oh my poor car

my poor little car is almost at 179000 miles, but it hasn't been doing well lately. It's still running ok, but hasn't been wanting to start as easily as it used to. At first I thought it was the battery, because it was very sluggish in starting like the battery didn't have quite enough juice to get things going. Battery reads 12.3V though, which seems ok to me, and it's only a 4 year old battery. It also sounded a little more grindy for a while when starting. Now, I have to let it turn over 2 or 3 times before it will start. And if I drive out somewhere, stop the car, getting it started again is a bit dicey. It barely turns over before starting like the battery has run down.

I'm thinking maybe the starter is going bad, or maybe I'm having distributer/spark plug/wire problems. The distributer and spark plugs/wires seems like something I can check out myself easily enough, so that will be my weekend task. I think I can also replace teh starter myself too, so that will be the next thing I look at. If none of that helps, then it's off to the shop.