How to Replace a Starter

Knowing how to replace a starter can save you a lot of time, stress and money.

The starter is the device that turns the engine on and allows the car to begin running. If a starter breaks, the vehicle may not start and will not be able to operate correctly. A new starter will also need to be installed periodically to keep the car's performance high.

Replacing your car's starter is not a simple task, but it can still be done by an untrained person. Follow the steps below carefully to be sure you perform this procedure correctly.

To begin, you'll need the new starter, a car jack, crescent wrenches and  a ratchet set. You should also keep a marker and duct tape with you.

Put your car's breaks on and place blocks behind the wheels to be sure that there is no unwanted movement. Jack up your car and disconnect the negatively-charged battery cable.

Next, locate the old starter. Usually, it's located on the driver's side of the car, around the manifold. It looks like an eight-inch tube and will have small holes around one end. The diameter of the tube will be about five or six inches. The starter will be mounted to a block and will have two electrical connections. Remove these connections and the connection keeping the starter mounted to the block with the crescent wrench or ratchet, then remove the starter.

Tape the removed connections to the engine to keep them out of the way. Write on the tape with the marker to remind yourself of where the connection goes.

Next, install the new starter by following the same procedure that uninstalled the last one, but in reverse order. Reattach the connections and remove the tape. Then reattach the battery wire and start the engine. If the car doesn't start, try repeating these steps. 

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Common symptoms of a bad starter should be attended to without delay. A bad starter might mean that your car won't even turn on, let alone drive anywhere safely.

If you turn the key of your car and nothing happens, you can easily troubleshoot the issue by diagnosing starter problems.

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