I have a 1992 Honda Accord, manual transmission. Over the past several months, I've noticed a grinding sound immediately after cold-starting the engine. It only lasts for a fraction of a second, doesn't continue once the engine is running, and doesn't happen if I shut the engine off and start it again a few minutes later. It has progressively gotten worse. Is it time to replace the starter?
Have the starter removed and tested/inspected by a technician first before you decide on just replacing it. If the pinion shaft and bearing are just clogged with clutch dust etc a blast with compressed air and a little lubrication should be enough to prolong its life for a few years.
The technician will be able to check & guide you at the time as to the overall condition of the starter, its connections & meshing parts and whether servicing or replacement is the best option.