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Range Rover p38 2.5 auto 1997 starting problem


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Can anyone help? I have an issue my p38 has started to play up over night, when I put the key in turn it to start all I here is a sound from the starter but engine won’t turn over but if I try a few more times it will turn over start and run perfectly, I have noticed the starter solenoid gets hot, any ideas? 

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The 'starter solenoid gets hot' has given me an idea.

The starter solenoid has two coils, one takes a lot of current and is powerful enough to move the pinion into mesh with the flywheel.
The second coil takes a lot less current, but is still powerful enough to hold the pinion in place once it has been moved by the first coil.
The electrical changeover takes place after the pinion move is complete, because it's at this point that full power is passed to the motor.

What appears to be happening is that the high power operate coil is energised, but either it doesn't move far enough or the big meaty contacts that power the motor are not making good electrical contact.
The constant operation of the high power operate coil is why you feel the solenoid is hot.

As the starter appears to operate OK once warm (during the day) I'd suggest it is not a catastrophic failure, but curing it will involve removing the starter motor, stripping and cleaning the solenoid, pinion mechanism, and the big electrical contacts, which may be damaged by any arcing that has taken place.

There may be a couple of hours work there, more if you aren't used to it.


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