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My '96 Bird runs beautifully - its a great car. But when the temperature dips below 20 deg or so, it has difficulty starting. When I first try to start it, I hear an extremely loud high pitched grinding noise coming from up front. It sorta sounds like slipping gears.

In order to get it to start, I've got to keep it revved around 1500 rpm for a couple minutes. The grinding noise usually only lasts for about 20 seconds, longer when this Chicago weather gets brutally cold.

Any ideas as to what this is??? Am I wrecking something important??
Thanks in advance.
 

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sounds like your starter gear is staying engaged after you start it.May be time for a new starter.
 

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You could put a little oil on the idler bearing to troubleshoot...if the oil makes it stop that's the one to change....that's how i knew to replace my idler and tensioner pullies..They made a funny sound at cold startup that would go away when warmed up.
Both pullies are very easy to change and they are the same part number. You don't want one of them to give away and go flyin'....

Erik

....Is it only when cold you have to rev it to keep it running or all the time?
 

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Eric420 said:
..Is it only when cold you have to rev it to keep it running or all the time?
Thanks for the suggestions guys

I only have to rev it to keep it running when it is really cold outside.

This isn't really a 'squeeling' sound like I believe bad pulleys sound like. This is more of a "grinding" noise, and is actually vibrating the whole car. At first I thought the "timing chain is stuck" but I believe that wouldn't allow the car to run at all.

I guess the starter gear staying engaged makes sense, but this is the second winter it has done this, so do you guys think I should replace the starter, or just keep doing what I'm doing and hope it doens't actually break??

Thanks again!
 

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Well my suggestion is to start the car up and open the hood and listen. The suggestion i had wont always squeel It will sound like metal on metal. I would do the listening part first b4 you go and spend money on a new starter.

-Matt-
 

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MattsLE97 said:
Well my suggestion is to start the car up and open the hood and listen. The suggestion i had wont always squeel It will sound like metal on metal. I would do the listening part first b4 you go and spend money on a new starter.
yea the sound will come from the front or under the motor. just when it worms up listen to it go under the passinger side listen and the front and listen. by the sounds of it you have a time to look around under the hood. That makes me think I'm wrong and it's your idler pulley bearing. the starter would not do this for a real long time and if it did it last year to then if it were your starter it would have taken the durt nap by now. the idler pulley bearing can be something you can baby for longer but you do want to fix ASAP. the drag of this is if anything hurting your MPG and when it takes a dump you'll be standed out in the cold longer then listening for what it is now. just be safe then sorry. don't you love the winter? :rolleyes:
 
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