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My 2007 ML350 has about 269,000 miles on it--bought it new. Just trying to keep this car on the road.

I've been noticing on a cold start as the car idles down; once it hits about 1100 RPMs, the RPMs bounce up and down, accompanied with a rattling noise and a noticeable shake of the car, like the timing chain got caught on something and then let go. It only does this at COLD START. Once I've been driving it around all day. It doesn't make that noise again until the next morning.

Not sure if that is a contributing factor as to why the car takes a while to start, maybe a couple of seconds before it catches and turns over. I've noticed the key getting stuck for a brief second in the ON position, but normally it doesn't do that and still seems like the starter is taking a while to kick in and start the engine. I'm thinking it's the starter--it's never been changed.

Does this point to the starter? Or something else?

If it's the starter, does anyone have a good DIY on how to remove and replace it? Bosch or Rebuilt?

I've taken the car to an independent and the Intake Manifold was replaced since a valve was not closing/opening like it should. He couldn't determine what the rattle noise was or whether it was the starter.

I'd appreciate any insight or help!
 

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Once the veh. is started, the starter has no further function.

You must have a scanner to read all the modules.

 
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