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I rarely post, but I have developed an appreciation for the knowledge available from this forum. So, thanks in advance.

'05 Elise with ~39K mi spent the first four months of this year at the body shop (another story). Both clams and the right door were removed. I mention this in case there is some connection. When I got the car back I noticed, when running errands, after the 2nd or 3rd stop the engine would crank much more slowly. I always keep the battery on a tender, but, of course, not at the body shop. The battery was 4 years old; so, I replaced it even though it tested OK. Car behaved the same way with the new battery. Then checked the charging system - no problem there.

Car always cranks normally when cold. After running and sitting for awhile, it cranks very slowly. If I let it get cold (without connecting the battery tender), it cranks normally. In reading somewhere I got the idea that maybe the clutch was dragging, so I made sure the car was in neutral and clutch depressed. Still cranked slowly after a hot soak.

Is the next step to change the starter? Is there anything else that might cause the symptoms, especially since the starter looks difficult to replace?
 

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Long shots, but check engine to chassis ground; battery ground; and the 2 intermediate battery cable connections, not far from the battery.

Hey, the advice and your labor are free!

Pls let us know what you find.
 
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