How to Remove the Starter in a 2003 Mazda 6

Updated July 19, 2017

A 2003 Mazda 6 utilises an electric starter motor to rotate the flywheel when the driver starts the engine. Because of the high amount of torque output these small motors are required to generate, the starter motor will periodically wear out and need to be replaced. Once the starter motor is removed you can have it rebuilt or replace it with a new or remanufactured unit. Removing the starter motor can be accomplished by you, and requires only a few simple tools.

Unhook the ground cable from the negative battery terminal. Begin by loosening the retaining bolt with a wrench. Then slide the clamp off the terminal.

Unhook the positive battery cable from the battery. Begin by loosening the retaining bolt with a wrench. Then slide the clamp off the terminal.

Unscrew the two 10mm bolts that secure the battery hold-down strap to the vehicle, using a socket. Then lift the strap out of the way.

Lift the battery out of the engine bay with your hand and remove it from the vehicle.

Unscrew the two 10mm pan head nuts that secure the battery tray to the chassis, using a socket. Then lift the battery tray out of the engine bay and remove it from the vehicle.

Locate the starter motor. It will be mounted between the engine and transmission.

Separate the wiring harness from the transmission speed sensor, which will be located just behind the starter motor. Squeeze the wiring connector with your hand and pull it off the sensor

Unclip the wiring connector from the starter solenoid, by squeezing the clip with your fingers. Then pull the clip off the solenoid.

Slide the rubber boot that covers the positive battery-cable retaining nut out of the way with your hand. Then unscrew the 13mm nut that connects the cable to the solenoid, using a socket. Pull the cable away from the solenoid.

Locate the 13mm flange bolt at the rear of the starter. Unscrew this bolt using a socket, and extensions.

Unscrew the second starter mounting bolt using a socket. The bolt will be located beneath the thermostat housing. Be sure to support the weight of the starter with your hand while removing the bolt.

Carefully slide the starter motor away from the engine and remove it from the vehicle. Be careful not to damage the engine wiring harness.


If you can hear the starter spin along with excessive “chattering” noises, it may be a sign that the starter mounting bolts are loose.


Support the weight of the starter motor while removing the starter motor. Failure to do so could strip the threads inside the engine block.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench set
  • Socket set
  • Socket extensions
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About the Author

Jeffrey Caldwell has been a freelance writer for over five months and has published over 250 articles on websites like eHow and Caldwell writes articles on a wide range of topics including travel, camping and automotive mechanics. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Millersville University.