How to Replace Starter Motor

Updated July 20, 2017

The starter motor in a vehicle runs off electrical power supplied by the battery. Its purpose is to push a spinning gear into the flywheel to engage the crankshaft. The spinning crankshaft will set the engine in motion. Once the starter goes bad, the starter will not be able to convert the electrical energy to mechanical energy. Replacing the faulty starter motor will be neccessary.

Park the car on a flat level surface. Ensure the parking brake is set.

Open the bonnet for access to the engine compartment. Isolate the battery by unbolting the positive and negative terminals with a line wrench.

Locate the starter under the vehicle. The starter is always located between the transmission ( transaxle if the vehicle is a front-wheel drive) and the engine.

Disconnect the wires at the top of the starter. The starter will have two studs on the solenoid with wires attached. Unbolt the nut with a socket wrench and pull the wires off the studs.

Unbolt the starter with a socket wrench. Pull the starter off the bracket by hand and place it in the box the new starter was sold in. The automotive-parts store will require the old starter returned for the core-deposit.

Position the new starter to the mounting bracket. Thread each bolt by hand. Once all the bolts are started, tighten with a socket wrench.

Unscrew the positive postand place the cable on the stud. Tighten the nut over the wire with a socket wrench. Repeat to install the negative wire.

Tighten the battery cables to the battery. Ensure both cables are tight on the terminal.

Attempt to start the vehicle. The car will start with very little hesitation.


Once the starter is out of the car, take it to the automotive-parts store to be bench tested. This will tell you if the starter is good or bad.


Use caution when working with electrical components. Ensure the battery is isolated.

Things You'll Need

  • Line wrench set
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • New starter
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About the Author

Gregory Crews has been in the film industry for three years and has appeared in more than 38 major motion pictures and 16 television shows. He also writes detailed automotive tutorials. His expertise in the automotive industry has given him the skills to write detailed technical instructional articles.