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i have a 2002 xterra and have replaced the starter twice in the last 18 mos. The third starter just came out and is on the bench. The first two times white smoke poured from under the hood. Starter just clicked. Replacement cured the prob. This time, for about 1 week, my rig would occasionally make a horrendous squealing sound that would turn heads a block away. It would continue to squeal for anywhere from 2-15 seconds after starting. Sometimes it did'nt do it. Today it sqealed and i could smell burning. I've eliminated belts as the problem. We pulled the starter and bench tested it. We tested the ignition switch. Starter. solenoid, and ignition seem fine. We took the cover off over the brushes and there was a good amt of soot present around the brushes. I guess this explains the burning. I know if i put the starter back in right now it will probably start, but i think it's just a matter of time before it goes. I'm at a total loss what is causing this. Anybody experienced anything similar? Thanks
 

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The squeeling sounds like it's the starter gear sticking when it engages. It seems like someone posted a thread about this not too long ago. Can't remember exactly what the culprit ended up being but I want to say it was the solenoid. I'll try and find it if I can.
 
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