Question about 1998 Pontiac Sunfire

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Starter Hitting Flywheel

I bought a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2. for my daughter's first car. The car ran great for about 3 weeks then all of a sudden I had to replace the old starter because it was hitting the flywheel....put a brand new starter on and it is still hitting the flywheel but only when the car is in "P". When it is in the "N" or "D", no noise. It was shimmed down thinking this would correct the alignment but still the same. Also, when the key is in the accessory position, the starter engages before the key is turned over...Please help!

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  • kerrigirl200 May 25, 2009

    Thank you. Would that also cause it to hit the flywheel?

  • kerrigirl200 May 25, 2009



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It sounds alot like a faulty ignition switch rather than a starter. The starter should never kick before moving to the start position.

Posted on May 25, 2009

  • Dudeman321 May 25, 2009

    I'd say that its sticking in the engaged position (because the solenoid is kicking in the acc position) therefore when the engine turns over its probably grating the ring gear on the flywheel. You can test this by disconnecting the solenoid wire on the starter (the thin one) and manually connecting 12v to it from the battery (out of gear of course) while the car is in the on position and see if it still hits. Effectively you are bypassing the start position on the ignition switch. Alternatively, if the starter is in view under the hood, with the car off, get a large screwdriver and short the thick wire coming from the battery with the starter solenoid connection and see if it hits or just cranks the engine over. To be honest I cant see how the starter could actually hit the flywheel unless somthing is badly bent (which would probably crack in that area anyway). I'd say that it's just getting stuck on because of the faulty ignition switch.

  • Dudeman321 May 25, 2009

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