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2000 Nissan Maxima Starter issue

I am hoping someone can help me with an issue that started yesterday.
I replaced my starter back in the Feb-Apr time frame. Yesterday, I stopped at the local 7-Eleven. When I went to start the car, the starter clicked once and nothing... After opening the hood, with key in hand, I noticed a whining sound around the starter. Went back and tried to start, still nothing, not even a click. Checked under the hood and still, a whining sound. Disconnected the battery, whinig sound stopped. Reconnected the battery, whining sound continues. Tried starting, still nothing. I replaced the starter, no whining sound, and car starts and runs fine.
This evening I walk past the car and hear a faint whining sound. Pop the hood an low and behold, the solenoid is running again. No key in ignition, car locked up... just weird. I work with the ignition switch assuming a faulty switch. No affect on the whining starter. I disconnect the battery, again the solenoid stops. This time when I reconnect the battery, the whining starts again, and the headlights and marker lights come on... even more weird. One thing I do, is keep the headlight switch on at all times. Since the lights do turn off with the ignition.
Any clues as to what may be causing this? I am still thinking maybe a faulty ignition switch, or Inhibitor relay? Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated.
 

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Bump for help, it started again

Hope someone is out there that may be able to help. I hooked up the battery again and it seemed to work fine, until yesterday. My wife walked past the car and heard a whining sound. Low and behold the starter solenoid was running again. Disconnected the battery again.
 

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Brianw, I wish it were that obvious. As I mentioned in my original post, I DID replace the starter... twice in the last several months. In fact, it got worse yesterday. The car died on me on the interstate. Dead battery. Obvious answer... replace the battery. $60 or so... Turns out now the alternator is not charging. Burning smell coming from the alternator. I know... obvious answer, replace the alternator... $260 or so
 

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Sorry, missed that you replaced the starter a 2nd time in there somewhere (I assume you did it twice).

if it's not the ignition switch... well, that's pretty much the whole system. :p

You didn't test the battery and alternator voltages earlier? Both when cold and when hot?
 

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Well i have finally found the problem. Turns out it was not the starter running, but the back electronic motor mount. Never heard of these, but I took it to an automotive electrical specialty shop, and luckily when I turned the car off, the noise was there. However, when the mechanic pulled it into the bay, it stopped. He must have checked the car out, could not really diagnose for certain, other than there was a TSB for the issue. He also diagnosed that indeed the new alternator was bad. I replaced the alternator. Battery is now charging. While replacing the alternator, I traced the wires for the motor mounts, so I could disconnect them one at a time when the noise resumed. Two days later, it started again. I disconnected the rear motor mount, and the noise stopped. It has been about (2) weeks now, and everything seemed ok, until yesterday. The ABS, battery, TSC and other dash lights started blinking on and off. I read on other forums that these motor mounts can cause the ECM to short out. Hofefully, this is not the case. Back to the drawing board.
 
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