Grinding noise when you turn the key in the ignition? Get it inspected at your home or office.

Our certified mechanics come to you · Backed by our 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Grinding noise when key turns in ignition Inspection Service

When you turn the key in your car’s ignition, you expect the engine to crank. If your ignition and charging system are in good working order, that’s generally what happens, but there are times that this might not occur. If you turn the key and hear a grinding noise, there’s a problem that must be diagnosed and repaired before the engine will crank.

How this system works:

In order for your engine to crank and run, it must be turned over with force. This jump-starts air and fuel intake, compressing it in the process. The starter motor is an electrical component, and is responsible for turning the engine over when the key is turned in the ignition. The starter consists of an electric motor, a shaft and a pinion gear (also called a drive gear). When the key is turned in the ignition, electricity is sent to the starter. The shaft extends and the pinion gear engages with a gear ring located on the engine’s flywheel. Because of the heavy electrical load required to operate the starter, a solenoid is used as a switch. Current is fed into the solenoid when the key is moved from the “on” position to the “run” position.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Bad Starter Drive Gear: Perhaps the most common problem here is the starter drive gear grinding on the teeth of the flywheel. The drive gear wears down over time – a car could go through two, even three starters in its lifespan. If this is the cause, the starter will need to be replaced before you can crank the engine. You may be more familiar with this as the starter pinion gear, or Bendix, but they all refer to the same part of the system.

  • Bad Starter Solenoid: Another very common problem here is a failed starter solenoid. Like all other electrical components, starter solenoids are subject to high heat and heavy workloads, and will eventually fail. Some starter solenoids can be replaced without replacing the starter, but if there is heavy wear to the pinion/drive gear, replacing both is recommended.

  • Bendix Clutch Dust Contamination: If you drive a car with a manual transmission and the clutch was recently replaced, it’s possible that dust from the old clutch contaminated the Bendix gear on the starter. This causes “dry” operation, and the starter makes a loud noise when engaging. This is a temporary situation and should resolve itself in a short time.

  • Dead Battery: The second most common issue here is a dead battery. Listen carefully to the noise. If it sounds more like a series of rapid clicks rather than metal-on-metal grinding, chances are good that the battery is dead and must be replaced.

What to expect:

A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to inspect the entire starting system and determine the source and cause of the grinding noise. The mechanic will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.

How it's done:

The mechanic will need to inspect the vehicle, including listening to the grinding noise on cranking. Next, the mechanic will visually inspect the starter and determine the underlying cause of the problem. It may be necessary to test both the starter and the starter solenoid, as well as troubleshooting any other possible problems.

How important is this service?

Without an operable ignition system, your engine will not crank and your car will be unable to move. Regular maintenance is the best defense against some common problems here, particularly battery problems. Charging system tests should be conducted during normal maintenance, alerting you to the fact that the battery is beginning to fail. These tests will also check starter operation, although they are not foolproof protection against a failed starter. Note that continually trying to crank a car with a damaged starter could cause additional damage to the starter (the flywheel will turn the starter too fast). If you hear a grinding noise when the key turns in the ignition, one of our certified mechanics can inspect and repair the problem.

Fast and easy Grinding noise when key turns in ignition Inspection service at your home or office.


Recent Grinding noise when key turns in ignition Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(7)

Rating Summary
6
1
0
0
0
6
1
0
0
0

Kemoy

22 years of experience
58 reviews
Kemoy
22 years of experience
Mazda Millenia V6-2.5L - Grinding noise when key turns in ignition - Dania, Florida
Great experience speaking with Kemoy while he inspected the car. I would definitely use his help for future car issues. Thanks Kemoy!

Rodney

36 years of experience
542 reviews
Rodney
36 years of experience
Jaguar Vanden Plas V8-4.0L - Grinding noise when key turns in ignition - Carmichael, California
Rodney is professional friendly detailed and most of all a knowledgeable mechanic. His cute nervous dog is little loud though.

Will

12 years of experience
49 reviews
Will
12 years of experience
Honda Accord L4-2.4L - Grinding noise when key turns in ignition - Phoenix, Arizona
Will was tremendous! He quickly identified the issue with my car, communicated exactly what was wrong and what was needed to fix the problem. He was professional and got the job done fast. I highly recommend him!

Tom

15 years of experience
21 reviews
Tom
15 years of experience
Nissan Quest V6-3.5L - Grinding noise when key turns in ignition - Princeton, New Jersey
Tom is a great mechanic. He arrives on time. He is very professional about the car repair and maintenance. He is also very patient to explain everything that I am curious about, even that is not related to the repair. Very happy with his service. Highly recommend him.

Recent articles & questions

Is It Safe to Drive While Taking Anti-Anxiety Medication?
If If you suffer from anxiety, then you know that “sinking” feeling that occurs when you encounter something that stresses you, or even when you’re not exposed to a stressor at all (free-floating anxiety). You also know that feelings of...
P2008 OBD-II Trouble Code: Intake Manifold Runner Control Circuit Open Bank 1
P2008 trouble code definition The P2008 code is a general OBD2 diagnostic trouble code referencing the Intake manifold runner control circuit. This...
What Does the Ignition Switch Warning Light Mean?
The ignition switch warning light could mean there's an issue with the ignition system or the car key. It could be due to a glitch or worn out key.

How changing differential and transfer case affects fuel economy

Well, they could, but only to a small amount. If you go and put the whole synthetic, it would have a little bit less friction, but not all that much.

3800 series 2 gm motor does the rwd aluminium intake manifold suffer the same famous coolant leak as the fwd cars my car is 1999

Hi there. Well, to be honest, the biggest reason why these intakes are famous for failing is due to consumers pushing the edge on overheating issues. Although the plastic (polymer) intake tends to be susceptible to causing head gasket damage,...

My truck would shake while i accelerated and at times flash my check engine light, A few days later she completely died on me when i came to a full stop. My gal pedal locked, as well as for my breaks and my steering wheel.

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com