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Starter Issue

6383 Views 25 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  vegasbaby
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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Thanks Paul, Never had starter issues, so never looked that closely at the Element's configuration. That would explain the reason for different part numbers for M/T vs. A/T transmissions.

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?

Yes, Faulty starters. But you would hear it grinding when you turned the Key. Or you would hear the noise after you release the key, if the return spring did not work. A dead starter, does not work at all, so it can't cause damage.

If you were not hearing it grind when starting, then I would look at the new starter.

The wrong starter can also cause damage to the teeth.

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Tell him you want to see the old starter. Look at the teeth to see if they're damaged. If he won't show you the starter, then I would question whether he was responsible by installing the wrong starter or improperly installing it.

I appreciate all the advice and I plan to let you all know the outcome. I plan to ask him for the old starter, hopefully he stills has it. All of the responses I have gotten make lots of sense. Thanks again!!
Any updates? After looking at the pics, I understand the torque converter issue now, but if the toothed ring is on it, why did he want to replace the flex plate?

I have had manual transmission flywheels with bad rings before (I know your's is an auto, but bear with me). Most machine shops (engine rebuilders) can replace the rings to save the flywheels. You might want to check with one of them, or find a local transmission shop and ask them if there is anyone in your area that can rebuild torque converters or replace the ring on one.

Food for thought.
5 months since I put the starter in and it failed again.
Now they are saying the battery cables need to be replaced for $287.
Does this sound feasable? It's got 113k miles on it but once it starts it's fine.
Picked it up this morning. They replaced the starter again.
I'm having Honda take a look at the electrical system this week.
The yahoos at Pep Boys don't know what they are doing and my E is cherry. I don't want them messing anything up.
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