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I have a 2000 frontier with the 3.3 L V6. lately I've been having trouble starting it. It does not happen every time and does not have a specific thing that makes it do it. What I mean by that is it happens in the cold and heat, after not staring for a few day and after running for awhile, stuff like that. I did put a fresh battery in the truck recently.

So the symptoms, it will turn over and then start clacking, almost like the teeth are grinding but not that bad. Sometimes it will just whine like the starter is spinning but not engaging.

It has never not started tho. When it does give me troubles I will turn the key off and try it again. Most of the time when this happens I have to do it 2-3 times and then it starts.

In my opinion it is a bad starter that is having trouble engaged onto the flywheel, but I want some other opinions before I replace it. this has been going on for a few months now by the way.
 

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It sounds like the starter drive is not extending far enough out to meet the teeth of the flywheel or you have stripped teeth on the flywheel, by your description. If it's the latter of the two, you will still likely need a starter motor, but will also need to replace the flywheel ring gear (or, flexplate, if auto trans). You will need to remove the starter motor and inspect the teeth of the flywheel while turning the engine with a ratchet wrench on the crank bolt; make sure you turn the engine clockwise.
 
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