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Starter makes spinning sound but does not engage

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  • egaiser Dec 29, 2008

    Have a 99 Prizm... try starting.... get a spinning sound.... then try again and starts fine... why the spinning?

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  • 350 Answers

Hi the solenoid is sticking on the starter try tapping the starter while someone is turning the key watch your fingers if that works or not take it out clean the sliding gear you will see it spary it with wd-40 or equivelant until its loose . yates210456

Posted on Oct 18, 2008

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2 Answers

1999 Pontiac Sunfire 5 speed won't start. Replaced spark plugs and checked ignition coil (fine). Sounds like it wants to turn over but makes a "whining" noise. Please assist. Thank you!


Is the engine turning over with the key in the start position? If the engine is not spinning over and you hear a whining noise, the starter is not engaging the flywheel. If the engine is turning over with the starter engaged, the engine has most likely jumped time that creates low or no compression which results in the whining noise.

Mar 03, 2015 | Pontiac Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2000 Chrysler 300m 3.5/ turn key I hear the solenoid spinning but not the starter motor, everything else works had starter motor checked it's good, also there are no codes form obd 2 scanner what's going...


A solenoid only makes a clicking or clunking sound. They do not spin.
You must be hearing the starter spinning but the starter gear has not engaged with the flywheel. That's the solenoid's job. It must be stuck on not working. Have the solenoid and the starter gear movement .
Hope this helps.

Feb 18, 2015 | 2000 Chrysler 300M

4 Answers

Turn key get nothing jump starter and sylenoid just spins


i cant dope out that symptoms.

does it crank or not. be clear there.

no car starts (but my 6sp) if it dont crank.

on A/T cars cranking is a first thing. so does it.?

Solenoids do not spin, the stroke only , it a linear motion.

the Sol. moves the pinion and the main contactor switch only.



my guess is the Starter spins and the crank don\'t spin,

you hear the starter motor spin up, it sings. like bird.

that means the starter /solenoid are bad. (crude)

if the battery is good and or jumper starting off a running car.



It can just be a dirty starter pinion, clean it , repeat.

fixed many for this. i have.



battery cable lugs clean, and good. no green rust.

bad cable usually just make a loud THUNK sound. no spin.

Sep 02, 2014 | 2005 Jeep Wrangler X

3 Answers

When I try to start, why does it sound like the starter is spinning and not engaging anything?


You may need to take the starter off and have it bench tested.
The problem could be the starter drive, or you could have some missing teeth on the flywheel. The drive is supposed to extend when the starter spins to make contact with the teeth on the flywheel. You could also try turning the crank a few inches and try the starter again.

May 09, 2013 | 2002 Nissan Sentra

1 Answer

Replaced starter in 2002 tundra, now the starter spins but does not engage


sounds like you need to shim out the starter so the bendex gear in the starter engages with the flywheel/flexplate. as long as the bendex gear in the starter comes out the casing and spins shimming it will take care of that problem

Mar 03, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My engine will not turn over


It sounds like you may have a damaged engine flexplate, this place has teeth on it that the starter engages to spin the engine over.

Mar 09, 2012 | 2003 Saturn L-Series

2 Answers

Battery is good but when I turn it on it just clicks won't start,maybe after 20 times it starts


Without hearing the sound it makes - it's kind of hard to diagnose.

The engine starting process consists of turning the key to start, the starter motor's rotor moving forward to engage the engine's flywheel, and then the starter motor 's "rotor" spinning until you move the key from "start" to "run". You can hear the starter motor spinning - but one usually can't hear the rotor moving forward to engage the flywheel. As a result, you hear the odd spinning sound - which is the starter rotor spinning. The engine never actually turns over because the rotor never engages the fly wheel. If this is the case, then it is very likely that your starter needs to be checked and / or replaced.

Good luck!

Nov 09, 2011 | 1994 Buick LeSabre

2 Answers

I have a 2003 camry V6 XLE. Battery is good when turning on the ignition. But when I try to start it I just hear this "Whinnie" sound. just spinning sound every time try to start it.


You have a bad starter drive. It's not spinning up fast enough to engage flywheel. Two options, both require starter removal. #1) replace starter w/rebuilt from any good parts store - it will come w/new starter drive. #2) replace starter drive, but means disassembly of starter and is more time consuming.

Jan 18, 2011 | Toyota Camry Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

Car starts but sometimes makes a whirling noise. I was told it was the starter


sounds like the starter is not disengaging the fly wheel quickly like it should when you turn the key the starter cog connects upto a fly wheel that has teeth all around it when the teeth of starter cog connect between teen on wheel it spins it to crank your car then goes back to starter if you hold your key on after starting the noise you hear is the starter cog(teeth ) still engaged in wheel if this is the sound it needs to be serviced not neccassarily replaced

Jun 06, 2009 | 2003 Chevrolet Impala

3 Answers

Starter makes weird noise dosent turn over


Starter drive not engaging fully . Sticky or worn, but don't think changing thermostat had anything to do with it. Try having starter drive inspected & lubed if possible , but you may end up with new starter.

Dec 22, 2008 | 1998 Pontiac Sunfire

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