2000 Dodge Intrepid car starter haunted

Tiny
KEGELMTA
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
This problem has got me really frustrated now. I have installed a new starter in a 2000 Intrepid with 3.2 liter V6. All it does is make a whirring noise as if the little gear on the starter is not being thrown forward into the flywheel. I checked the teeth on the flywheel and they are fine. I have tested the starter by putting the starter on the floor in the garage and running jumper cables from the big positive cable down by the starter and connected the cable to the + input cable to the starter. Then I grounded the starter with the other - cable to the starter. Lastly, I extended the small wire from under the car so that it will reach the starter when it's sitting on the garage floor. After connecting the ground, + cable and small wire and then turning the key, the gear comes flying forward and the starter gear turns very fast just like I'm testing a good new starter. Keep in mind I'm testing the starter using the wires and ignition switch that are in the car so I'm also testing the big + and - cables along with the red small start/hotl wire so not only does the starter test good, the wires and ignition switch also test good. Yet when I put the blasted starter back in the car, the little gear just spins away and doesn't hit jacksh*t. I've taken this starter in and out at least 5 times thinking its got to work this time but every $#%&ing time, it just whirs away. I also got the parts store to trade me new starters and that made no difference either. I've worked on sh*tloads of cars and this problem truly has me stumped. Any other ideas?
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Friday, January 22nd, 2010 AT 12:29 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
You're forgetting one thing (Not your fault because it even stumps some trained mechanics):

When you test your starter off of the vehicle, you may very well see the small gear fly forward like it's supposed to do. But once it's on the car, it may not fly forward "Far enough" to engage the flywheel.

You'll either have to measure (Hard to do) and verify these distances, or bolt the starter up and crawl under the car and watch it engage. (Be careful)

On some rare occasions, you'll receive the wrong starter from the parts store. It'll bolt up, but since it isn't the right starter, it won't engage.

Now, if the starter gear does reach far enough, it also may not have the strength to turn the engine over. And that would make it "Whir" but not actually turn anything.

Your only way of finding that out is crawling under the car and watching its operation.

I hope this helps.
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 AT 8:29 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
One more thought. Try turning the flex plate by hand. It could be cracked around the bolts on the end of the crankshaft.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 AT 8:35 AM
Tiny
ERNEST CLARK
  • EXPERT
Yes, that's a possibility and definitely should be checked. But wouldn't you also get a loud "Shrieking" metal-on-metal noise if this were the case?
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 AT 8:41 AM

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