How to Replace the Starter on a 98 Ford Escort

Updated April 17, 2017

The starter on a 1998 Ford Escort transforms electrical energy from the battery into torque energy which it applies to the flywheel in order to start the engine. A gear in the nose of the starter ejects when the starter motor is energised, which meshes with the teeth on the edge of the flywheel. As the gear spins, so does the flywheel. If the starter should fail, the Escort won’t start. Anyone with basic auto-repair experience can replace the starter on a 1998 Ford Escort in roughly one hour.

Open the Escort’s bonnet and disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery using the battery wrench. Move the cable away from the battery to prevent accidental contact between the cable and battery during the repair.

Place the wheel chocks directly behind the rear wheels. Lift the front end of the Escort off the ground with the floor jack and place the two jack stands under the front frame, on both sides, before lowering the Escort onto the jack stands. Do not place the jack stands under the suspension.

Climb under with the socket set and unbolt the starter wiring with the socket set. Hold the starter up with one hand and remove the two starter mounting bolts with the socket set, using your other hand.

Pull the old starter out by hand and compare it to the replacement starter. Make sure they are physically identical before proceeding. If they are not, take them to your place of purchase to match the old starter up with a proper replacement.

Hold the replacement starter in position with one hand while you thread the starter mounting bolts in with your other hand. Tighten them down with the socket set. Never let the starter’s weight hang on the mounting bolts until you have completely tightened them down.

Reconnect the starter wiring using the socket set in reverse of how you disconnected it. Climb out from under the Escort and reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery with the battery wrench.

Lower the Escort off the jack stands with the floor jack. Move the wheel chocks and close the bonnet.

Things You'll Need

  • Battery wrench
  • Floor jack
  • Wheel chocks
  • 2 jack stands
  • Socket set
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About the Author

Allen Moore's career includes awards in poetry and creative fiction, published lyrics, fiction books and nonfiction articles as well as a master certification in automotive service from the Ford Motor Company. Moore is a contributing writer for and various other websites, a ghostwriter for Rainbow Writing and has over a dozen works of fiction currently in print.