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Hi All-
I'm considering an '04 Wagon automatic, cloth interior, no Bose, with 145K miles, for $2500. The catch is that the owner says it "needs the flywheel replaced". Now, I'm no mechanic but thought a flywheel was only in a manual transmission. She says this "It has to do with the starter. When you turn the key, sometimes it starts, and sometimes it makes that nasty sound a car makes when you turn the key with the motor running already. You may have to try starting it 2-3 times before it doesn't make the sound and then starts right up. The mechanic said this is because it needs a new flywheel and he said it will be $700 to fix it."

Does this make sense to anyone? I like this car and would be happy to pay $3200 for it after the repair.

Help?
 

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The flywheel is used in starting the vehicle. However, if you have to replace the flywheel, chances are you're going to be replacing the starter as well as all the grinding probably has worn them both. You can sometimes replace only the solenoid and starter bit, but I don't know enough about mazda to know if that's possible. But, since they will already have the engine open, there are some other parts that should be replaced when it's opened up: timing belt, adjust the valves and do the work you should do when you've got the engine open like that. This will add up quickly IMO, but I might be wrong.

However, I would be wary buying a vehicle from someone who ignored a problem with their vehicle.
 

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my 2004 wagon did same thing-it was replaced under warranty,plate was missing 2 or 3 teeth on it and motor will stop at same points of degree-compression/decompression position.Took 3 visits to convince them - replacing starter will not solve problem(yes they replaced starter 3 times!)
 

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The ring gear/flexplate on automatic cars are easy to replace and can have issues just like anything else mechanical. You also need to look at the bendix drive gear on the starter to see if it also has been damaged. No need for a new starter if it is, just replace the gear, check the bushing and make sure the drive is clean and moves freely.
If your not mechanically inclined, then you can call around to get quotes on what it would take to fix. I am doubting that you would be able to fix it for $700.00 with a shop doing it. But I do not know what the current labor rates are in your area.

Call around to see what a new flex plate would cost and labor to R+ R the tranny.

My wagon has been a great car, it has less than 23K on it, but hasn't given me any grief for 6 years now.

I wouldn't worry about not having the Bose system, upgrade it to something better.

DJ
 
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