Loud 2-3 second grinding noise upon startup | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Loud 2-3 second grinding noise upon startup


Moderator Emeritus
September 17, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Longmont, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 Explorer Sport
Hey I figured with the collective knowledge of the group someone could help me out. A while back (while in Moab actually) I noticed a grinding noise just after starting the car, it would last for about 2-3 seconds then not come back until the next time I started the car, and it didn't happen every time I started the car. Doesn't really depend on temperature or how long the engine had been off since I started it up. I have tried listening for the noise, and it seems to be coming from the drivers side of the engine compartment, but I can't pinpoint it exactly. Flushed/filled the power steering fluid just because I thought that could potentially be a problem, but it isn't. After that first noise when first starting, it doesn't come back. I'm about ready to replace the Power Steering Pump with an AGR unit, but not quite... but I don't think thats the full problem anyway.

Matt Adams
94 Explorer 4-door nick-named "Tippy"

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my bet is that your starter is what is making the noise. the solenoid is attached to the top of the starter, and may come loose. also might make sure both are tight. let me know if i was close! Dead Link Removed

93XLT 4X4 4DR.
bosch plat.4s
jacobs electronics wires
k&n drop in
mod. airbox.
skid plate
maxflow exhaust
smittybilt front bumper
more to come! Dead Link Removed

[This message has been edited by SCOTTC (edited 03-27-2000).]

If it is grinding while your turning the key, it could either be the starter gear is toast, or the ring gear is damaged.


91 Sport
"Drive it like ya stold it"

I would take the starter off and have a look at the ring gears/flex plate. When my flex plate cracked, I had a horrific grinding sound when starting. I figured that it was the starter but I was wrong. The flex plate had cracked which caused the starter gear to misalign with the ring gears hence the horrific grinding sound. Total cost $500.00 CDN. I had this happen to me 2 times since I had my Xplorer Dead Link Removed

The grinding sound came from the driver's side below my feet and the sound of metal on metal is truly an awakening sound Dead Link Removed

I really hope that it is just a starter problem.

Good luck.


doo doo happens

just as an update to this - finally replaced the starter over the weekend with dave meisner's help. The flywheel was still in good shape thank goodness. Took two starters to get it right, but now it starts up no problem with no noise at all. It's an autolite, lifetime warranty, hopefully it'll last me a lifetime Dead Link Removed.

Matt Adams
94 Explorer 4-door nick-named "Tippy"