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Old 12-14-2011, 10:51 PM
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Location: PDX->OR->USA
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Cold start problem with Video

My car didn't do this until recently, but basically when I turn the key to engage the starter it only makes that energizing sound, like a long moan, which is clearly heard in the video on the first attempt.

My confusion is that I've heard this on cars with a dead battery before, but I literally had a new battery put in about three weeks ago by the dealer. I will test the battery soon just to be sure that it's not bad anyway, I know it can happen even with new batteries. It will only do this on a cold start, such as the first start of the day, but if I start it while I'm out it will fire right up.

Also, as you can see in the video, it's sporadic. It may only make this moaning sound the first time, but engage the starter the second time like in the video. If it was the starter or solenoid wouldn't it either work or not, not be sporadic like this? I cleaned my battery cable terminals, used dielectric grease on the posts, and will probably go ahead and buy a new negative cable just for the heck of it. Is this a ground issue somewhere or what would basically cause this failure to engage the starter only when cold and not every time? Thanks!

Starting problem; 1962 220SE Coupe W111 - YouTube
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:06 PM
79Mercy's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,128
Its a bad starter solenoid, when cold it must be sticking.
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:27 AM
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Thanks! Any suggestions on the best place to get a replacement? Will it gradually get worse or just clunk out one day soon?
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:33 AM
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Location: brisbane,Qld.Australia
Posts: 2,059
what is happening is that the solenoid isn't pushing the little gear on the starter far enough into the flywheel ring gear to engage the starter.
I would be more inclined to fit a better starter as a whole,rather than fit a new solenoid to the old unit. Some of the places like the site sponsor sell recoed units.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:49 AM
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yes , it can go south and leave you stranded, sometime if you hit it with a hammer or long screwdriver it will work. I'd replace it , rebuilts are not bad and in that way she will spin right up every time. LOVE the dash!!
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:07 PM
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Ditto on the solenoid and getting a completely new starter. Just double check the voltage on the wires with a multimeter. I had a similar problem and changed the starter only to figure out it was an upstream wiring problem, see

Good luck,

'70 111 280SE/c 3.5 (4 spd manual) - sold
'63 MGB
'73 MGBGT V8
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: PDX->OR->USA
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Sounds good folks, PeachParts site didn't go back far enough to my model year but I will call them directly.
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