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how do you know if the brushes are worn? And can you pruchase just the brushes or does this 31231-P3F-003 PLATE, BRUSH HOLDER come with the brushes? The reason I ask is because when its cold outside during first start of day my starter grinds. Its been doing this since winter started. I'm trying to avoid buying a whole starter.
 

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The brushes only supply current to the starter motor. Your grinding is most likely due to the starter gear (bendix) being slow to extend or retract due to lack of, or, sticky lubricant.
 
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