How Long Does It Take to Replace a Starter Motor?

Majority of people assume right away that if the car is not starting it is because of the battery. So, they end up trying to boost it and it still won’t work. When this happens, there is obviously something more serious such as the starter. The car battery will send a charge to the car starter before sending it to the alternator. The charge provided by the alternator will make the car start. If the starter gets worn out, it will not accept the charge, and the car will never start. Your choice is to purchase a new starter or buy one that was rebuilt, which is also good. If the issue is really the car starter, you can replace it yourself.

Remove the Bad Starter 1st


Disconnect the car battery – Use the right size of socket wrench or hand to make the nut loose so you can remove the cable on the battery’s negative terminal. It is not necessary to completely remove the battery nut, and when it gets loose you simply have to slide up the cable and remove it from the terminal. The cable should be tucked to the battery’s side to make sure it will not touch the terminal while you are working.

If needed, jack up the vehicle – In some situations, it might be necessary to use a jack so the starter can be accessed. If the situation calls for it, you should place jack to raise the front of the vehicle and lower or turn the handle so it can be lifted from the ground. Make sure that the jack is firm and level ground. Once the jack has an appropriate height, place the jack stand beneath it.

Find the starter – The starter has a wire that runs from the battery to the fuse box, and it will look like a large cylinder with a smaller size attached to it. In case you cannot find the starter, check the service manual for the specific year, model and make for better guidance.

Disconnect the wire from the solenoid – This would depend on how it will be applied because there might be a few kinds of connections that transfers power from the vehicle’s electrical system to the car starter. You can use the right-hand tools so that any connections can be disconnected that goes to the starter.

Remove any bolts from the starter retaining bolts before the starter – The majority of starters have retaining bolts that holds the starter in its place against the motor side where transmission is met. The right size of the socket to get rid of the bolts so the starter can be removed.

Install the Starter Motor


Take it to the auto parts store and do a comparison between the old and new one, and you need to make sure their configurations are the same. Although, some of the new replacement starters have a smaller size but its efficiency is more than the old models. Most likely, you still have to exchange the old starter so the new one can be placed. Keep in mind that you should always take care of the new starter so that damaging the internal components can be prevented.

  • Clean the mounting area of the starter thoroughly which is located on the car engine and transmission bell housing. You can use shop rags, wire brush, and degreaser if needed.
  • Use one hand to secure the new unit before placing the spacer rims between the engine block and starter motor. You also have to replace any mounting brackets. Mount the bolts using your hand to keep the bolts from cross threading.
  • Before tightening the mourning bolts according to what the manufacturer has specified, connect cable for the batter and other wires to the starter motor’s rear.
  • Now, you can tighten the mounting bolts with a handy torque wrench. Get the repair manual and look for the torque specifications of the bolts.
  • Install the shields and brackets as needed. If the starter has a heat shield, you should reinstall it. If you don’t, the heat produced by the exhaust manifold could ruin the starter’s electrical circuit, and soon you would have to replace the starter gain.
  • After you have lowered the vehicle, take the battery cable and reconnect it to the starter engine so the repair can be confirmed. In case the starter is still silent, check the starter motor wiring and battery. Check if there are connections that are still loose or corroded, including the car battery. If there is a grinding noise, the starter motor is properly not mounted properly. Recheck the any mounting bolts and the starter position against the transmission mounting surface.

When you are already used to doing it, you can do this repair job next time in about 1 or 2 hours instead of 4. Although, not every vehicle engine has the same configuration. If removing other components will be necessary to have more access to the vehicle’s motor, you can read the repair manual for more information. You should always plan early before you start any repair job even it is as simple as starter motor replacement.

Starter motors experienced a lot of changes through time since they have improved from a protruding hand crank on the front of the car. The industry of the starter motor became a standard not long after they used the 1st internal combustion engine as a motorized car. During the early production years of the starter rims, they were used as an aid to gear mesh. These rims are no longer needed today.

If it is your 1st time, it will take you about 2 to 4 hours but it gets easier next time. A lot of people only take about 1 to 2 hours after doing it once in the past.

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