Starter Motor Advice

Neil Vonhof nhvonhof at
Sun Jul 6 21:08:14 EDT 2003

<are my symptoms precursors to yours?>
I doubt it. I have never had a hard starting problem with a warm or hot
engine. My problem is strickly the mechanical failure of the starter motor
to properly engage the flywheel and turn over the engine. When it does
finally engage the engine starts immediately.
<Also, how has the K&N filter worked for you?>
I can't say I'm impressed - maybe a slight difference in performance? - that
could just be wishfull thinking (you know, the "car always runs better after
you wash it", syndrome). No noticeable induction sound change at all, much
to my surprise because from reading this list I had expected more noise.
Becasue of the risk of damaging the MAF by over oiling the K&N (if the hot
wire get's oily it ruins it, I've heard) and from other observations on this
list, I regret buying the K&N, the paper filters work great, are easy to
replace and not that costly. However, because I do have it, I will continue
to use it, being careful about oiling, etc. and it's not all bad knowing
that I will never have to buy another air filter for the car.

-----Original Message-----
From: Zoot531 at [mailto:Zoot531 at]
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 5:02 PM
To: nhvonhof at
Subject: Re: Starter Motor Advice


I also am having a similar problem with my car starting when hot.  No
problems at all when cool, but when hot it must be cranked for 3-4 seconds
occasion, are my symptoms precursors to yours?  If you could let me know
what you
learn, that'd be ideal.  Also, how has the K&N filter worked for you?  Is it
noticeable difference in performance and/or induction sound?

Adam C
91 200q20v sedan

-----Original Message--------
From: nhvonhof at

Starter is becoming troublesome. It engages the the flywheel just fine when
cold (after an overnight cool off)- every time, always starts. But when warm
it usually takes 3 or 4 tries before the starter engages the flywheel enough
to finally start it up. When is fails to engage, the starter motor spins up
to high RPM but the gear doesn't grab and turn the engine. Sometimes it'll
grab and begin to spin the engine but then disengage before the engine is
turned enough to start. So far repeated attemps always result in success,
but it's getting worse and it's certainly becoming more & more bothersome so
it's time for......what? A rebuild, total replacement?
Any BTDT on removing and installing the starter would be helpful. Is it
relatively easy if you can raise the car enough to get under it? Any sources
for new/rebuilt motor would be really helpful also.

Neil Vonhof
Seattle, WA
1991 200q20 Sedan  150,000 miles
Glacier Blue, V-8 Taillights
Borbet 15" 5 spoke wheels, Bridgestone Potenza RE 950's
K&N Air Filter

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