engaging the solenoid.

With that being said I have to assume the starter is good? And need somewhere else to start looking now?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 15, 2016, 4:37 PM

Post #9 of 9 (996 views)
Re: No start, no crank, grinding sometimes? Sign In

Ya - took me a while to type that all out so didn't see you edits. Now seems starter is fine, trigger wire isn't empowered by they ignition.
I'd test light that first usually in area above pedals not where the key is turning. NS switch is possible but almost never
intermittent - usually a go or no go - it's just a switch no matter where places - some inside transmissions not my specialty and I'd be looking it up for myself if my issue.
Without specific diagrams I do not own now I would follow continuity of that wire either back from starter or forward from ignition switch and might have a small relay involved with it.
Sorry - at a loss for complete info on each car as it costs and I'm fully retired so not worth it for me. Another tech here now may have other ideas on where to check next,


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