FTR, I did run a search on this … found a potentially useful thread, but not one that directly addresses my question.
Long story short: my truck ('95 Nissan XE 4 cyl automatic) starts great when the engine’s cold, or relatively cold (i.e. parked for 10 minutes). But if I shut off the engine to run into a convenience store for a minute, then come back out and attempt to start the engine … nada. The alternator (?) seems to kick in fine … just sounds like “runh … runh … runh …” with the engine never kicking in.
Wait 10 minutes, all is well.
The last time this happened to me a few days ago, I got impatient and just held the key in place through several “runhs”. Although I’ve gotten away with doing this in the recent past, this last time the starter complained with a loud “WHIRRRR!”. I thought I fubarred the starter right and good this time, but I tried starting again a few minutes later anyway. More “WHIRRRR!”, and more immediately, too
The truck gods were apparently smiling on me, however, as I was able to start the truck just fine after letting it rest a good 20 minutes (which I spent walking over to a conveniently-placed full-service Goodyear shop for some quick over-the-counter advice). I really thought I might have ground the teeth off the flywheel … but perhaps I got lucky. The mechanic suggested the solenoid and bendix, but was pretty gung-ho about selling me a new starter.
Anyhow, the truck has started fine since, though I’m twice as careful about giving the engine time to cool (for quick errands, the engine is left running now).
So … the GQ is: how is engine heat affecting the usual action of the starter?
Full disclosure: the truck is overdue by time (7 months) , but not by mileage (3200 miles), for an oil and oil filter change. I can’t recall the last time the fuel filter was changed (I know, I know :o ). The truck is also on its original serpentine belt (should I be :o ?). Lastly, the truck has just very recently been idling way too low … so low that it has stalled at red lights a few times. The workaround has been to put the truck in neutral and give a little gas while I’m stopped, to keep the RPMs around 1000.