Trying to Diagnose Starting Issue??? Grinding/Crunching Sound??? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 12:33 PM
ryker
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Trying to Diagnose Starting Issue??? Grinding/Crunching Sound???

Here's the issue...

Every once in a while, when I start my 2006 Rav4 (V6 Sport, FWD), I hear a crunching/grinding sound right after the engine fires up. It only happens for a brief second and then everything sounds just fine.

It happens with no predictability at all. I've checked under the hood and under the car and everything seems to be in order.

I hesitate taking it to the dealer as the sound is rarely reproduce-able on the spot. Any suggestions????
 
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 10:22 PM
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Your cat isn't by any chance missing, is it?

Sorry. That will be a weird one to diagnose. Maybe a loose heat shield on the exhaust?

Are you sure it isn't the starter clashing on the ring gear? - but that should occur before the engine fires, not after

Good luck. Please tell us what the problem was, if you ever figure it out.

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#3 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 10:51 PM
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My guess is that the starter is not disengaging from the flexplate and the teeth are grinding. Also, It may be an aligment issue that can easily be corrected with a shim.

If I am correct and if you ignore it, it will eventually get worse and not only will you need to replace the starter but perhaps the flexplate, too. If it is under warranty take it to the dealer to check the starter.

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#4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 01:03 PM
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The grinding/crunching sounds comes almost instantly when the key is turned to the ignition.

So... it looks like it may be the starter. Is there a way to diagnose the starter having issues without replicating the sound?
 
#5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryker
The grinding/crunching sounds comes almost instantly when the key is turned to the ignition.

So... it looks like it may be the starter. Is there a way to diagnose the starter having issues without replicating the sound?
Well, knock on wood, I never had to work on a starter on a Toyota, but have plenty of experience with GMs having replaced a few. Other than turning the key and listening to the crunch/grind, one can drop the starter for a visual inspection. Generally two bolts hold then on. Some model trannys you can remove an inspection cover and view the starter gear and flexplate. Some are adjustable and use small shims to ensure correct contact with the flexplate (or flywheel on a manual). Lacking specific experience with Toyota starters I am not sure I can be of much help. But that noise definitely sounds like a starter problem...and they only get worse if unaddressed. You'll eventually grind off the teeth where it will not effectively engage to turn the engine over.

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#6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2008, 10:23 PM
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You need to take the vehicle to the dealer ASAP. Even if they can't duplicate the noise, they will document the situation and that is always a good thing - a starter failure can destroy the ring gear, requiring an expensive labor charge for transmission removal.

If it's going to fail, you really want it to happen during the warranty period.

If you are on good terms with your dealer, maybe you can talk them into pulling the starter for a look. It would not take a lot of time.

Whine a lot and let a tear leak out one eye... that always helps.

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#7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:09 PM
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Took the Rav to the dealer and they did an entire diagnostic check and pulled the starter. Found nothing wrong and of course couldn't replicate the sound.

Not more than 10 minutes later when I got the car back, the car made the sound again right when starting up.

So... now what? Video tape the sound if I can catch it?
 
#8 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryker
Took the Rav to the dealer and they did an entire diagnostic check and pulled the starter. Found nothing wrong and of course couldn't replicate the sound.

Not more than 10 minutes later when I got the car back, the car made the sound again right when starting up.

So... now what? Video tape the sound if I can catch it?
If it was the starter grinding, there would have been evidence of such on the flexplate teeth or the starter gear. But the techs didn't find anything?! Solenoids on starters can easily be tested, so I guess its good. I don't know what to advise you at this point.

As a long shot guess, you may have nicked a tooth on the flexplate so only when the starter engages at that one point of the flex plate's circumference is it grinding. The other times it is engaging without noise. Have you ever used the starter after the engine was already running? That might have contributed to or initiated a problem such as I described.

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#9 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 08:03 AM
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Starter Grinding when starting

Did anyone ever get resolution to this problem over the past couple months? My wife came home this week and described exactly the same sound when starting as you have described. I'm going to take a look at it this weekend and see if I can isolate it to the starter. Grinding on starting really can't be much else. I find it weird that there are two of us with the same issue.

Thanks,

Chris

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V6 4WD
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#10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 10:06 AM
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I would check the battery voltage. It may be down just enough to not engage the bendix drive all the way to the flywheel teeth, while it is spinning the starter. Thid would result in the teeth not lining up and the occasional grinding noise. Also check all electrical connections at the battery, starter and engine/body grounding points.

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