– What is the starter motor?
– Step 1: Locate the starter
– Step 2: Remove the starter motor.
– Step 3: Replace the renovated or new starter
– Step 4: Perform a starter test
Replacing the starter becomes necessary when there are signs that it is defective: it no longer works, permanently or occasionally, with or without chattering. Other than accessibility, replacing the starter is within reach of any good handyman, provided that you follow a few simple instructions.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing a starter.
What is a starter?
The starter is an auxiliary electric motor powered by the battery: its role is to drive the car’s engine at an average speed of 300 rpm, allowing it to start.
It consists of three parts.
The electric motor
– The motor is powered by the battery.
– It is connected by a large-diameter cable (16 to 35 mm² cross-section).
Reminder: the section of the cable corresponds to the diameter of the circular surface.
– It is a large relay attached to the starter body. An electrical switch between the battery and the starter is controlled by the ignition key in the “start” position.
– It has two connections:
◦ the battery cable;
◦ and a thinner electrical wire (between 2 and 3.5 mm²) coming from the key switch.
A mechanical system
– This system is operated by the solenoid.
– It allows the starter pinion to mesh with the teeth of the flywheel to drive it.
Equipment needed to change a starter.
- Angled eye wrench
- Tightening key
- Flat wrench
1. Locate the starter
The starter is always located close to the flywheel, i.e. at the engine’s junction and the gearbox.
There are a few exceptions with some Stop and Start systems where starting is done using a starter-alternator located at the traditional alternator location.
Good to know: the Stop and Start system allow the engine to be stopped and restarted without driver intervention under certain conditions when the vehicle is idle (stop at a traffic light, traffic jams, etc.). The Stop and Start system aims to save fuel and reduce pollution.
2. Remove the starter motor.
Carry out prior dismantling if necessary
– Start by consulting the technical journal dedicated to your car, where all the removal and installation operations are recorded in detail.
Good to know: technical journals are available at auto parts stores, auto centers, or the Internet.
– Depending on the vehicle, access to the starter motor is more or less complicated. This may require additional disassembly and the use of a lifting crane.
Removing the starter motor
– Disconnect the battery:
◦ disconnect one of the two battery terminals;
◦ isolate this terminal by covering it with a cloth, for example.
Important: Disconnecting the battery must be the first step.
– Disconnect the electrical connections on the solenoid:
◦ Disconnect the battery cable by unscrewing the retaining nut with a wrench (usually a 13″ open-end wrench);
◦ do the same for the starter control wire, most often by unscrewing a nut with an 8
Good to know: it is sometimes a snap-on electrical connector.
– If there is one, remove the rear bracket that holds the starter against the engine block.
– Remove the 3 fasteners from the starter nose (the part attached to the gearbox side) with a 13, 16 or 17 wrench.
– Remove the starter from the engine.
3. Replace the reconditioned or new starter
Once the starter has been refurbished or replaced with a “standard exchange” part, proceed with the reverse removal procedure.
Good to know: Check the compatibility of the new starter with your car model.
Position the starter using the centring bushing.
– Make sure the starter has a centring bushing on one of its mountings.
Good to know: a new starter often comes with a new bushing.
– Check that the old bushing has not remained in place on the gearbox.
– Position the starter with the aid of the centring sleeve and secure it.
Important: Incorrect positioning of the starter can lead to its destruction!
Reconnect the starter
– Reconnect in the reverse order of removal.
– Check that the battery cable is correctly positioned on the starter without contact with the casing.
Also, check the cable routing: it must not come into contact with sharp metal sheets or the exhaust pipe, for example.
4. Test the starter
– Reconnect the battery.
– Give the ignition key a short turn: the engine must not stall.
– Start the vehicle again.
– If the engine has normal operating noise, the replacement is successful.
– However, if there is a persistent hissing noise, the starter may still be engaged. In this case:
◦ check the positioning of the starter;
◦ Also, check its compatibility with the vehicle.
That’s it. You are now done with changing a starter. Please, remember to share this post and leave your comments in the section below.