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Engine start up noise


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The other day when I started the car (2001 base Boxster), for a moment there was a horrible metallic, mechanical noise (extremely brief). Sounded like lots of metal parts coming together in ways they shouldn't at high force. Heard it once before several months earlier. Otherwise, car sounds fine and drives great. No oil drops in the garage seen yet. Is this something that occasionally happens, am I paranoid, or is it a harbinger of horrible engine happenings to come? It happened so quickly it's impossible to describe the sound more specifically

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Does it happen as the engine is actually turning over? Could be that the starter motor isn't engaging properly.

engine is actually turning over (I think). extremely brief and right before releasing key for starter. and no, I'm not holding the starter for too long. the noise sounds extremely loud and mechanically nasty to be starter related (based on my limited knowledge of starter noise sounds)

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I get an occasional lifter clatter if I let the car sit for a while. Rattles like heck for a couple seconds, then settles down. Any chance your noise is this?

I think I might have a little less of this since switching to 0W-40. I used to use 10W-30 but really don't' think that has anything to do with it.

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engine is actually turning over (I think). extremely brief and right before releasing key for starter.  and no, I'm not holding the starter for too long.  the noise sounds extremely loud and mechanically nasty to be starter related (based on my limited knowledge of starter noise sounds)

Obviously this wouldn't be a normal starter motor sound. But does it sound like the kind of noise you would get if you DID forget to let go of the key while starting? It could be the starter drive gear grinding briefly on the flywheel, maybe because of a faulty solonoid. Just a thought. If it's not the starter, and it's really that loud of a mechanical noise (sounds way to loud to be the normal startup valve clatter), it's kind of scary to contemplate what it might actually be. :eek:

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Thanks for the inputs. Given all the Boxster engine failure folklore and mythology, maybe I'm just a bit paranoid (of course, who's to complain if Porsche gives me a new engine). Next time it happens, I'll see if I can pinpoint it a bit better, and will have dealer check starter solenoid next time it's in for service (hopefully not 'til 30K service)

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  • 2 months later...
  • 10 months later...

I get this noise too on my 99 Boxster and have also heard it on one other car. It has been happening intermittently for about a year. More as time and mileage progress. The noise is so loud and nasty sounding that when I have been in a public parking lot I have actually seen people cringe when they hear it. Very embarrassing and disconcerting.

It's definitely starter related. I believe there is probably something out of wack between the starter gear and the flywheel. Maybe a chipped tooth or two on the starter gear, which rumor has is vinyl. I believe the shriek occurs when the starter turns over and the gear doesn't fully engage the flywheel. It spins for a second or less until it engages and the shriek stops.

I hate it, but have kind of decided to live with it until it finally goes. You can minimize it somewhat by just blipping the ignition key to see if you hear the start of the sound and releasing it if you do. Usually that engages the gears and the next start is shriekless.

Steve Kanzler in Sebastopol, CA

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Probably the screech is teeth on teeth misengaging. The mating teeth on the ring gear have probably begun to wear so that sometimes they don't engage -- and you hear the results.

Sadly, the only fix is a new $$$$$$ ring gear

or

Before your get into major surgery, a faulty Bendix drive in the starter can cause an occasional screeching noise as you describe.

Scott

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone had this noise checked out? I need to add my '98 to this list. The noise is occasional and brief; loud grinding noise. It sounds as if the starter is going out. Has anyone replaced the solonoid, or got this fixed?

Thanks,

Nader

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Has anyone had this noise checked out?  I need to add my '98 to this list.  The noise is occasional and brief; loud grinding noise.  It sounds as if the starter is going out.  Has anyone replaced the solonoid, or got this fixed?

Thanks,

Nader

If the noise you hear is after a long period of stand still ,than the problem is most likely the filling (with oil)of the tappets of the hydraulic valve clarence adjusters.

It is a screaming noise of metal on metal.

So there is no real problem (it's also common by 911 engines)

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Yes, its a loud noise after the start-up. Not sure if its only after a long period of stand still; I'll have to keep that in mind. Its an awkward noise to be "normal", but then again it is a Porsche. For some reason, I keep thinking its the starter beginning to go bad...

-Nader

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yer i get this noise too sometimes.

I have noticed it more when i start my boxtser then turn it off then try to start it again then that horrible noise comes on. I dont think its a problem really given the amount of owners that get this noise, i know its horrible and sounds like something is grinding but i know a few owners who also get this noise also.

I also agree it seems to happen when there are people around and its very embarrassing, however it doesnt happen as much now after porsche told me a little trick.

1. get in the car

2. put the key into the ignition and turn it to radio mode.

3. wait for the little counter to go down.

4. then start it on a short fast turn not slow

5. off you go

porsche says its amazing how many people dont know the correct way to start a boxster and after doing what they told me i have never had the noise back.

try it post back if it works..

Edited by porscheblack986
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yer i get this noise too sometimes.

I have noticed it more when i start my boxtser then turn it off then try to start it again then that horrible noise comes on. I dont think its a problem really given the amount of owners that get this noise, i know its horrible and sounds like something is grinding but i know a few owners who also get this noise also.

I also agree it seems to happen when there are people around and its very embarrassing, however it doesnt happen as much now after porsche told me a little trick.

1. get in the car

2. put the key into the ignition and turn it to radio mode.

3. wait for the little counter to go down.

4. then start it on a short fast turn not slow

5. off you go

porsche says its amazing how many people dont know the correct way to start a boxster and after doing what they told me i have never had the noise back.

try it post back if it works..

I just followed your instructions, waited for the counter and turned the key quickly... unfortunately, it screeched :cursing: . After an hour, I tried again, no noise, smooth start. I'll keep trying this process...

-Nader

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If you are screeching you are hearing the ring gear binding with the starter.

The noise 99% of all Porsche people hear and early air cooled Volkswagen people hear is the tickey tap of your valves ends hitting before the oil refill gets going by the oil pump turning and supplying oil to all the necessary parts.

It is normal and should go away after a few seconds, the older [worn] the engine the more pronounced the noise will be.

This is why I run heavier oil then most people, to prevent the wear that takes place at startup.

You will read about pre-oilers, which are most of the time pressurized bottles which squirt oil through all the journals and oil passages, before startup.

The waiting for the oil gauge [sorry-idiot gauge] will not help to prevent any startup noises. You are just helping to POST and wait for a warm fuzzy feeling before startup - if this waiting time were really important towards the "noise", you would/might hear the noise of the "Pre-oiler" doing it's work.

Not to be long winded but-

The best running motors in the US are ???????

:eek: New York Taxis - because they never in theory shut there motors off. Preventing the startup damage. 500,000 miles is not that uncommon. You may have an argument with diesel semi, but most of us don't drive semi's around.

Scott

Edited by mrmickeymouse
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I must admit ever since i waited for the oil gauge to go down and turned the key quickly i have never had that noise back.

I had a porsche 944 and i could never start the thing first time then i learned how to start it, by slightly dipping the clutch and slowly hitting the gas while starting and it started first time every time.

Honest, keep trying what i said it will work, or contact porsche and they will tell you how to do it, but there is one thing i cant get my head around.

They say the boxster should only be started at 70o But how do you get that without having the engine ticking over?

I mean how do you get the temp gauge warm without starting the car up.?

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I believe your noise is something else, there have been problems with ignition switches.

The "quick" turning on is bypassing your problem area. There again I am not there, and there are many variables that may be affecting ignition action.

The Boxster has been left out over night in many sub zero areas without any problems. There are many people who drive this vehicle year around.

If it is taken care of, it should not give you any problems in the cold. This is the reason for multi viscosity oil, so it thins in the cold and makes it easier to start.

The baby oil will provide some protection ;)

Scott

Edited by mrmickeymouse
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Thanks for brainstorming the grinding noie issue. I guess I'll just deal with it and hope it doesn't get worse. I'm sure the dealer would just suggest to replace everything. Not sure how to trouble shoot the starter but I'll check around...

-Nader

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