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Lazy solenoid (aka another another starter thread)

Started by raueda1, 10 May 2022, 10:38 AM


My driving "season" started very early this year, and in much cooler temps than years past.  It seems that when it's cool, say 5-10C or less, the solenoid doesn't reliably engage. The starter just spins freely. There's no grinding, just spinning. On the second try it engages, always, and car starts fine.  After it's warm this never happens.  I don't remember this happening at all in the past, though I've practically never driven it when it's that cold. Most of my driving has, in fact, been in scorching desert conditions.  The point is, it's not clear if this is a new problem or one that's been there all along but never noticed.

So - how concerned to be?  I'm not at all keen on pulling starter for the well known reasons. Can I ignore it or is it an omen telling me to do something about the solenoid ASAP?  Thanks and cheers,
Now:  1976 6.9 Euro, 2015 GL550
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0


Could also be sticky Bendix gear. You can strip and lube it or just replace both the solenoid and Bendix gear on the bench, no point in buggering around and not doing it all after you've gone through the trouble of pulling it which indeed is a "fun" jobby 8)
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber