How to Replace a Starter

A starter is also known as a starter motor or an automobile self starter. It is an electric motor that starts a rotating motion for a car’s internal combustion engine.

For a car to start, a charge needs to be sent from the battery to the starter and alternator. If it fails to send a charge from the battery to the starter or alternator, the starter needs to be replaced.


Necessary Materials and Tools


  • starter
  • duct tape
  • marker
  • ratchet set (metric)
  • flood light
  • crescent wrenches
  • car jack


Step By Step Instructions


  1. Jack the vehicle or hoist it on top of two jack stands. Ensure that the brake is set and that chalk blocks are secured behind the rear wheels.
  2. Take out the negative battery cable from the battery and keep it safely out of the way. When working under a vehicle, make sure not to touch unnecessary electrical wirings and connections.
  3. Each vehicle has a different location for its starter. You can begin looking for the starter of your vehicle on the driver’s side of the car near the manifold. Most starters will look like an 8” tube with a diameter of about 5 to 6”. In older models, the starter will be down the engine compartment and just about left from the center.
  4. The starter will usually have two electrical connections and one mounting connection. You have to remove the electrical cables and indicate the connection point by using marking pens.
  5. Tape the cables to the engine so that they will be out of the way.
  6. Get rid of the mounting connection by using a crescent wrench or a ratchet. If you experience difficulty in removing the connections, you may need the help of WD-40 along with an adequate soaking period.
  7. Do not use force to remove the connection because you might break the stem or strip the bolt. After removing all connections, it’s time to remove the starter.
  8. You can install the new starter in the reverse order of how you removed it. Make sure that all electrical connections go back in their right places.
  9. Do not forget to get rid of the marking tape or else it will burn.
  10. Connect the negative battery cable to the main battery and secure the connection tightly. To test if you have successfully made the connections, start your engine.