The whole neighborhood gets to hear it! It’s a high pitched metallic noise that when cranking the pinion gear from the starter motor is trying to turn the ring gear that has no teeth left.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Basically what you will find is that with every second crank, every fifth, fifteenth or hundredth crank, you will hear this noise.. If the noises become more common, eg. every second or third or tenth crank, it’s time to get the ring gear fixed and also the starter motor pinion will have to be examined to see if it’s worn. It may be causing the ring gear to wear.
Cost of a ring gear or fly wheel and the starter motor pinion may cost around $600.00 for the complete job. A temporary repair is, with a set of gloves, to try to move the harmonic balancer. That way you are moving the location of those sets of teeth and of the ring gear, and the car might start if you are stranded in a remote location.
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009