If you're hearing a grinding noise when starting your car, there's a good chance that it's time to schedule an appointment with an auto repair shop. That’s because this sound is a sign that there's a serious issue with the engine or one of its components.
The most common cause of this annoying sound is a problem with the starter motor. If this is the case, there's a good chance that the starter gears or flywheel are damaged and need to be replaced.
A bad water pump is another reason your car might make a grinding noise when it starts up. This is a vital component that pushes coolant from the radiator to the engine, then back to the radiator again.
To pinpoint which part of the engine is making the sound, you need to crank the engine and listen for where the noise is coming from. To do this, stand in front of the engine and locate where the alternator, power steering pump and water pump are located.
Once you know where the noise is coming from, take some rubber tubing and place one end on the alternator and the other end on your ear. Keep doing this until you can determine which of those parts is causing the noise. This will help you narrow down the cause and decide whether or not to repair the problem. After all, the alternator is one of the most important engine components, so it needs to be in good working order.