Starter noise


Asked by Jul 23, 2016 at 04:40 AM about the 1994 Ford Explorer 4 Dr XLT SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just replaced the starter in my 94' Ford Explorer, it started like a charm
several times. I drove it a while and had no problems until the final time I
went to start it and it made a terrible noise. Car started but sounded as
though the bendix was still turning in the starter and hitting the fly wheel. I
was able to drive fine but the noise never stopped? Even after I arrived to
my home and turned it to off the noise never stopped? It sounded as loud
as I have ever heard a noise from under the vehicle? After turning the
ignition to on and off again it died out with what appeared to be due to low
battery amps, everything dimmed and shut off temporarily and then flicked
back on once the noise subsided? If you can understand this please help!

7 Answers


That sounds like the starter stuck turned on and was grinding the drive against the ring gear and most likely ruined it, then the motor continued to run after you shut the engine off, remove the starter and look at the teeth on the ring gear hopefully they aren't damaged, if they are the tranny will have to come out to get it replaced, most likely the starter is, replace the starter relay along with the starter.

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You may also have to replace the battery, sometimes high current draws like you just had will mess up a battery, so have it checked out also.

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Check to make sure the starter bolts have not come loose. Retighten if the have.

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Bob Beaman

Check the starter solenoid to see if it is stuck. That will cause the starter to run all the time, even with the key off.

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I will check all those things and hope it's not the tranny, But Bob how do you check the Starter solenoid to see if it is stuck, how can I tell if it's stuck? All the power returned to the car once I turned it off Tennisshoes? I hope its just loose bolts Firebird338!

Bob Beaman

You can test it by taking loose the wires and checking for continuity between the large posts using an ohm meter. It should have infinite resistance and not show a reading when measured between the large posts. If the starter shuts off when the ignition switch is off then the solenoid is not stuck. Aftermarket solenoids are known for this and genuine Ford is best when a replacement is needed.


Thanks Bob for your quick response. I'm under the car now and checking the starter for damage, because driving it home like that could have damaged the bendix or the flywheel im sure? I certainly hope not but I don't want to try and start it until I check those things. Thanks again.

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