2000 Chrysler Cirrus Makes clanking noises when starting

Tiny
JUEVON
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CHRYSLER CIRRUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
When turning the key and engaging the starter, there is a very loud repetitious clanking noise under the hood until the engine starts. The engine idles and sounds smooth as soon as it starts, but the entire time the starter is turning the clanking proceeds. This happens every single time the car is started. The noise is a very consistent "clank clank clank clank" (maybe 5-8 times) until the car starts. What are the possible causes for a noise like this?
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Sunday, April 11th, 2010 AT 11:57 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There is a thin metal inspection plate that is probably bent, and the starter's drive gear is hitting it. Remove the starter and look for shiny spots on the plate indicating where it is hitting.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
JUEVON
  • MEMBER
I removed the starter and inspected the teeth. There was not a plate or anything obvious which the starter gear was hitting. However, I'm not sure if it is normal, but when I manually turned the flywheel it would move a few inches and make an abrupt stop with a clanking noise which seems a likely suspect. If I then turned it back the opposite direction it would make another clanking noise when it could no longer move in that direction. Is it possible that this "play" in the flywheel is causing my problem? Thanks again.
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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I think you found the problem. You should not be able to turn the flywheel at all by hand, at least not without a prybar. If the four bolts attaching the flexplate to the torque converter are not loose, and the holes aren't stretched out, suspect a cracked flexplate by the crankshaft attaching bolts. Don't let this go too long. If the broken section rounds out completely, the engine won't run the transmission and you'll be sitting on the side of the road in a puddle of tears.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 AT 3:43 AM
Tiny
JUEVON
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the help! I'll definitely get it to a shop ASAP.
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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 AT 9:19 AM

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