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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well at 105k, my starter finally failed on my 2003.
I had to get it towed to a Good Year/Pep Boys Auto Center. I know I know. Due to lack of tools, time and mechanic skills. I figured it was better than the dealer.
After 2 mornings there and 2 faulty starters plus $450, they still can't figure it out. It makes a weird noise when starting, but once its on its fine.

Is it possible that they are mounting it wrong or could it seriously be 2 faulty starters?
I'm driving it now but it just sounds horrible when it starts.

They are ordering me another new one and I have to gop back and have it installed in a few days.

Any help?
 

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If it sounds like grinding between the starter gear and the flywheel teeth, get it back to the shop ASAP. If you damage the flywheel teeth you are in for one expensive repair. There are no shims and special measurements listed to do in the shop manual. Yes it is possible to get two bad rebuilt starters. There are after market starters and parts and then there are excellent ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its more of a funny whirling noise rather than a grinding. That's what I thought that it was the teeth grinding. But they assured me it wasn't.
 

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They may be ordering the wrong starter as the Manual one is different then the auto one. Its best to get one from the dealership unless they know for sure that they got the right one and it will sound just like you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought the same thing but they said it was just defective...
I just drove it home from work and it started fine just has that funny whirling sound.
Once its on its good its just that darn sound.
Hopefully the next one they order finally fixes it.

This is the first major thing to go wrong with it in the 7 years that i've owned it.
But it has me worried and I already started shopping for a 2010 online. lol I'm such a bad owner...
It does have 105k on it and i'm afraid that it's only the beginning.
 

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I've heard of several people having trouble w/ rebuilt or aftermaket starters. There appears to be some slight difference that cause interfearence & the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Latest Update....
4 starters later and still noisy problem.
They are now going to purchase one from Honda to see if its the starter or something else.
This is its 3rd day in the shop.
 

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Like Apriliaguy said, I'm bettin' it's the "Reman" starter issue. Most of the reman places use cheap crap (and labor) and the parts they use to rebuild starters/alternators aren't the same quality or fit as OEM. Hopefully your new OEM will solve the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If its not done today by Noon. I'm going to demand a refund and hopefully drive it to the dealer 15 miles down the road. I'll bring them their reman part back later.

105k miles and never a problem. I don't want these knuckleheads to open up Pandora's box and next thing you know i'm in the shop every month due to their not knowing whaty they are doing.
 

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It does sound like they were giving you the wrong starter. The cheap rebuilders don't really care about rebuilding it correctly.
 

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Starter Issues

Does anyone have any advice? I have a technician that has already began replacing it and now says he needs to replace the flex plate (due to a loud noise when it starts, after he replaced the starter)...HELP! I am beginning to think he is in over his head...has anyone else had this problem. It all began when it wouldn't start and we had replaced the battery. He says he tested the starter and it was definitely bad. :|
 

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Sounds like he put in the wrong starter to me.


Did you have the noise before the starter was changed? If not, you have the wrong starter in the car.


Dom
 

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Like Dom said, if it wasn't making noises before he changed the starter, he may have induced the problem. Typically the only reason to change the flexplate (flywheel) is if teeth are damaged or if there's a crack in it.

If the teeth were damaged before he changed the starter it would be from the old starter not engaging properly and grinding the teeth on the starter and the flexplate, which you would hear when you try to start it.

If it is cracked, then I doubt it was caused by the mechanic.
 

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More problems!!!

The car was not making these issues before he replaced the starter...it would just not start. Now he is telling me he has to replace the torque converter (which is $660!!!!!!!!) This puts me in the hole over $1k! :x I am helpless because he has my car taken apart and I am not there to see it, even if I was he is the mechanic not me. I am so upset about this...please help!
 

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Have him put it back the way it was and get it out of there. They are supposed to inform you of any work they are going to do. Not just do it! I don't understand what the torque converter, would have to do with any of this. The flywheel, or the ring gear, yes. Those would be possibility's. Unless there is/was another issue you failed to tell us about, I don't see the converter as part of the starter issue. Elements are not known for issues with the torque converter, on top of it all.


Dom
 

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torque converter

The reason he says he has to replace the torque converter is because the ring gear is welded to the torque converter. He cannot just replace the ring gear, according to the tech. He claims this is worn down due to excessively trying to start the car when the starter was going bad...there are no underlying issues I am leaving out I promise!:-(

I did call him today to ask him to put the car back together with the new starter and we would come by to pick it up Monday. I am ready to wash my hands of this car. I have loved my Element, but I can not afford $1k in repairs. :?
 

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not convinced

So how exactly does this piece get damaged? Is it true that the ring gear can be damaged due to a faulty or dead starter?
 
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