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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 1998 CRV with 190K miles. It recently started having a peculiar problem with the starter drive gear hanging up a bit in the ring gear. It will do it from about 60 deg and cooler. The colder it is the longer it hangs up. I live in North Florida so I'm only talking about 25 degrees as the coldest it gets. I have troubleshot this for a couple of months now and have covered everything I can think of. I replaced a marginally weak battery, checked cables visually and with an ohm meter, checked engine to chassis ground, swapped starter cut out relay with the horn relay, replaced my ignition switch with new OEM, visually inspected the ring gear teeth and have tried three more starters (one reman auto zone, a reman from denso and a salvage yard one with 69K). This problem only occurs on cold starts, the rest of the time it works perfectly. Other than this issue the car runs great. I would greatly appreciate any new ideas on this. Thanks, Ken

I just figured this out, see post #5
 

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The starter pinion is getting hung up on the crud on the starter shaft, remove starter, clean shaft w/ degreaser, relube with a light grease and reinstall
 

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The starter pinion is getting hung up on the crud on the starter shaft, remove starter, clean shaft w/ degreaser, relube with a light grease and reinstall
That was my guess, then I read his post. He said he has tried 4 different starter motors. His, a junk yard one, and 2 remans from the auto parts store.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The starter cut out relay and the horn relay are the same part # and sit side by side inside the driver's kick panel. I swapped the two and it made no difference at all. Also, I took the relay out of the car and took it inside to keep it warm and reinstalled it in the morning when it was 30 degrees outside and that also made no difference. What I failed to mention on my original thread is that I disconnected the start wire from the solenoid and used a remote hand held start button and even that made no difference. I have the factory CD on this car and can't seem to find out exactly what the starter cut relay is supposed to do. Thanks for your input!

Guys I just figured this out. I have never heard a power steering pump make a starter grinding noise before but that's it. I had a steering rack leak and had been putting Lucas stop leak in it over the last year. It stopped my leak but apparently the viscosity of the stop leak becomes too heavy for the pump in cold temperatures. Not really sure whether the pump is cavitating or there's some kind of a clutch in the pump to make that grinding noise. I found this out by removing my PS belt and starting the car in 30 degree temperature, no grinding noise. So, for now I'm going to suck the reservoir dry and refill it with Honda PS fluid several times until I get the viscosity light enough. The steering rack change will be coming soon.
 
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