A little history. I have a 2004 Corolla S, 5 speed manual. 186,000 miles, car has been rock solid.
I had an issue the other morning, when I went to start the car, nothing. I could hear a very faint humming noise. I made sure it wasn't the clutch interlock, it's not. I did a little internet research, seemed to point to the starter. Folks had said it would come and go as a problem. A hour later, it started just fine. Been working fine until tonight. I came home from work, stopped at Taco Bell. When coming out to restart, same thing...nothing.
I don't believe it to be the battery, I have one of those little portable pre-charged things that will provide 750 CCA. It is fully charged (charged the other day), I hooked it up to the battery, fired it up, still no start.
One weird thing I have noticed when starting some recently, it will crank really well, but near the end of the crank, it sounds like a brief metal-on-metal sound for maybe a half second right when it starts.
So, my question to you, does this sound like a starter problem, or something with the alternator?