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try to jump start it if it starts its the battery,if it doesnt than it time to remove the starter and go have it tested,while its out look for any worn teeth on the flywheel and starter solenoid teeth also.if starter comes back ok then look at all the cables,look for corrosion as it can hide under the wire sheilding.
Is it when the engine first starts? It sounds like to me that the starter is getting stuck in the fly wheel. what happens is when you go to start it, the solenoid push's the gear out and spins the gear almost one full action, the grinding noise could be the starter staying engaged after the motor has starter but quickly comes out of it after driving out of it. just a thought.
it was probably the starter solinoid stuck.. Do you have a aftermarket alarm in it with a starter kill? or a remote start? Its possible to have a malfuntion and that was putting power to the solinoid. check the wires on the starter to make sure they are not melted, shorting power to the solinoid down there. (the small wire on the starter solinoid is the trigger, and should only get power when tring to start) if all that is good it is probably a bad starter. do you have an oil leak leaking onto the starter? oil leaks are very hard on starters.
most likely your bendex wheel in the starter is not engaging the flywheel this could be due to a bad solenoid on the starter. chances are it's a bad starter, i would check to make sure all connections to starter are tight and you have atleast 11.5 -12.5 volts of current in the battery. low voltage can cause this problem as well