1988 Volvo 244 Starter Grinding in the Morning

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on all Volvo's "mid era" rear wheel drive Volvos.

1975 - 1993 240
1983 - 1992 740
1982 - 1991 760
1986 - 1991 780
1990 - 1998 940
1990 - 1998 960
1997 - 1998 V90/S90

Post Reply
mphilleo
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:21 am
Year and Model: 1988 Volvo 244
Location: Lincoln, ND

1988 Volvo 244 Starter Grinding in the Morning

Post by mphilleo »

Hey guys, my 244 has been a dead reliable commuter for me the past 6 months of ownership, so I'm really enjoying it. Recently, though, a problem has developed. If I park my Volvo outside and it's cool in the morning, the starter will briefly grind at the end of the starting process, no matter how quickly I let go of the key after it turns over.

This has probably happened about 4 or 5 times in the last few weeks and the only common thread I can find is that it usually occurs if it's cool out and it's the "first start" of the day. I was pondering whether the 10w30 synthetic blend was thick enough that it created resistance on the crank in the cold weather, but after reading a bit, I'm not so sure. Can it make difference whether it's the firsr or second start of the day? Just a note - my 244 came with an Optima red battery when I bought it in March. They have plenty of cold cranking amps, but the symptoms never arose until the past few weeks.

Some threads discuss the possibility of the starter solenoid going bad and that it's best to simply replace the whole starter. Does this sound familiar to one of you or sound like a good way to deal with this problem? I'd like to address it before I cause any serious damage to the flywheel if I haven't already.

mtd240
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:35 pm
Year and Model: 2007 XC70
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Post by mtd240 »

Hopefully it is just the solenoid in your starter failing. It should disengage the pinion gear from the flywheel ring gear after the engine starts, and its failure would warrant replacing the whole starter. I would pull the starter and see if the pinion or ring gear are damaged first, though. Have a long 1/2" extension and u-joint ready to get at the two 18 mm bolts - fun times for all!

For more reading, see the greenbook here (pgs. 22-31) and Toyota's technical document on starters here
1990 240 DL Wagon, M47, lots of goodies. 372,000 miles
2007 XC70, white/oak
2016 XC60, osmium grey / off-black

Gone:
1978 242, lots and lots of work to get a reliable daily
1998 V70 XC, Almost done replacing everything, then I sold it :lol:
1996 850 NA, victim of sporadic tree falling. Protected the wife. RIP Volvo

mphilleo
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:21 am
Year and Model: 1988 Volvo 244
Location: Lincoln, ND

Post by mphilleo »

Thanks for the input, mtd! Your suggestion confirms my suspicion. I will have to pull the starter and have a look-see. Maybe brush up on the FAQs for replacing a starter on the 240. I'm moving it to storage for the winter and unfortunately, the cold seems to only exacerbate the problem, so I'll have to deal with this sooner than later.

Out of curiosity, you said "Hopefully it is just the solenoid in your starter failing" - could it be something worse? The engine runs sweetly otherwise (aside from needing valve hushers) so I can live with replacing a starter, but worse news could send me spiraling into the depths of Volvo despair!

mtd240
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:35 pm
Year and Model: 2007 XC70
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Post by mtd240 »

I guess the "worst case" is that the flywheel ring gear is damaged. Doubtful, though..
1990 240 DL Wagon, M47, lots of goodies. 372,000 miles
2007 XC70, white/oak
2016 XC60, osmium grey / off-black

Gone:
1978 242, lots and lots of work to get a reliable daily
1998 V70 XC, Almost done replacing everything, then I sold it :lol:
1996 850 NA, victim of sporadic tree falling. Protected the wife. RIP Volvo

Volvo1man
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:35 am
Year and Model: 945TG 1994
Location: Raleigh, NC

Post by Volvo1man »

If you need a replacement starter, and it sounds like you do, contact the companies at the top of this page. Personally I called 888-757-8686 to reach Southern Volvo. I bought a replacement starter from them five months ago and haven't had any more problems.

difflock54
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:45 pm
Year and Model: V40 Nordic 2002
Location: Wellington. New Zealand.
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Post by difflock54 »

Maybe a dry bendix spring restricting the dis-engaging from the flywheel.
I remember it being quite common as the cause of jamming etc with starters way back in the old days.
Removing starter as stated above to check the ring gear can cover this option also.
Maybe a little grease only required to free it up.
The colder weather was often a contributor to sticking bendix springs also.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post