Knowing how to replace a starter motor saves you repair shop costs. Most importantly, it helps you to restore your car’s starting system as soon as it fails. But how do you go about removing the old starter and installing a new one in its place? That’s what you’re about to learn. This chapter details the starter motor replacement process but in a way that you will find easy to grasp.
Starter Motor Symptoms That You Need to Fix
Before the starter motor replacement steps, here is how to know if you need to change the component or fix it. Replace the starter if the following has happened.
- If you notice the symptoms of a burnt starter motor such as the motor not spinning or making any sound
- If you suspect the different parts of the starter assembly are worn beyond repair
- If, upon testing the starter, the electrical parts such as field coils, armature, and solenoid show signs of going bad
- If the motor has served for more than 100 000 miles and starting to show the symptoms of going bad
Once you have decided to change the starter in your car, obtain a model that matches your car engine requirements. For that, you need to use some details about your car such as make and model, among others. Then, follow the steps outlined below.
How to Replace a Starter Motor
Things you will need
Jack and jack stands (depending on the specific vehicle)
Ratchet wrench and socket set
Your new starter motor
We will begin with the starter removal process, which differs slightly across different vehicle types.
Starter Motor Replacement Procedures
Step 1 How to Remove Starter Motor
- Disconnect the battery cables, the negative cable first
- Next, locate the position of the starter motor in your car. You may need to use the manual if unsure
- Disconnect the cables that run to the starter motor or solenoid
- Loosen and take out the bolts that secure the starter together with the holding brackets. In some vehicles, you may need to remove several components before you can access the starter assembly
- Lift the starter motor assembly out of the car and set it aside
Step 2 How to Install Starter Motor
- Confirm that the new starter motor is the right model for your vehicle
- Place the starter on the mounting surface. If there are shims and other parts, install them before the starter
- Replace the mounting bolts and support brackets. Tighten the to the correct torque based on manufacturer recommendations
- Next, reconnect the cables that you had earlier removed, ensuring to do so correctly
- Reattach the battery cables
- Lastly, test the operation of the new starter motor by starting the engine
The above steps show how to replace a starter motor in a DIY process. As an alternative, you can take your car to a repair shop and have the component replace professionally. Let’s see how much that would cost you.
Starter Motor Replacement Cost
On average, the cost to replace a starter motor lies between $200 and $400. This cost includes the price of the starter motor and labor charges. But the amount to pay also depends on your type of vehicle. For high-end or luxury car, the cost will be higher, even double the mentioned amount.
If you understand how to replace a starter motor on your own, you can bring the cost down to around $100 lowest to around $200 or slightly more. As explained above, the replacement process is a straightforward procedure that as almost every car owner can attempt. You do not even need any special tools.
Starter motors come in different designs. To ensure you get the right type for your engine, use the information about your car to narrow down the choices. Additionally, consider the different features that enhance the quality of the specific starter.
Decide, also, whether to install an OEM or aftermarket starter based on your particular preferences. In terms of cost, an OEM starter will make the replacement cost to shoot by up to several hundred dollars. Aftermarket starters or mostly cheaper and usually of comparable quality.
Starter Motor Replacement Tips
Knowing how to replace a starter motor is one thing and ensuring a safe and efficient process another. These tips will come in handy when changing your failing starter to a new one.
- Have your car’s jack and jack stands on the ready when replacing the starter. You might need them when removing the motor
- As with other electrical components, always disconnect the battery when removing the starter motor or installing the new one
- Use the car manual to locate the starter in your car if unable to figure out its location
- Ensure have the right replacement starter motor based on your car details
- Mounting surfaces differ. Make sure to install your starter the right way and together with any mounting component
- If the starter motor in your car is in a hidden location and difficult to access, it’s more advisable to have a mechanic replace it. You do not want to break parts trying to reach it
A bad starter motor can either be fixed or replaced. When you have chosen to replace or if the situation demands so, ensure you have the right part for your car. And if working on a budget, consider a do-it-yourself process. The steps explained here on how to replace a starter motor apply to a majority of vehicles today. Use them to change yours and lower the replacement costs.