I have a 2008 LE 4x4 Flex with 176K on it. I am the third owner, and have had it for about 10K. As far as I know, there have been no modifications to any pulleys or Harmonic Balancer.
Last week, we noticed that when starting, it no longer was making that (much improved IMO) 2008 starter noise (I also have an 06 that doesn't sound nearly as cool), rather it almost sounded like a winding noise. Fast forward a week (and probably 10-20 starts), and last night it sounded more like a grinding sound (for 2 starts). It was a partial grind (like when you have chipped a flywheel tooth) but more of a consistent all the way around grind. When I got home, I went to start it one more time with the windows down, and all I got was a free spinning noise (spppiiiiinnnnn) with no motor turnover or engagement whatsoever.
If this were an 1998 Silverado, I'd have already replaced the starter
. Sadly, not the case. SO, question is, do I invest in having someone pull the intake plenum HOPING that it's the starter, or should I invest in having someone pull the (what I've read.. no idea if it's true) "Flexplate Inspection cover" and "Turn it with a big *** screw driver"..(again, all read on searches). Gosh, I hope it's just the solenoid not plunging and this is just a starter, but I'm paranoid about the plate because others have reported grinding for a few days. Does that also happen with the starter dying too? (My experience is you just get a click, with nothing...and if you're lucky three clicks and it plunges to get you home sorta thing...).
If it is the Flexplate, is this really a $2000 repair? I see the plates run about 185$, isn't it just a tranny drop to correct? I saw someone say 2k$, but that might have been the guy that unfortunately had the piece crack the bellhousing. I don't think that's the case here.
I'm currently on the mend from a broken leg, so although I can walk (sort of), I can't go dig into this like I normally would, so every move is $.. advice very greatly appreciated!!!