Turn up your volume, when I crank and only when I crank there’s a scratching sound coming from the engine bay, nothing after I release the key when the engine starts. Is this a failing starter? I thought it was worth mentioning that it’s really cold outside, but the scratching happens on hot start also.

Does this warrant starter replacement?

1995 Acura Legend


The scratching sound is from the starter gear. Each time you turn the key the following actions happen:

  • A relay is powered that triggers an solenoid
  • The solenoid moves the gear from the starter motor to engage a sprocket on the engine
  • The starter motor starts to turn

The scratching means that the started motor gear does not correctly engage the sprocket. Most of the time the solenoid is bad, but the relay can also be a possible cause. A third option is that the gear on the started motor is worn. All of this can be diagnosed by removing the starter and checking for correct operation.

  • Does this damage the flywheel, and can it be fixed by simply replacing the starter Mar 13 '18 at 14:02
  • Yes, eventually it will damage the flywheel sprocket. Replacing the complete starter should fix your starting issues.
    – MadMarky
    Mar 13 '18 at 14:08
  • Could I use it for about 3 days without a lot of damage? That’s when the new starter comes in Mar 14 '18 at 11:17

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