i have a 2002 alero and when i turn the key you can hear the starter spinning but the engine doesnt even sound like its spinning. Sounds like the starter isnt engaging with the engine. need help ASAP


Asked by Dec 21, 2015 at 09:19 AM about the 2002 Oldsmobile Alero GX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

16 Answers


Starter solenoid is bad. Solenoid is mounted on starter best to replace starter comes solenoid.

Best Answer Mark helpful

Or also the starter drive, never the less like firebird says to replace the starter.

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thats what i figured. its my sisters car, and i already got a price for the starter but she wanted me to double check. Thanks, i appreciate it


No wait. I just replaced the starter and I'm still having the same problem


Rebuilt starter? Take it back and have it load tested. I say it is the starter drive.

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do you really think it is the starter drive? i got it from an advanced auto and they dont have any sort of way to bench test it or load test it


If you take the starter out, and hold the armature shaft, the drive gear should only spin one way. The other direction for it to free wheel should have some resistance spinning it. So it should lock one way. Hope I explained good enough...

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So I'm still stuck on her car. Both starters were tested and both performed perfectly. StI'll having the same issue. Any suggestions


May need starter shims installed. Do not know right off the top of my head if that vehicle requires starter shims but do know if it needs them and they are not installed starter will do what yours is doing. Ask the auto parts store you go to they maybe able to look it up for you and tell you if the vehicle requires starter shims our call the nearest dealer to you and they should be able to tell you also. Also make sure the starter connections are correct.


Because if the wiring is hooked up wrong to starter it will do nothing but spin.


firebird is on the right track, it sounds like that starter does need some shims. How many I don't know. So I think what is happening is the starter drive is just hitting the ring gear and not engaging. The starter shims will bring the starter down to a lower location to allow the gears to mesh.

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And also before installing starter take a look at the teeth on the fly wheel and make sure none are missing.


You need to answer this question to the best of your ability. When you turn the key does the starter sound like it is clicking out of starter and spinning or just setting in the starter and spinning?


I'll check that tomorrow. And see if I can hear it or not. And as well as the shims I'll look into it more tomorrow. I appreciate both of your help. I'll keep you posted

I just replaced the motor on my 01 alero and im having the same problem the starter hits hard and we can turn the motor over by hand but when it hits its a loud crack than but it wont turn the motor over


Also need to inspect the ring gear for broken welds to the flex plate, look for cracks in the flex plate.

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