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Q: knocking before wanting to start

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My car sat for this last winter and developed a starting problem. It started knocking before wanting to turn over and run. The sound is coming from the transmission/ starter area. Eventually I had to get a new battery. It still made the noise though. I removed the starter, had it bench tested, and replaced the solenoid. After putting it back on its still making the noise and not wanting to start right. While removing the starter I did pull my tranny out to fix a clutch problem. Inspected the flywheel and got a second and third opinion as well. The flywheel was in good shape minus three or so teeth that had been nicked. What could be causing this knocking/ grinding?
My car has a manual transmission.

It sounds to me like the timing belt is broken. If so, the engine is cranking over until the piston strikes the valves in the cylinder head and causes the engine to bind up until the starter gear skips across the flywheel teeth.

The engines pistons are hitting the valves because the engine is no longer in sync. The crank shaft needs to rotate in time with the camshafts. A broken timing belt allows the engine to rotate out of synchronization and causes severe valve train damage.

If you want to have the starting issue inspected, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic can come to your home or office and replace your timing belt if needed.

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