cold starting noise

I have a 1.6 zetec and have noticed a noise when starting from cold ie left overnight, it sounds like a crackling/grating noise for a split second when
the key is turned to start it up. The car is running fine and i have noticed no other ill effects but i am curious as to what it is?
Any advice/help is much appreciated
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left
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Where does it come from? Does it happen before or after the engine starts to turn? Does it happen as you are turning the key i.e. is it inside the lock cylinder? Does it happen if you only turn the key to "run" instead of all the way to "start"?
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it happens as i turn the key. The noise is definatley from under the bonnet. i wondered if it could be a belt slipping or maybe a problem with starter motor or something. but the car starts and runs fine. It also only happens when the car has been left for a long time ie overnight and it is cold weather.
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I should also point out that it is as the key is turned to run. ie the first split second of the engine spinning over.
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It could be the starter motor not engaging the flywheel cleanly.
--
Paul Giverin

British Jet Engine Website
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my last focus the clutch plate used to stick when left for a week at the airport never did any harm and was cured on routine service by greasing I think I didn't take it in special to get it fixed

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I'd suspect the accessory belt. One way to test is to get a wax pencil from a mechanic used to test belts (don't use any old grease!). You wipe this on and if the problem goes away temporarily it's the belt.
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I'm with PaulG. It sounds like the Bendix mechanism that engages the starter with the flywheel. If it doesn't engage fully, it will grind and eventually fail. Good luck. jor

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Why does it only do it when cold? i can start the car first thing in the morning after a cold night and the noise happens, stop the car a minute later and resart it with no noise.?

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I have exactly the same symptoms ie. only when cold usually overnight sounds like something slipping / grating as the starter motor is running and it's a 1.6 UK early 51 so it's definitely not a one off. In addition for the first few seconds sounds like a belt catching something slightly but this may be unrelated.

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I have exactly the same problem on my focus ZETEC SE 1.6 registered 02/02. Has anyone found the source for it?
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I had this problem on my 1.6 Ghia registered 06/01.
It went in a number of times to get fixed. One of the first occasions, I was told that the problem was due to the Starter Motor. This appeared to fix the problem. However once the cold weather set in again the problem reappeared.
Took it back to the same dealer and was told that they couldn't repeat it and they therefore couldn't fault it and fix it.
So I took it to another dealer, explained the problem and that once it had gone wrong, it wouldn't do it again.
This dealer was really good. They couldn't fault it to start with, but, the technician repeatedly started and stopped the car until the noise happened again.
Apparantly, the Starter Motor was *part* of the original problem but not the whole problem. When the problem first appeared, the Starter Motor had knackered the Flywheel. Replacing the Starter Motor wasn't sufficient because this just meant the Flywheel knackered the replacement Starter Motor.
So the 2nd dealership replaced the Starter Motor and the Flywheel. Problem solved. Well it hasn't made the crunching noise since - about a year now.
Now I've just got to convince them that my central locking is occasionally locking itself after I've unlocked all the doors.
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I assume you mean after unlocking all the doors and then opening one??
If not, it's supposed to do that!
Alex
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Thanks for that. Did they have any explanation why it only happens after a long stop / overnight and only when its cold?
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No, there was no explanation. As I said when the problem was located, it had already made the crunching noise once that morning. I had found that once that had happened it never happened again. The technician dealing with the problem just continually started and stopped the engine and eventually got it to repeat.
As for the central locking, I have had the car for 3 years and the doors have never locked themselves having unlocked but not opened a door.
Regardless of this, (in cold weather) if I unlock the doors and get in the car the doors try to unlock again and occasionally lock.
I have seen the same problem posted before but with no solution - under "Central locking with a mind of its own".
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It might be a UK thing - I don't know. I can however report that my 2002 UK Focus re-locks itself if you unlock it but then don't open a door. I was told this was a security feature in the unlikely event of another Ford with the same remote entry code being opened near the car - the car would open and then re-lock in about 1 mintues time.
Alex
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